About a Boy - and a guy with no life

$17.54 at Amazon

The plot in a nutshell
Hugh Grant plays a man living a Krameresque life - no signs of visible income, no responsibilities, no family ties.  As he puts it, his life is like a TV show, and it's not an ensemble cast.

Scoring with women is his one passion - along with watching the British game show 'Count Down' - and he goes to great lengths to succeed, including lying about having a child to further his chances with single mothers.

Through the usual series of odd occurrences, he ends up surrogate father to Marcus, a bright boy who is a social outcast, due in large part to his bizarre new age (or past age) mother.  Both boy and man learn a little something about family, responsibility, and growing up.

Relatively Spoiler Free Thoughts
Woman fall in lust with Vin Diesel - they fall in love with Hugh Grant.  He is perfect in this type of role, where his wit, charm and personality match perfectly with the character. Men don't generally like Hugh Grant, perhaps because he's far more threatening than someone like Diesel.  Every man believes he could be Diesel, if he just had time to hit the gym more often.  But they all know that what women find attractive in Grant is something they can't get by sweating.

Here Grant uses that charm to the utmost, and we find ourselves completely believing that he's a man with really no point, and no purpose.  It takes awhile for that to sink in for him, but he learns the obvious lessons, although in less obvious ways than your usual Hollywood tale.

The kid who plays Marcus - Nicholas Hoult - is a new comer, but performs extremely well in the role of confused teenager, looking for meaning when there is so often none.  His life isn't portrayed as simply as just another kid that doesn't fit in, as there are some real troubles at home.  But he does find the answers he's looking for, and he's willing to go to any extreme, including social suicide, to find them.

Toni Collete, as Marcus' mom, has a demanding role as well, and pulls it off admirably.  She is probably best known for her role as Haley Joel Osment's mom in the Sixth Sense.  There's even a very cute joke at the beginning about this if you're paying extra attention.

The film isn't without it's problems, the biggest of which is several very slow sections.  During the commentary on the deleted scenes, it's clear the director is aware of what makes a scene drag, but there are still points in the movie where you'll find yourself wishing they'd move it along.

Rating - Rent It (Qualified).
This score is 'qualified' for a very good reason - if you don't like a) Hugh Grant or b) films that deal with the subject of being a real man without any car chases or large explosions, you are probably not going to like this film.  It's not a rip roaring comedy, although there are several laugh out loud moments.

But if your a fan of either a) or b) above, than give this one a chance.  It's what BIG DADDY tried to be, without all the moronic attempts at humor.

Spoiler Laden Thoughts
I have no spoiler laden thoughts this time around!  I'm betting that with next week's Bourne Identity, that won't be the case...

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