About a Boy
Author - book: Nick Hornby
Screenplay: Peter Hodges
Directors: Chris & Paul Weitz
Publisher: Universal City CA: Universal 2002
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Realistic fiction
Media Type: Movie
Grade level: 7-Adult
Reader's annotation: Self-absorbed, cool, playboy bachelor Will lives his life on his own terms. Then Marcus is there, trying to include himself into Will’s life whether he likes it or not. Every man is an island, or is he?
Summary: Independently wealthy Will Lightman lives his self-centered life in units of time. One unit for a haircut, another for dinner, two units for a movie. There is no future plan but to go on this way, no real responsibilities to anyone but himself. He likes the companionship of a girlfriend but as soon as the girl thinks there is some kind of future, he bails out. Then he dates a single mom who breaks it off first! Will now realizes this is his gold mine - single moms who don’t want to commit. But how can he find them? He attends a single parent support group but then realizes they expect him to be a single parent, so he makes up a child. That gets him a date with her friend’s son Marcus in tow. But the date ends with the discovery of Marcus’s mom’s attempted suicide. Marcus liked Will and decided that he better have more people in his life than just his mom, just in case she wasn’t there anymore. Marcus’s tenacity and determination coupled with his charm and openness about the bullying that is going on in school hook Will into caring, even though he tries not to. As the story develops more people come into their circle and before he knows it Will feels responsible.
Evaluation: This is one of my favorite feel good movies. It is funny and heartwarming without being sappy and kids relate to the difficulties Marcus has with his mother and with school. They laugh at his geekiness and enjoy Will's attempts staying independent and failing. The movie has a great soundtrack as well as a very good cast.
- I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.