About a Boy

(NBC, Tuesdays 9/8 Central - Special Premiere Tonight After the Olympics at 11 PM)

Feb 22, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Great book, great movie, so only stands to reason About a Boy would live on as a television show. The show's story is the same as Nick Hornby's 1998 novel and 2002's film adaptation starring Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, and a young Nicholas Hoult: perpetual single guy Will (David Walton) finds the joy in dating single moms since their packed schedules work so well with his non-committal one. Will co-opts the son of single mom next door, Fiona (Minnie Driver), as his own so he can attract other single moms. Fiona's new-age lifestyle puts her son, Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), in the firing line of all kidscool or uncool. Will and Marcus' unlikely friendship provides each of them with what's missing in their respective lives: someone to care about for the former and someone "normal" for the latter.

Almost the entirety of the film's story is condensed in About a Boy's pilot, with the setting being San Francisco rather than London and Will's financial stability coming from him writing a hit song rather than his father. The actors replacing the ones in the film do a handy job. Walton, who has become a veteran of the aborted sitcom (Perfect Couples, Bent), is a natural comic. He delivers the lines effortlessly with facial expressions that bring even more naturalness to his character. Stockham is winning in his man-caught-in-a-boy's body, and is even more so in the moments when he actually acts like a boy. Driver is a little over-the-top, but then again, so is her character. With Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) as creator and producer, About a Boy could very well be the next universally appealing family show. (www.nbc.com/about-a-boy)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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