I’d heard some interesting comments about this movie, and that it was going to be much better than the spate of previous romantic comedies as well as the latter films of Hugh Grant – although wouldn’t they be one and the same? Needless to say I was disappointed.
I think where this movie started failing for me, for it does start off very well, is in the uniqueness of the boy and his mother. The two characters are presented as far out from an identifiable character as possible that they can’t be reached by the audience. Sure, you can identify with a few aspects of their character, but they definitely stop being real.
The character of Will is very close to being identifiable with, and so the audience can believe in him and feel emotion for him at the right times. Yet not for the boy or the mother, I mean when the boy declares to Will how recent events have upset him and really affected him, I felt sad and some empathy, but connection with my past or the character just didn’t come. If only they’d injected a small part of reality into them then it would have.
There’s also a slight trouble with the clunkiness of some of the dialogue and choices that Will makes. His character is one that believes that:
…a man can be an island…I’m bloody Ibiza!Will (Hugh Grant)
Yet he makes some absurd against character choices and statements. For example when he says he really enjoys Christmas with the most bizarre bunch of people, yet he’s clearly not. His character could have come to the same conclusions and the story taken the same journey, just with a bit more of a real view.
Still, there are some excellent moments, the argument in the bar over Marcus coming to his house when his mother suggests he’s been interfering with him is both awkward and funny, an excellently built scene.
One good thing for Grant out of all this is that the movie does a good job of dispelling his previous movie parts, and he really does do a good job of what he’s given.
However, the poor moments did make me roll my eyes and took me straight out of the movie. Light entertainment, and not much more.