About A Boy

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

"No man is an island", so the saying goes, but Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) has been fairly successful at being an island and doesn't want anyone interfering with his footloose lifestyle. Being a wealthy, 38-year-old bachelor in London, he's happy having lots of girl friends, but no serious girlfriend. And he's always on the prowl to add more conquests to his harem. Will decides to join SPAT, Single Parents Alone Together, to meet some new women. He invents an imaginary son and before long he's involved with Suzie (Victoria Smurfit) and her friend Fiona (Toni Collette). Fiona has a 12-year-old son, Marcus (Nicholas Hoult). To Will's dismay, Marcus wants a dad and adopts Will, whom he pesters until they become friends. Although drawn into Fiona's circle of family and friends, Will meets another single parent, Rachael (Rachael Weisz), who he really likes. But when Marcus starts being abused by his friends at school, Will decides to take up for him. To his own amazment, Will starts to enjoy his involvement with these new friends and their families. And through his relationship with Marcus, begins to see some meaning to his life. This may sound a like a serious drama, but Will?s antics and maneuverings are hilarious. The dialogue also contains plenty of clever comments and exchanges. ABOUT A BOY is not a great cinematic achievement, but will appeal to those looking for some light entertainment and laughs.

The story's portrayal of the joy found in friends, family and responsibility is tragically marred by a great deal of obscene and profane language, as well as much sexually suggestive humor and dialogue. Will's promiscuous lifestyle is portrayed humorously, but is eventually shown to be shallow and unfulfilling. Although sex is a major part of Will's life and conversations, no actual sex scenes or nudity are shown. But the vulgar language is particularly offensive, since many of the crude and obscene words are spoken by young Marcus and his schoolmates. Marcus shows strong loyalty to his mother, who has psychological problems, and manages to cope with the lack of acceptance by schoolmates. In one moving scene, Marcus enters a rock music talent show at his school and sings a sweet song his mother likes. He almost gets booed off the stage until Will comes to his rescue with a guitar, and finishes the song with him. Because of his relationship with Marcus, Will matures a great deal and realizes he wants to make something positive of his life. He comes to agree with Marcus that a single parent isn't enough for children; they need a third party as a "backup." Too bad this meaningful story is polluted with the foul language and crude sexual content found in many movies these days.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91606

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times - Mild 3, moderate 9

Obscene Language: Many (22) times - F-word 1, s-word 8, other 13

Profanity: Many (10) times -Regular 9 (J 2, JC 3, G, C-sake 3); mild 1 (OMG)

Violence: Few times - School children throw small stones at boy

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - Moderate (Woman suggestively jumps on man sitting on couch, several crude references to sex, man has promiscuous lifestyle)

Drugs: Few times - Man drinks beer/ wine, but no drunkenness

Other: Man befriends young boy, irresponsible man matures and finds meaning in life

Running Time: 102 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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