Watching the commercials for this film led me to believe this was another romantic
comedy, but the romance is actually a small part of the film—it could be
better defined as a coming-of-age story. Not that it’s disappointing because
it’s not what it promised—in fact, it offered more than I expected.
But if you’re expecting a romantic comedy, be warned. This movie is about,
well, a boy. Two, actually. One is played by Nicholas Hoult, whose character
is age 12; the other (Will) is played by Hugh Grant, whose character is age
38. The ironic part is that the boy that has the most growing up to do is the
Hugh Grant’s character has never really grown up. He’s never had
to, well, do anything or depend on anybody. Thanks to inheri
ted royalties from
a song his dad wrote (“Santa Super Sleigh”), he’s evolved his
life into the ultimate selfish, disconnected, consumer-oriented big-city life.
It’s another, much younger boy (with problems at home and at school) who
unexpectedly comes into his life and pulls him out of his complacency, teaching
him a bit about relationships.
Don’t think that this is a serious movie, though—Will’s antics
while seeking to pick up women are hilarious, among other things. The movie's
directed by the American Pie directors, who managed
to keep the Britishness intact without losing
an American audience.
The soundtrack is a good one too, by the way—its slightly messy
sound complements the subject matter nicely.