But when alone, the boys learn that they were not the only ones pursuing a fantasy. The result? A charming, intelligent teen movie aimed at adults.
"About a Boy"
"American Pie" creators Paul & Chris Weitz make a stunning career move, giving us a comedy sporting not only genuine character development, but Hugh Grant and a moral to boot. Grant plays Will Freeman, a late-30s, unattached Londoner who's never had a job or been in a relationship that's lasted more than a few months. Will is so dedicated to his pursuit of getting laid, he's turned it into an art form, with his preferred medium being single moms. As we watch Will's macho machinations, we are also introduced to Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a nerdy preteen who's still walked to school by his mom (Toni Colette). Although Marcus blackmails Will into spending time with him, the two soon discover that they both want and need somebody to care.
Though the dialogue rarely sends off sparks, and some of the British pop-culture references will fly by most American audiences, the movie hums along amiably. Agreeable and breezy, and definitely character-driven, "About a Boy" offers a cinema rarity a truly platonic love story.
Move over George Lucas, the new summer-movie muscle at the box office belongs to Sam Raimi, who fearlessly directs this latest big-screen adaptation of a Marvel Comics superhero. Mixing mainstream tastes with above-average wit, Raimi's "Spider-Man" is fantastical fun.
But Raimi's visual storytelling prowess would be for naught without actor Tobey Maguire. As geeky Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, Maguire and his trademark soulful expression are perfect for the role. And who could ask for a better girl-next-door to pine away for than Kirsten Dunst? Or a more over-the-top villain than Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin? Firmly rooted in comic-book sensibility and fantasy, Raimi's "Spider-Man" is no itsy-bitsy movie: It's a blockbuster.
Director Adrian "Fatal Attraction" Lyne revisits the theme of adultery with "Unfaithful." But despite a full-bodied performance by Diane Lane, Lyne's latest is not nearly as thrilling, titillating or even credible as its Michael Douglas-Glenn Close predecessor. Lane plays a happy homemaker Connie, married 11 years to Richard Gere and nurturer to an 8-year-old son. She has plenty of money and plenty of time, both of which lead to her moral downfall. Literally blown into the arms of a younger, handsome stranger (Oliver Martinez), Connie soon finds herself engaged in a purely, wildly sexual relationship. Ironically, considering Lyne's track record, these interludes are less erotic than your average car commercial. Hubby Gere, of course, gets suspicious and soon discovers Connie's afternoon delights. Equally expected, that discovery has dire consequences. Unfortunately, Gere's near-somnambulistic performance coupled with Martinez's vapid appeal, causes "Unfaithful" to grow progressively more preposterous.