This is the easiest question I have ever had to answer. Hugh Grant forever David Walton never!
About a boy was originally a book written by Nick Hornby which I am yet to read. In 2001 it was released as a film starring Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette, I adore this film. It has a more subtle humour which I enjoy and the characters feel genuinely real compared to most films or TV shows you watch. Where as the American TV show has “in your face” humour, characters that feel faker than a bottle of tan and well, it’s just missing something that the film has.
For a start, Marcus’ mother is supposed to be a hippy type character with strong views against eating mean – the film conveys this perfectly, but in the show Minnie Driver always has perfect nails and make up and clearly uses cosmetics which the mother wouldn’t use. Yes it makes her nice to look at but it really isn’t what the character should be, she is fake. Toni Collete in the film wore no make up, and clearly used no products, she came across as a relate-able and likable character.
Another huge part of the mother that the show is missing is the fact that she is supposed to be depressed, Minnie Driver is clearly playing a happy mother. In the first episode Marcus blurts out that she is depressed, but it is never followed up. The film shows Toni Collette crying in the film, and she even tries to kill herself which is half of Will’s motivation to stick around in Marcus’ life. TV show Will basically just sticks around in Marcus’ life because they are neighbours that have a creepy connection.
Will is supposed to be a lonely man with no purpose living off the royalties from a Christmas song his father wrote, he then meets Marcus and discovers that he does in fact have a purpose in life and is no longer the selfish arrogant man he was before meeting Marcus. Hugh Grant plays this perfectly, and the film shows it well, he clearly has very few friends and the ones who try to stick around he is rude to. David Walton’s adaptation of the character shows him with many friends, in fact the character as a whole feels like that cool kid who would never speak to you in class because you did an embarrassing thing the year before. He is cool. Will is not supposed to be cool or have friends, that is the whole point of him accepting Marcus in to his life.
The one great thing about the show is Marcus, he is genuinely a child with social issues who has a close relationship with his mother, but can often despise her. This is something both the film and the show have portrayed well.
All in all I find the show difficult to watch, it is filled with tacky humour and characters who feel fake. I will always love the film more that the television show, but I am willing to give the show a chance – the next season might fair better.
Want to read more on the TV Show? Here are some links to articles I enjoyed reading:
What do you think?