Marcus is the 12-year-old son of a fellow SPAT member named Fiona. And seeing as his mother was feeling ill that day, Suzy invited Marcus to come along with them to the park. Will is less than thrilled with this arrangement, especially because he doesn’t particularly like children anyway. His and Marcus’ personalities clash almost immediately and they are mutually annoyed with one another. Will is hip, ironic and unapologetically shallow, while Marcus is awkward, unpopular and troubled as a result of living a life that has forced him to be mature beyond his years.

The different sensibilities of the two characters is humorously displayed through some sharp verbal exchanges and one particularly funny incident at the park involving a duck. Despite this early animosity, circumstances of a more serious nature quickly arise that force the two together. Fiona’s illness it turns out, is severe depression, and when Will, Suzy, and her daughter go to take Marcus home, they find out how serious a problem it really is.

Will rushes everyone to the hospital, and after making a few painfully labored attempts at empathizing with Marcus, both are equally relieved when they are given the news that Fiona will be okay. Will writes the whole thing off as a sad and unfortunate situation that is not his problem and is more than happy to get on with his own life. Marcus however, has other ideas. He thinks Will might be just the right person to help him and his mother. ‘Will isn’t really that bad,’ he thinks, and believes his mother would be happier if she had a husband. Besides that though, Marcus desperately needs a father figure and so he begins to follow Will around to find out what he can about him.

Marcus soon learns the truth about Will’s "son" Ned and he uses this information to force Will into taking at least a surface interest in his and Fiona’s life. Will still wants to date their friend Suzy, and in order not to jeopardize that, he reluctantly gives in to Marcus’ demands.

It is the unlikely friendship that eventually develops between the two and the unexpected and positive effects they end up having on each other’s lives that is the heart of the movie. It is also the source of some of it’s funniest moments. In every way, the film is excellent. The direction by Chris and Paul Weitz is smooth, stylish and self-assured. The brothers’ attention to detail and the wonderful cinematography by Remi Adefarasin also contribute to the film having an elegant and polished appearance on screen.

Every actor in "Boy" is perfect, and never misses a beat in their role The entire cast also works very well together. Especially good here is Hugh Grant, who gives a flawless comedic performance as the shallow but winning "Will". And young newcomer Nicholas Hoult who plays "Marcus", is engaging and authentic every moment he is on screen. Both of these roles are crucial to the movie’s working well, and both performers more than hold up their end individually and with each other. They also succeed in making their characters excessively likable. Toni Collette is also very good as "Fiona" and Rachel Weisz is well cast as "Rachel", the woman a more mature Will falls for towards the end of the story.

Deserving mention as well, is the great screenplay, expertly adapted by Peter Hedges and the Weitz brothers from the Nick Hornby novel of the same name. It’s witty, insightful, and hilarious.

Overall "About a Boy" is delightful film, not only because of the exceptional acting, writing and directing mentioned above, but because of its perfectly balanced comedy and drama and a refreshingly healthy, surprising and original story.