About a Boy (film)
About a Boy is a film adaption of Nick Hornby's book, About a Boy. It was first shown in theaters on 2002-04-26. It stars Hugh Grant as Will Freeman, Nicholas Hoult as Marcus Brewer, and Toni Collette as Fiona Brewer.
I knew about this film when it first came out because of a girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend at the time, I don't remember) was a huge Hugh Grant fan. This caused me to be able to identify the book's title when I saw it in stores being re-released for the film, and, it, along with High Fidelity brought me to Nick Hornby, whose fiction I have grown to love a great deal. This is my second favorite work based on this story.
I don't own the film, but I finally watched it on 2018-09-02, after finishing the book the day before.
— This section contains spoilers! —
- Excluding the ending, the movie is pretty true to the book. All the major scenes are there, both Will and Marcus have voice-overs for their internal monologue, and a lot of the dialogue and jokes remain.
- The movie was cast very well. Hugh Grant plays a perfect Will, handsome and useless. Both Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette fit their roles neatly as well.
- The ending was completely re-written. While it wasn't a bad ending, I really liked (and preferred) the book's ending. I understand why they switched it--there wasn't enough time to flesh out Ellie or Marcus's father--but it's still a shame to miss it.
- Taking out all references to Nirvana and Kurt Cobain not only took away the double meaning of the title, but also eliminated an important temporal event that helped root the story to 1993. Although, considering the fashions and styles of the film, it doesn't appear like they tried to keep it set in the 1990s.
- Part of Will's character is that he doesn't have any real talents other than superficial things, so, his ability to play guitar at the end didn't fit.