Today’s CelebMix Christmas Film Advent is a slightly alternative offering – the brilliant ‘About a Boy’, based on the book by Nick Hornby. I’m really excited to share this classic film with you as it’s actually my favourite of all time!
The film focuses on Will Freeman (played by the marvellous Hugh Grant) and twelve year old Marcus Brewer (Nicholas Hoult – yes, that basin haired little boy grew up to be Tony Stonem in Skins!). The pair strike up an unlikely friendship as young Marcus teaches Will how to grow up.
Will is a self confessed bachelor, with no real commitments in his life apart from playing pool and watching Countdown. Marcus is a kid who is bullied at school over his eccentric ways and his tendency to sing out loud in class by accident. He is deemed as different, as he lives to make his depressed mother happy, despite the grief it causes him.
Will and Marcus first meet as Will is on the quest for love, and joins a single parents group called SPAT (Single Parents Alone Together) despite not having any children himself, as he believes that single mothers could meet his needs. Will pretends to have a child called Ned and whilst at SPAT, he meets Suzie. They go on a picnic together and Marcus is brought along as Suzie is looking after him for the day.
Circumstances in the film force Will and Marcus together, much to Will’s initial dismay. However what ensues is a beautiful friendship between the two, as Marcus grows in confidence and Will discovers what can be gained by giving your heart to a child.
Okay, so About a Boy isn’t your stereotypical Christmas film, however I always associate it with the festive season as Christmas does feature in it a lot. Will has never had to work a day in his entire life as he lives off the royalties from a Christmas song his dad made (‘Santa’s Super Sleigh’).
Christmas is also used to show Will’s growth as a character. At the start of the film, Will is alone at Christmas, a selfish person with no responsibilities. By the following Christmas, Will is surrounded by friends, an adopted family and he learns that there is more to life than just himself.
Plus, ITV2 LOVE to put this film (and other CelebMix favourites Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary) on several times over the festive period, making it the ideal film to watch whilst you relax over Christmas.
About a Boy is a great family film for all year round, but carries the true message of Christmas, that family is important. It is filled with hope and love between family and friends. The double voice over narration used in the film allows us to hear Will and Marcus’ thoughts which makes the story more believable and relatable. It’s also a hilarious comedy – both Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult shine as their characters of Will and Marcus, they are a fantastic double act.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s a few more reasons as to why you should watch About a Boy.
- ‘Killing Me Softly’ – this classic song features heavily throughout the film, I would go as far as calling it THE song of the film.
- The soundtrack – this was composed by singer/songwriter Badly Drawn Boy. The soundtrack is really easy listening and fits in extremely well with the overall tone of the film.
- The duck scene – this scene featuring Marcus, a duck and a loaf of his mum’s homemade bread is tragically funny.
- Marcus’ first CD – knowing how Marcus loves to sing out loud in public, the first CD he receives from Will really doesn’t make the best ‘singing out loud’ material, especially when trying to impress the girl he fancies!
- Will and Marcus’ friendship – ultimately this is the centre point of the film and the relationship between the two is both hilarious and touching. We all know someone similar to both Will and Marcus and you couldn’t ever imagine them getting on, however they bring the best out of each other, providing us with plenty of belly laughs and a warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts.
Check out the trailer below!
Let us know if you’ve seen About a Boy, or if you’re putting it on your list of Christmas films to watch! Tweet us @celebMix or comment below.