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About a Boy

Director:  Chris & Paul Weitz
Year Released:  2002
Rating:  1.5

It's really odd for filmmakers to argue against being original (or even being yourself) but the Weitz Brothers manage to convey exactly that sentiment in this adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel. Independent Hugh Grant fails to follow Cuba Gooding Jr.'s advice and attempts to shoplift the pooty, but instead winds up with a dorky little companion whose mother should be - but is not - in a mental hospital. They predictably influence each other: the boy teaches Hugh Grant to stop living a carefree lifestyle (because freedom to live your day as you want and by yourself is 'undesirable'; my, how that John Donne quote goes far), while Hugh Grant buys him a Nike cap and a Mystikal CD, thereby allowing him to inexplicably win over a much older Punk Rock Grrl (how I love punk rock girls) and be better accepted by his classmates. Eventually, these characters form a freak commune, and spend Christmas together, as opposed to Grant watching films alone and stoned. I was disappointed when the ending I was expecting never happened: Hugh and his faux-son ditching Roberta Flack and breaking into "Shake Ya Ass" for the feisty audience. "Bugger off?" Exactly.

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