Pros: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, the story.
Cons: The ending is a bit sappy in my opinion.
Every man is an island
If there were a movie character who best described what my life was like and how I think, it would have to be Hugh Grant's Will Freeman character in About A Boy. Now anyone who has seen this film might think either means I am a selfish, arrogant person....or that I am just sad...but I like to think I am neither of those. Like Will Freeman in the beginning of the film, I am not depressed about lack of human interaction because I often find myself sitting at home surrounded by all these neat gadgets to play with. Just like Will in the film, everything I do in a day is just a placeholder for a piece of time in that day....surf the internet - 1 hour, eat lunch - 45 minutes, take a shower - 20 minutes....etc... I understand exactly what he means when he says that in the olden days you used to have to form human relationships because there wasn't really anything else to do. But today we have all these neat toys to keep us busy, our DVDs, our CDs, our computers, our video games...and so on... I am not sad when I stay at home all day with myself and all my cool things, just as he is not sad doing that. Rather it seems he is very content doing that, as am I.
No man is an island
However, I do consider myself to have quite a few friends, kind of like Will at the end of the movie. But really there is no one person that I see everyday, and usually I choose when and where I see my friends. There are many days that I do not want to see them at all, just want to hang out with myself and my stuff. Saying all that about myself in relation to this film, I have to say that this film does a good job at establishing some reasons why you need other people close to you in your life.
As I said, Hugh Grant plays Will Freeman, a man who enjoys his posessions, keeps to himself, goes out to pick up women, does not work, and lives off the royalities he receives from a very famous Christmas song his father wrote. Grant plays this character to perfection, because, like me, in the beginning of the movie he is not depressed or lonely as one might think he would be, but in fact he is the opposite, very full of himself and very content with his life. His life starts to unfold when he starts lying about his life to meet more women. Eventually this leads him to cross paths with Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a 12 year old boy who has problems fitting in at school. Marcus, thinking his mom (Toni Collette) really needs a man, decides Will is the guy for her, and starts going over to Will's house everyday to convince him of that. When that plan eventually falls through, Marcus keeps hanging out with Will, in a very strange 40 year old and 12 year old friendship. Marcus helps Will with a problem he is having with a new girl he actually likes, and Will helps Marcus try and fit in more at school. Both work their ends of the deal and forge an actual friendship.
When things start to fall apart in Will's life he realizes for the first time that maybe he does need other people and not just things in his life for support. Will's friendship with Marcus helps him to realize that, because without him he probably would not have gotten the girl that he actually liked, and at the same time he actually feels good about himself for helping Marcus with some of the problems that his disconnected mother could not. When Marcus comes to this revelation that life is about relationships and not posessions, he even goes to Marcus' mother and tries to help her. Kind of sappy, touchy-feely moments follow.
Still, despite my disliking of some of the sappy moments in the end of the film, they were genuine and heartfelt. Being the kind of person that I am (like Will), a part of me just wishes he stuck to the way he was. The movie did convey to me the importance of human relationships, and I understood that before, I just really like to keep them at the toned-down level that I like. I know I may change my mind someday like Will in the film. Still, this is a very good movie, nicely acted and directed by the directors of American Pie! It certainly was a nice break from the onslaut of both Spiderman and Star Wars Episode II. I definitely recommend seeing this movie especially if you are looking for a break from all the summer popcorn fare coming out, it is very funny, nice, and fresh.
"I am an island. I am bloody Ibiza!"