Monday, August 29, 2022

2K Replay: ABOUT A BOY

 by Adam Riske

Winner of “Overlooked Film of the Year” at the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

• Best Scene/Moment: The scene where Hugh Grant’s character celebrates Christmas with other people (instead of by himself as usual) and gets the warm & fuzzies realizing how nice it is to share the holiday.

• Best Song: This is difficult because I adore the soundtrack to About a Boy by Badly Drawn Boy. If I have to pick one, I would go with “Something To Talk About.”

• Best Merch: There’s a seller on eBay who makes hand-made romance movie bookmarks for $7.92! About a Boy is one of the films you can choose from. I need a You’ve Got Mail bookmark.
• Director Check: About a Boy was directed by the directing team of brothers Paul & Chris Weitz. Their debut feature together was the sleeper hit American Pie (Paul was credited, Chris uncredited), followed by the Chris Rock comedy Down to Earth in 2001 (it rented well when I worked at Blockbuster). The following year the brothers Weitz directed About a Boy, which was a box office hit and well-reviewed. After About a Boy, Paul and Chris Weitz split and started directing movies individually, with Paul following up About a Boy directing the awesome In Good Company and Chris the far less awesome The Golden Compass. Some of Paul’s other works include Little Fockers, Admission, and 2021’s Netflix Kevin Hart vehicle Fatherhood. Chris went on to direct films such as The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the underseen Demian Bichir drama A Better Life, and 2018’s Operation Finale. Paul’s most recent film is an upcoming 2022 release called Moving On starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Malcolm McDowell, which will premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival. Chris is the writer and producer on this year’s Robert Zemeckis adaptation of Pinocchio, which premieres on Disney Plus this September.

• Double It with This 2002 Movie: Two Weeks Notice
• Year 2002 Movies to Trailer Before It: Maid in Manhattan, Mr. Deeds, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Draft Day or About a Boy? Draft Day

• Mall Movie? No, this would play at the classy theater since it’s a StudioCanal/Working Title Films release. They wouldn’t know what to do with those at the mall.

• Only in 2002: Buying a Mystikal CD as a gift for someone.

• Scene Stealer: Nicholas Hoult. It makes sense that he went on to have a long career after About a Boy.

• I Miss: Comedies in movie theaters.

• I Don’t Miss (tie): Portable CD players (they always skipped) and Full-Screen DVDs (the copy I own of About a Boy was Full-Screen to my surprise).

• 2002 Crush: Rachel Weisz.

• 2022 Crush: Rachel Weisz.
• What I Thought in 2002: I really enjoyed About a Boy when I saw it a few weeks into its run in theaters. I was curious since I liked Hugh Grant enough and it was well-reviewed, and it turned out to be my favorite Hugh Grant movie at the time (now it’s Paddington 2 if you count that). I re-watched About a Boy a few times after I bought the DVD (used at Blockbuster!) and picked up the Badly Drawn Boy soundtrack, which stayed in my CD Wallet for several years. Remember CD Wallets?

• What I Think in 2022: I feel the same as I did 20 years ago. About a Boy is damn good and completely holds up. It’s a funny, well-written comedy with a big heart and great performances from Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette.


  1. I've always been a champion of this film. I'm still a little baffled that Grant was snubbed a "Best Actor" nomination. Looking at the nominees for that year, Grant would've had a tough go to win (especially since Daniel Day Lewis seemed a lock until Adrien Brody's surprising win). I would've switched out Michael Caine in "The Quiet American" for Grant.