24 movies Guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

December 4th - About A Boy

About A Boy  Poster

Year : 2002

Director: Chris Wietz, Paul Weitz.

Starring: Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz, Toni Colette, Nicholas Hoult.

About A Boy

The story centres around Will, a thirtysomething commitmentaphobe. Will doesn't need to work as he lives off the royalties of his late fathers one hit wonder Christmas smash hit (a song that gets played perennially in shops at Christmas and a song that he cant stand). He wastes his days with watching television, shopping and playing snooker alone. In the evenings he is occupied with his dating regime, which usually goes well for a couple of months until the word commitment is mentioned. Thinking he can increase his circle of potential conquests, he pretends to be a single parent and joins a single parent support group that is made up entirely of single mothers. Will meets up later with a single mother Suzy, for a date in the park. Suzy also brings along Marcus, the teenage son of a friend of hers who is suffering from Chronic depression. Marcus thinks his mother needs a boyfriend to help her stave off depression and see's Will as a perfect candidate, and begins to follow him home to check him out. Will doesn't want Marcus hanging around his house, but agrees to let him in to watch television when Marcus works out that Will does not have a son and uses its as blackmail. The pair start to bond and Will attempts to help Marcus fit in better at school (where he is often picked on because of his wacky hippy mother and his duff clothes) by buying him sound trendy trainers and some new clothes. When Will meets another single mother, Rachel, he decides to pass Marcus off as his son to ingratiate himself with her, all goes very well and they have soon fallen for each other and everyone is happy. But Will decides if he wants the relationship to last he must tell Rachel the truth. Marcus has his own problems when his mother slips into another bout of depression. How can Will cope with the emotional commitment looming on all sides.

Yes this is a film that does make you feel Christmassy, even though it's basically a film examining the nature of changing relationships. Will's unresolved relationship with his father is a constant theme throughout the film, as is his feeling towards his fathers Christmas hit that he has to share with the world, and also his feeling about Christmas time itself. Hugh Grant portrays Will from his limited repertoire of slightly awkward upper middle class chaps (all be it in this one he is less slightly awkward than most of his other films), and his character here, crafted by the canny Nick Hornby, is much more interesting and three dimensional than those created for Grant by Richard Curtis. The story, which could have easily been manufactured to be over sentimental, is only a bit sentimental and with some genuinely touching and bravely underplayed scenes the film manages to transcend the brit rom com genre that I'm sure the money men would have been anxious to see.

All that and it also has a fantastic soundtrack performed by Britain's number one "Benny from Crossroads" lookalike Badly Drawn Boy.

About A Boy is placed at December 4th on our Films guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy (UK edition)

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