Great Scenes… About A Boy

aboutaboyHugh Grant, the king of awkward British comedy, goes into awkward overdrive thanks to some guitar strumming, a bit of Roberta Flack and a pair of closed eyes. Oh, and an apple.

Hugh Grant is a good actor. Let me get that out of the way right at the start. The man can act. Unfortunately, he often chooses not to act, appearing in worse-than-derivative drivel like Music and Lyrics. Yet even when he’s slumming it, Grant can often elevate a lame movie out of the gutter. Thankfully, in the rather underrated About A Boy, he acts his socks off. But not in a showy way – Grant’s performance is admirably restrained as he brilliantly conveys what it’s like to be a directionless man-child.

Some of you may snidely say that portraying a rich Londoner with lots of time on his hands isn’t much of a stretch for Mr Grant, but I disagree. The role of Will in About A Boy is a tricky one – he is someone you should dislike yet warm to in equal measure. Grant is perfectly cast, making it hard to imagine anyone else carrying it off.

In this scene, Will initially tries to talk his unlikely protégé Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) out of ‘committing social suicide’ at the school talent show. This segment is a bit longer than those we usually focus on in Great Scenes, but it has to be viewed in its entirety for its car-crashness to be fully appreciated.

The argument the pair have before Marcus bravely takes the stage alone is heartfelt and genuine, as this unlikely couple banter over what actually makes people happy. From there on, we get excrutiating child singing and painful peer group laughter before Will comes to the rescue. With a guitar.

The rest of the scene is just beautiful – uplifting, comic and, thankfully, free from sugar-coating. Of course, after doing a good deed, Will can’t help behaving like a prat, making the finale not only funny, but real too.



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6 Responses to “Great Scenes… About A Boy”

  1. This movie is freakin’ great, and that’s not something that can be said about a whole lot of Hugh Grant masterpieces. Great scene that could have been really corny. Good pick, guys.

  2. love to claim credit AR, but this was picked by Justin Michaels. you dont wanna get him riled up…

  3. madhatter21 Says:

    Great scene, and I’d have to agree with you…it’s easily the best part of the flick. They even manage to make that song sound pretty good!

    I still get the giggles anytime I see somebody singing with their eyes closed.

  4. great scene, but my favorite would be… –

  5. brilliant brilliant call Jer – I was humming that on the way to work this morning! whenever i put headphones on i think of that scene – great choice

  6. Good call, JM.

    I think Grant is underrated. he was superb in this, great in Bridget Jones. He does appear in crap but then again Torres plays for Liverpool and he is still good.

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