Rated NR

Admit it, you’re worried you’ll spend this romantic comedy watching Hugh Grant look cutely befuddled while navigating the capricious tributaries of l’amour. You’d be pleasantly surprised, then, to discover true love isn’t the primary goal of his character, the aptly named Will Freeman. Will is proud of being a self-described "unreliable, emotionally-stunted asshole." He’s handsome, carefree and independently wealthy, which aids him in his quest to become Peter Pan as a 38-year-old cad. Until, that is, the eccentric 12-year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) insinuates himself into Will’s life, not needing a father figure so much as he senses that Will needs a friend. Sure, Will eventually gets a girl, but it’s not Marcus’ suicidal single mother (Toni Collette), so the fairy-tale element in this fable is blessedly absent. Co-directing brothers Chris and Paul Weitz (American Pie) have turned Nick Hornby’s novel into a genuine cinematic pleasure, buoyed by the charming songs of pop songwriter Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy).


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