Two stars who had huge hits in the 90s have set about to rehabilitate their somewhat treacly public personas. Robin Williams is leaving Mrs. Doubtfire behind to concentrate on more challenging dramatic roles in films like Insomnia and One Hour Photo. The other actor is Hugh Grant who created a stereotype for himself in 1994 as Charles the bumbling, clever English guy in Four Weddings and a Funeral. It’s an image he’s tried hard to shake, and he just might have done it with About A Boy. Oh, he’s still clever, and he’s still English, but now he is a trust-fund baby, who treats women miserably and hasn’t worked a day in his life. As Will, Grant brings to life one of the screen’s most unabashedly self absorbed characters. His redemption – you know he can’t stay bad forever – has the perfume of cliché to it, but Grant is so good, and the script so witty the viewer can accept the inevitable Hollywood ending. Special mention goes to Nicholas Hoult who plays the twelve-year old that finally teaches Grant that life has some meaning, and to Toni Collette who suicidal hippie mother routine is poignant without being syrupy.
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