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"ABOUT A BOY"
(2002) (Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A shallow and self-absorbed playboy finds his attitude and view of the world changing when he eventually and somewhat begrudgingly befriends a 12-year-old loner.
PLOT:
Will Freeman (HUGH GRANT) is a self-absorbed, shallow and single playboy who has few cares in the world thanks to continuous royalties from a Christmas song his father wrote decades earlier. A self-described "island," Will prefers to live a solitary life except when he's on the prowl for some female companionship.

After a married friend sets him up with Angie (ISABEL BROOK), a single mom who ends up breaking up with him rather than the other way around, Will decides to pursue single mothers for the passionate sex, ego massaging and easy breakups. That way, he eliminates the potential of the dreaded commitment.

It's when he's dating Suzie (VICTORIA SMURFIT) that he meets her friend's 12-year-old son, Marcus (NICHOLAS HOULT). A loner with few friends who's always picked on at school especially for unknowingly breaking into impromptu bouts of singing decidedly out of date songs, Marcus accompanies Will and Suzie for a day due to his depressed mom, Fiona (TONI COLLETTE), needing some time for herself.

Marcus takes a liking to Will and his ways, and after his mom attempts to commit suicide, the boy decides the playboy could be the man to make her happy. Although Will eventually starts dating another single mom, Rachel (RACHEL WEISZ), instead, he eventually and somewhat begrudgingly befriends Marcus. As he tries to help the boy cope with and/or overcome his social problems and awkwardness, Marcus unknowingly helps Will grow up and eventually become a more responsible person.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens may want to, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language and some thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HUGH GRANT plays a self-centered and shallow man who's never had to work in his life. He lies to people if it helps out his own situation, uses some profanity and smokes, but eventually begins to change his ways and grow up.
  • NICHOLAS HOULT plays a loner boy who doesn't fit in at school, but is mostly okay with that. He must also deal with his depressed and suicidal, single mother. He uses some profanity.
  • TONI COLLETTE plays Marcus' depressed and suicidal mother.
  • RACHEL WEISZ plays a single mother who starts dating Will.
  • VICTORIA SMURFIT plays another single mom who Will dates and eventually leads to him meeting Marcus.
  • ISABEL BROOK plays yet another single mom who Will briefly dates.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present (most of it using the term "shag" for sex), while a woman is briefly seen straddling a man (both are clothed) on a sofa with some kissing.

    A boy worries about his mother potentially attempting to commit suicide again (he and others find her after an unsuccessful attempt) and thus some tense family moments and thematic material are present. Beyond that, a duck is accidentally killed, some characters hit or throw/kick things at others, and various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some also drink and/or smoke.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • When asked by some friends to be their child's godfather, Will says that's a bad idea, especially since when she eventually turned eighteen, he'd take her out, get her drunk and possibly try to "shag" her.
  • People drink in a bar/club.
  • Some characters have wine.
  • Will and others have wine.
  • Will has a beer in the bathtub.
  • People drink in a restaurant.
  • We see some liquor in a store.
  • A woman has wine.
  • Will mentions that he usually spends Christmas alone, getting drunk and stoned.
  • Will drinks a beer.
  • Various people have wine.
  • We see some wine in Rachel's place as she cleans it up and she and Will then have some.
  • We see a beer on the table in front of Will.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some vomit on a floor.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • For much of the film, Will is a shallow and self-centered individual who's only looking out for himself and his own pleasure, and doesn't worry about the repercussions his actions and behavior might have on others (which includes lying about himself).
  • Various students at Marcus' school make fun of him in several scenes, and one even kicks a soccer ball at him, while others chase and throw things at him. We later see that someone has stolen his shoes from his feet (forcing him to walk home in the rain).
  • Will lies to various characters about liking or having a child, mainly to get dates with women, and lies to a police officer about a duck's demise.
  • Some may see Fiona as having a bad attitude for attempting suicide and thus possibly leaving her son parentless.
  • Rachel's son is mean and threatening toward Marcus (due to being insecure about his mom possibly liking Will).
  • Other students make fun of Marcus when he sings a vintage song during a school concert series.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Those who don't like violence on animals (accidental) might not like the following: Marcus tries to tear pieces of bread from a large loaf to feed some ducks. When that proves too hard, he throws the whole thing that accidentally hits a duck, killing it (we later see the duck floating feet up - all played for laughs).
  • Marcus, Will and Suzie return to the boy's home to find Fiona lying face down on the sofa, apparently dead from an overdose (all three react, but the mother turns out to be okay, although she tried to kill herself).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking hell," "Dumb f*cking hippie," "Sh*tty snot-nosed bastard," "Give a sh*t," "Load of bollocks," "Pissed him off," "Self-centered bastard," "Loser," "Bastards," "Nuts" (crazy), "What the hell is that?" "Bloody hell," "Bloke" (man), "Shut up," "Screw(ed) up," "Bloody" (adjective), "Bugger off," "Piss off," "She'll kick your ass," "Load of crap" and "Who the hell is that?"
  • Some kids may be enticed to act like the shallow and self-absorbed Will who's always lying about himself.
  • While we don't see the actual attempt, we do see that Fiona tried to commit suicide via an overdose of pills.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A brief bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has the repeated lyric, "Shake your ass."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 uses of the "f" word, 9 "s" words, 4 slang terms for sex ("shag"), 8 asses (1 used with "hole"), 6 hells, 5 craps, 4 uses of "bugger off," 1 bollocks, 5 uses each of "For Christ's sakes" and "Oh God," 3 each of "Jesus Christ" and "My God" and 2 uses each of "God," "Jesus" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When asked by some friends to be their child's godfather, Will says that's a bad idea, especially since when she eventually turned eighteen he'd take her out, get her drunk and possibly try to "shag" her.
  • Angie straddles Will on a sofa (clothed) and passionately kisses him.
  • After dating Angie, Will decides to date single moms, commenting about the "passionate sex" among other things.
  • A woman at a support group meeting comments on her husband "shagging" another woman.
  • We see will looking up a website featuring supermodels with see-through tops (but don't see anything explicit).
  • Will mentions that he was helping Marcus even though there was nothing in it for him and adds, "I didn't even want to shag his mom."
  • Suzie makes some comment about Will going to "shag" some carolers.
  • A comment is made about rap music and people who are angry all of the time or just want to have sex. A girl then jokingly tells Marcus that she's not ready for contact yet, adding that the "next thing you know, we'll be having sex."
  • Rachel shows some cleavage.
  • When trying to figure out how Will is Marcus' "dad," a woman states that she slept with her son's father and nine months later, the boy was born.
  • SMOKING
  • Will smokes around 5 times, while several miscellaneous characters also smoke (including the Frankenstein monster from the original "Frankenstein" film).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Marcus lives with his single mom who's very depressed and even tries to commit suicide (he, Will and Suzie walk in and find her near death after an overdose).
  • After that, Marcus is upset with his mother when she returns home and worries that she'll try to take her life again.
  • We see various moms who are single (but don't know why for all of them, although a few state their husbands were having affairs).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being the "different" kid in school who doesn't fit in and that others make fun of.
  • Marcus lives with his single mom who's very depressed and even tries to commit suicide (he, Will and Suzie walk in and find her near death after an overdose).
  • Marcus singing a song in a school concert series for his mom, knowing that other kids will make fun of him.
  • Being a single mom and trying to find someone to date.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A schoolmate purposefully kicks a soccer ball at Marcus.
  • Marcus tries to tear pieces of bread from a large loaf to feed some ducks. When that proves too hard, he throws the whole thing that accidentally hits a duck, killing it (we later see the duck floating feet up - all played for laughs).
  • We see some characters hitting others on a TV episode of "Xena: Warrior Princess."
  • Kids throw things at Marcus.
  • A woman smacks a boy on the back of the head for being disrespectful.
  • A student (not seen) throws something that hits Will on the head while he plays the guitar.



  • Reviewed April 12, 2002 / Posted May 17, 2002

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