About a Boy – ITVBe

An endearing, perfectly played comedy. 4/5 stars

Hugh Grant is ideally cast as a lazy, rich bachelor who is shaken out of his happy apathy by young Nicholas Hoult.

Based on the Nick Hornby book, this is a very entertaining piece of urban whimsy. The chuckles keep coming as Grant moves from selfish exasperation (‘I really am this shallow!’) to fatherly concern when Hoult’s bullied 12-year-old insists on coming to visit.

He manages the transition with real skill and the musical ending, in which he sings and plays guitar, is exquisitely embarrassing.

His bid to pass off the kid as his own son while romancing Rachel Weisz is a crucial complication, while Toni Collette, as the boy’s troubled mother, adds a tangy dose of drama.

Perceptive and witty, this is a real gem – and Hoult is a little star.