"About a Boy"

Rent, buy or borrow this movie, and watch it before the chat.
If you've seen it, watch it again with the idea of "autonomy" in mind." It won't be hard to do.

TRANSCRIPT of March 2 chat, with lots of good ideas, but it shouldn't be read except by people who've seen the movie.

SandraDodd: I guess chats with homework aren't going to draw crowds. LOL!

Zamozo: I did my homework

reneecabatic: hey -I watched it last night-first time

JillP: I loved the homework!

Zamozo: I watched it once a long time ago then twice over the weekend

SandraDodd: Hugh Grant homework is fairly pain-free

reneecabatic: yuck--hugh is not cute to me!

SandraDodd: oops. So was it hard to watch it? Sorry. If someone wanted me to watch a Kevin Costner movie, I would just have to decline politely

Zamozo: Peter Hedges -- one of the screenplay writers, went to my high school and so I try to catch movies that he's involved in.

reneecabatic: I know I am in the minority, about Hugh

JillP: Sandra, were you going to start with a comment or question about the movie?

reneecabatic: (me too about Kevin!)---I really liked About a Boy---it was sad and hard to watch in the beginning...but got better

JillP: I wrote down two heavy quotes.

reneecabatic: let's hear the quotes..

SandraDodd: Yes. What are your quotes. I don't have an outline. We can meander and hop around in it.

JillP: k
one sec
1. What is the point of your life?
2. Once you open the door to one person anyone can come in.

SandraDodd: That second one is in my notes, too. My five sticky-notes worth of notes.

JillP: The movie was more meaningful to me this time around. because of this chat. and because I like being a hermit, so I could relate to Will

SandraDodd: My favorite line in the whole movie is not profound (or maybe it is)

Zamozo: Yes, me too Jill!

SandraDodd: "you daft, fucking hippie," which he says to Fiona in the restaurant when she comes to confront him.

Zamozo: LoL!

JillP: I loved that! how he would just say it out...whatever he wanted. what about "you granola lunatic"

reneecabatic: I was ROTFL when he said that

SandraDodd: I wrote that one down too: "I do not want to spend Christmas with Miss Granola Suicide and her spawn."

Zamozo: I liked when Marcus was thinking.. during the restaurant scene, and he said something like how it was odd but that Will had it right and his mom had it wrong -- about how she's set him up to be picked on at school

reneecabatic: I liked what the boy said about how he had a crush on the girl at school---he wanted to be with her anyway
she wanted to be with him

SandraDodd: It does kind of go against the "you know your child better than anyone" theme of some of the "support" of mothers for each other.

JillP: oh my, it sure does.

reneecabatic: yes--and i liked that the Ma admitted to that truth

JillP: I like the way she didn't get offended by the comments,

SandraDodd: I do actually have an outline of sorts, in my head, or rather a set of things I wanted us to comb through for. Music, morals, conformity, truth

SandraDodd: Even when he said "You're not a bad mother, you're just a barking lunatic," she wasn't offended.

JillP: good, start off. otherwise I'm all a swirl without a rudder.

SandraDodd: I thought the acting was really great. I've seen it a dozen times or more and I still notice things.

Zamozo: When Zach was in Jr. High band as a homeschooler, he didn't care about what clothes he wore but I paid close attention to what the other kids wore and made sure his wardrobe was adequate I figured he was oddball enough as it was, being a homeschooler and that I could help him fit in a little better by paying attention to his clothes

SandraDodd: I think it's that same restaurant scene when he's with his friend with the new baby (who wanted him to be the godfather ) and the waitress asks "Do you know what you want?"

JillP: about the acting I liked the facial expressions that said so much.

SandraDodd: And there's a flash of his eyes, and a thought. He heard the question as literal, and about life, first, and then realized it was about food.

JillP: ah i missed that,

reneecabatic: yes-- I saw that too

Zamozo: I watched the bonus features and they talked about how Hugh Grant is very much like his character, Will.
Awkward around kids -- doesn't really care to hang around them all that much.

SandraDodd: The kids in the audience at the school assembly are acting the heck out of their thoughts, too

Zamozo: Wasn't that his sister? I always thought it was his sister.

SandraDodd: Oh! Maybe so. I missed that then. I need to watch it another dozen times. Her accent is nothing like his, though, so I think they're just friends.

Zamozo: probably

SandraDodd: And I think he was an only child. and so isn't sharing the royalties from Santa's Super Sleigh with anyone else.

reneecabatic: i was like that around kids until I had my own

SandraDodd: The author of the book is big on music. All his stuff is music-based.

Zamozo: right, and I just looked at IMDB and it sounds like they're his friends, not relatives too

SandraDodd: And so I was especially interested in Fiona (Marcus' mom) being a music therapist.

reneecabatic: the song in the movie soundtrack with the lyrics: "about a boy" was the only music I noticed

Zamozo: they didn't really go into her job much though

reneecabatic: has anyone read the book?

SandraDodd: That means she should know WAY more than her character displays about child psychology, the realities of school, and the effect of music! Yet she has a very depressing favorite song. And it sets the tone for her relationship with her son.

JillP: Yes.

SandraDodd: "Killing Me Softly.

Zamozo: and she can't sing

SandraDodd: I've read the book, but I don't want to discuss that here.

reneecabatic: it was the song that allowed her to communicate her depression

Zamozo: neither can I but... you'd think a music therapist might

SandraDodd: She should know that music can make or break a moment, and yet she isn't using music in her own life to create a more positive atmosphere. Music therapy doesn't require singing.

Zamozo: no, but it could help

JillP: Maybe she was so sunk in herself that she didn't see around her.

reneecabatic: her depression is oppressive and horrible--they never say she is getting help--other than SPAT

SandraDodd: The way they played her ex-husband was fun.

JillP: and got stuck in her kid helping her and not the other way around

SandraDodd: It kept you from thinking maybe Marcus should be with his father more.

JillP: That was funny/awkward funny

SandraDodd: So the set-up of characters and their relationships was really cool, and easy to see. I loved that.

Zamozo: So, Marcus' realization that it's good to have "back up" was a bit of a wakeup call for me

JillP: I guess the point was Will (the island) helped her to have a slight epiphany

SandraDodd: Marcus was hanging in the air between and among a lot of interesting but not very helpful people, until Will came along. And he certainly didn't WANT to be helpful! I think every major character had a major epiphany. I love when that happens.

SandraDodd: The epiphany-free people were Marcus's father and kind-of-mother-in-law. But they were comic relief, and not "real characters."

JillP: yeah.... sheik yurass

Zamozo: sheik yur mph

JillP: from the MIL misinterpreting everything.

Zamozo: Are we having duck for dinner? Delicious!

JillP: brb

Zamozo: When WIll walked on stage I was hoping that he'd break into some rock/rap music to coolify Marcus to the school -- but I guess the story is better with his just getting into "Killing Me Softly"

reneecabatic: I wondered what was angle they were going to take n that scene---i think they stayed away from the "hollywood" version---it wasn't really all wrapped up pretty -

JillP: I like the way he allowed himself to be more foolish than Marcus on stage. and took the heat.
giving Marcus a way to be saved from the humiliation

reneecabatic: that is love and maturity

SandraDodd: Yes, and the womenfolk certainly got that. The dawning realization that Will might be a prick but he really did care about Marcus showed both the moms' faces. showed IN both I mean
Kirby called and I just got up and walked around talking to him and forgot all about the chat for a little while. I'm sorry!!

JillP: lol, no worries.

Zamozo: no problem

reneecabatic: i am interested in the question of autonomy (no prob)

Zamozo: me too

SandraDodd: I want to save autonomy a little bit, but I don't want to talk about it.

reneecabatic: waiting for more folks?

SandraDodd: There were some visual things that weren't about the acting that I wanted to bring up, and you might have some too, yourselves. There's depth in every direction in that movie. OH YIKES! I meant I don't want to talk about it yet. Not "I don't want to talk about it. " Sorry

reneecabatic: i gotcha

SandraDodd: When Marcus comes back from the picnic he sees his reflection in the doorknob. That seemed very cool, and not just gratuitous photo-art.
Doorknobs are what keep people out of houses and let them in. Just before he touched the door knob, where his mom's possible suicide scene was, he saw himself (or at least we saw him) clearly but a little distorted in the doorknob. distorted

JillP: ah, interesting, I can see why 10 times watching the movie is not enough.

SandraDodd: And it was brass. That might or might not be meaningful. And it had to have been freshly polished to get that shot without fingerprints
I'm still thinking about that.

reneecabatic: yes, and he spoke of how he would have felt if he knew what he was walking in on--and the scenes from the birdseye view of the schoolyard were interesting to me what meaning does brass have?

SandraDodd: But then when he's home waiting for her to come back from the hospital, he's wearing a sweater with a rainbow, and there's a rainbow sticker or something on the front window of their flat. And they have a shot of him standing kind of posing, so he'll look casual when she enters.
And they show it from outside the window, with the two rainbows showing together. But it's NOT a happy rainbowy moment. He's just read the suicide note. And they hardly even show his face, but there he is, alone, waiting for this mother who's not very nurturing at all, and controlling in her hippie way

Zamozo: I noticed the contrast between Will's gray, dimly lit bachelor pad and Marcus & Fiona's warmly lit, softer, more natural materials apartment.

SandraDodd: and was willing to leave him TRULY alone (or with the dad, his girlfriend and her clueless mom)

JillP: ((so sorry all, I need to go deliver meals on wheels with Addi now, and next chat I'd like to do in Sandra's living room)) ..:-)

SandraDodd: Brass is hard and

Zamozo: bye Jill

reneecabatic: bye Jill

SandraDodd: famously "brazen." Brave. Bye, Jill. You're coming over Wednesday for the food chat? ,g>

reneecabatic: Oh--didn't know that about brass-thanks

JillP: Yes

SandraDodd: Come on then! You can ride with us to Arizona. (ah she's gone. )
Chris, say more about the apartments.
The decision of how to decorate them, as contrast?

reneecabatic: will's apartment was all hard angles and things on display for show

SandraDodd: and techno-kitchen. And yet Will's ended up being the safe and nurturing one.

reneecabatic: that was so interesting because Fiona's apartment was all warm and happy and SHE was NOT, Will's was hard and cold --i didn't think he was hard and cold at all

SandraDodd: There's a lesson for unschoolers.

socal77 (Guest63): hi everyone, weird I had the chat open in another tab, and I could read,but the text bar was unresponsive and it would not let me sign in...but over here, here I am

reneecabatic: he was more willing to be changed--"willing"--WILL!

SandraDodd: Sorry socal. Glad you're in, though.

socal77 (Guest63): no worries, sorry I ma late

reneecabatic: hi socal!

socal77 (Guest63): hello

SandraDodd: ! Good one, Renee. And also "will" perhaps like "willing" his life to happen, though he really was entirely going with the flow.

Zamozo: sorry, got distracted

SandraDodd: I hear water running and need to go check that out.

Zamozo: Will's place was the better place for Marcus to hang but I don't think it was because of how it was decorated but because Will was there for him -- literally and figuratively.

reneecabatic: yes Zamozo--agreed

SandraDodd: Holly's up and in the shower; that's all.

reneecabatic: Will went with the flow until it meant Marcus would be hurt--he stepped up when it involved Marcus

SandraDodd: But why? He didn't even like kids.

socal77 (Guest63): The actor that played Marcus, Nicholas, was pretty unknown, but he had an amazing sense of emotion that few actors are in touch with

SandraDodd: Maybe he had memories from his (apparently alcoholic) dad?

Zamozo: He liked Marcus, eventually.

reneecabatic: he enjoyed things even a little bit--like the game show enjoyment in life was not going to come from Fiona

SandraDodd: On Sunday, though, he could have chocolate cereal. I don't remember the name of the cereal he wanted and she said "It's not Sunday."

socal77 (Guest63): I caught that, interesting...

Zamozo: But remember, Marcus had an ulterior motive

SandraDodd: Right. He wanted Will to marry his mom so his mom would be happy. And so Marcus would have backup.

Zamozo: right

reneecabatic: I used to think less of my husband because he enjoyed things that I thought had no value---(embarrassing-but I could relate to Fiona that way)

Zamozo: brb

reneecabatic: COCO puffs!!!

SandraDodd: Ah yes. Thanks.

reneecabatic: they were my fave as a kid

SandraDodd: I have a friend from LLL days. Her two oldest are about the ages of Kirby and Marty. We've known them all that time, close and well. She attempted suicide Christmas before last and was in a coma and the whole thing, and a month or two later we were doing her a huge favor (letting some homeless young woman she had taken in stay with us, because my friend's housemates threw her out for being a troublesome flake) And IN MY HOUSE, she said "I made [#2 child] drop a class because she was taking too heavy a load at the university and I think she should enjoy life." I gave her a very knowing and meaningful look and it wasn't half a second before she backpedalled and said "well I mean I suggested...." Because I was pretty damned sure that once a mom attempts to check out completely, she loses ALL right to advise her kids (let alone "make them") on things intended to make them happy.
And in the movie, her recommendation to Marcus that he should join the school show wasn't really about him, it seemed to me. It was about her. SHE would feel like a better mom if Marcus had more friends, and it made her feel good when he sang.

reneecabatic: she wanted him to sing to make her happy

Zamozo: Ugh - she kept telling him that it made her happy when he sang -- pressure

socal77 (Guest63): absolutely, even her weird ex bristled at that statement

SandraDodd: Renee, thinking less of people who are happy is that kind of cynicism that drags the family down the hole. I'm glad my husband thinks it's fun that I'm so easily amused. And he is too. I have a prism on a little solar-operated turntable in the window, and he played with repositioning it for a long time yesterday

socal77 (Guest63): Will drilled in the idea that you can only make yourself happy or unhappy

SandraDodd: Someone could have come over and told us that was stupid, but we would have known better.

Zamozo: I grew up in a family like that though -- thinking less of people who are easily entertained. It's hard work to move away from that kind of thinking.

SandraDodd: There seems to be a fad in the past 15, 20 years, of glorifying cynicism. I know there have always been negative people and people who thought that criticism was equal to intelligence. It sure doesn't help unschooling! But now there's a whole sub-culture that lives as darkly and cynically as they possibly can. Holly works at a skateboard/snowboard shop, and sees more of them than she used to.
One scene on Will's couch involves one of those grabber extension toys, and it's just a throwaway scene, but Will has lots of toys and gadgets, and Marcus makes them fun and alive.

Zamozo: I think Zach has had a similar experience at the used video game store he works for but then, most of his co-workers have more difficult lives than he does.

SandraDodd: socal, now I need to watch the movie again to note the ex husband's reaction to the statement about singing.
The tambourine moment...

Zamozo: roll of the eyes I think

SandraDodd: I don't mind watching it again!

socal77 (Guest63): I don't remember exactly, just that they drew the camera towards him

SandraDodd: Will said the words, but he wasn't managing to make himself very happy! Maybe that was part of Will's epiphany. I liked, too, that Will's lies were more interesting than his truths. His money and intelligence weren't really building a life for him. His island was kinda stagnant.

I have what I think might be a lead-in moment to the idea of autonomy as portrayed in that movie, if no one else has more about characters or art or music.

socal77 (Guest63): go ahead, Sandra we can always go back

Zamozo: Unfortunately, I could relate all to well to Will's initial thoughts about autonomy.

SandraDodd: When Fiona walks Marcus to school, she has a little speech/dialog that was presented as though they do it regularly.
Who are you?
What are we not?
I might not have it word for word.

reneecabatic: was gone--back now--yes I was one of those cynical=intelligent people--not anymore--learning all the time though!

SandraDodd: I should have written down EVERYTHING!

Zamozo: What do sheep say? Baaaa

reneecabatic: what do sheep say?
jinks-Zamoso! you owe me a coke!

Zamozo: lol

socal77 (Guest63): ah yes, the sheeple

SandraDodd: And so in his memorized, recitative "autonomy" speech, he recites in unison what sheep don't do.
That's about the sheepiest scene of all!

reneecabatic: YES!

socal77 (Guest63): very ironic

SandraDodd: That plus "did you always know I was going to be a vegetarian?" or something

reneecabatic: ---he never had a choice and he is figuring that out

SandraDodd: and Will saying "He's not expressing himself, he's expressing you!" And yet Fiona feels herself to be the most individualistic, independent person in all of her situations, it seems. And she takes pride in her son having plain old lace-up shoes, and homemade sweaters with rainbows across the back. When she does the sheep scene, she's wearing a knitted hat with two points on it, like ears or horns, maybe.

reneecabatic: who are the real sheep?

SandraDodd: I would think I was reading too much into it if I hadn't seen the movie enough to think there's not ANYthing in there they didn't mean to show or say or do.

socal77 (Guest63): the hats were bad...

reneecabatic: what does it mean to be sheep?

SandraDodd: To follow without thinking. To be indistinguishable from the others who are following without thinking.

reneecabatic: right---so she is asking him to not follow the rest of the students--rather follow her

SandraDodd: I don't think she sees it that way.

socal77 (Guest63): I watched the making of part, and it was interesting that the brothers from American Pie directed it

SandraDodd: I think she believes she's helping him think for himself

reneecabatic: of course not but that is what happened

SandraDodd: So even though she's a trained therapist (for groups of children or special needs; they never specify), she has very little self awareness and little direct knowledge of her son But she knows what she thinks is cool.
Music! (albeit suicidally depressing music)

reneecabatic: maybe she did her thinking came to some conclusions , and then quit thinking!

SandraDodd: depression keeps anyone from thinking.
It turns brains to slow-mo sludge.

socal77 (Guest63): many people with issues of there own pursue careers in psychology and therapy

SandraDodd: I think it's a parallel to people thinking criticism is the same as doing better than the artist/writer/musician If someone can say "This movie is stupid because..." sometimes I think they feel they've just made a better movie or something.

reneecabatic: or shown their superior knowledge

SandraDodd: So if someone can help a troubled person be less troubled, they can feel they're superior and even LESS troubled.

socal77 (Guest63): not to get too off topic; but octo-mom is completing her masters in marriage and family or some such

SandraDodd: Perfect example, socal!
Fiona didn't get much better, either, after she was out of the hospital, and that's what Marcus was going to Will's about, too. He said at some point (in thoughts) he was afraid to go home so he'd go to Will's.

socal77 (Guest63): he couldn't get the image out of his head

SandraDodd: I don't think Will ever says anything about his own mom. He sees his dad, in a vision at the grocery store, kind of like Marcus saw his mom in a vision across the lake.

Zamozo: In the restaurant scene, Fiona tells Will he can't just abandon Marcus -- it hadn't occurred to Will that he couldn't.

socal77 (Guest63): I didn't notice any reference to his mom

Zamozo: One moment where she has some clarity about the whole thing

reneecabatic: will says she made him sing the santa sleigh song to drunk relatives every Christmas

socal77 (Guest63): oh, right

SandraDodd: OH right.

reneecabatic: ANd I wonder if Will's Dad drank himself to death--the image in the store

SandraDodd: OOh. Because Marcus' image had to do with death.

socal77 (Guest63): it was rather ominous

reneecabatic: cuz Marcus --yes

SandraDodd: But Will's dad seems to have been dead a while.

reneecabatic: long enough for Will to have been made to sing with him not around

socal77 (Guest63): maybe he was just a boy himself when it happened

SandraDodd: I'm so glad you mentioned the mom thing, Renee! So when Marcus's mom wanted him to sing, that must've stirred the mom-memory in Will.

Zamozo: how was Marcus' image about death -- his mom standing on the other side of the pond?

SandraDodd: Right.

reneecabatic: it was when she was killing herself

SandraDodd: At the time she was committing suicide (taking the pills and writing him a note), he saw a vision of her

reneecabatic: the dead duck day

socal77 (Guest63): the dead duck day

reneecabatic: lol

socal77 (Guest63): ha, must type faster

Zamozo: okay, I think I'm missing something

SandraDodd: across from the dead duck he had killed with her loaf of bread, that wasn't good; it was healthy.

Zamozo: never mind

SandraDodd: So that's something too. "Healthy" isn't good, many times in that show.

reneecabatic: yes-- and it was so healing when Fiona offered to take Marcus to Mc'D's

SandraDodd: Though they were mother and son living alone together, they didn't pronounce McDonald's the same way. That bothered me at first, but then I thought maybe it's just because they never SAY it.

socal77 (Guest63): I wasn't sure he trusted the offer

SandraDodd: And she couldn't easily come up with the name of "big mac" when she was saying it. So she might never have pronounced it ever before! She might be pronouncing it as a last name in England, rather than the name of a fast-food restaurant from California (or wherever)
So in the story, among those characters, was autonomy coming or going?

reneecabatic: she said Marcus couls "Murder a ....Big Mac"---interesting could-sorry--terrible typing

Zamozo: I'd say going

socal77 (Guest63): yes, going

reneecabatic: autonomy was bad --connection better bad=sad, lonely

socal77 (Guest63): but at the same time, Marcus was exerting his independence

reneecabatic: autonomy from Fiona-aaaah.

SandraDodd: His mom wasn't after autonomy in Marcus, even though she had the "what are we not?" speech.

Zamozo: I think of it more as being an autonomous unit -- family
Is that an oxymoron?

SandraDodd: no
it makes sense.
The "island chains" speech (Will's thoughts) at the end was about that, I guess.

reneecabatic: Fiona was not very connected or nurturing to Marcus---and she was all about autonomy from the sheep-ish society ----so their autonomous family unit was sad and lonely

Zamozo: yes

SandraDodd: I liked the symbolism of his lying on the bed while his hamster ran in the wheel, too. Neither of them was getting anywhere.

reneecabatic: I liked him saying he wished he could be home but he'd have to figure out how to pay his Ma 400 quid(?)
Oh-and he cleaned his hamsters cage lovingly---like the warm loving home Fiona kept him in

Zamozo: I like when he stood up to his mother at the Christmas party

reneecabatic: "healthy"---no coco puffs!

SandraDodd: True. I think he was taking better care of the hamster than Fiona was taking of him, and he might've been very aware of that. and both times--then and at the restaurant--when Will was about to say "suicide," Marcus yelled as a distraction.

Zamozo: I was impressed with how Marcus knew what he needed and was figuring out ways to get it

SandraDodd: Almost like a referee's whistle

Zamozo: sad but impressive

reneecabatic: I was impressed with Marcus a lot

SandraDodd: But he was a pitiable dweeb at the same time.

socal77 (Guest63): I liked the island chain metaphor, a little behind, sorry

reneecabatic: he was resilient and brave and ...i just liked him--guess i like dweebs!

socal77 (Guest63): even the geeky kids didn't want to be associated with him at school

reneecabatic: harsh

SandraDodd: Someone said something about the camera shots at the school.

reneecabatic: birdseye view---

socal77 (Guest63): oh yeah, that was neat

reneecabatic: i could see the circles of friends--cliques and then Marcus walking alone

Zamozo: sorry, I need to go hang with Zoe -- thanks for the opportunity to chat again, Sandra.

socal77 (Guest63): bye

reneecabatic: or when Will sprinted through the schoolyard to save Marcus
bye Zamoso!

SandraDodd: Holly was talking to me and i missed Zamozo leaving.
Right, Renee.
I wonder if those were, in part, to help those of us who've been to school to fill in our own faces and people?

socal77 (Guest63): hhmmm

reneecabatic: I want to watch it again now----with all this knowledge

SandraDodd: And there's one scary kind of shot when he'd going to sign in for the contest. The camera is mounted in the ceiling (boom or whatever) and totally turns upside down to follow him down the sign-up sheet, and then rotates so that it's rightside up again. And that reminded me of the kind of heart-stopping feeling when one's deciding whether to commit to something or not.

reneecabatic: yes--and behind glass as he signs it

SandraDodd: Marcus was doing that to save his mom.
WE know it won't save his mom, but he didn't know that.

reneecabatic: gosh--i really like Marcus--he is amazing
does he think it will save her ---or is it like a last ditch effort...you know?
like he knows it's "suicide" cuz the girl he likes tells him so last ditch to get Fiona to SEE--to see him, to see anything really

SandraDodd: To be happy

reneecabatic: even if it kills him to do it?

SandraDodd: She said when he sang it brought sunshine into her life? Was it sunshine?
Oooh. True. He's being totally brave and self-sacrificing. And that's too much pressure to put on a little guy.
I've thought sometimes that the "boy" of the title might be Will. Poor Marcus has more responsibilities in life than Will has.

socal77 (Guest63): I think it is both of them, the parallel

SandraDodd: Will doesn't even have a hamster! (Until Marcus becomes his hamster, in a way. )

reneecabatic: yes!

SandraDodd: When he chases off the boys who are throwing candy at him. That seemed a turning point.

reneecabatic: he sees Marcus.....as a person outside of relating to Will (himself)

SandraDodd: And the speech about the baby girl shows Will's cluelessness and lack of a identification with babies/children as people. But helping Marcus is healing for Will, I think, the way helping my kids has been healing for me.

socal77 (Guest63): when they ask him to be godfather?

SandraDodd: It was a catalyst for Will looking at his own childhood, maybe. His was cushier, but it was a fluke. One good song that made money, not longterm competence on the part of his dad. And not "a good song" in terms of inspirational life-changing sentiment.

socal77 (Guest63): and his father's perceived failure as an artist

reneecabatic: yes--healing can happen or some people choose to inflict he same old wounds--Will was learning this---I think

SandraDodd: Other movies with some similarities in theme there are Love Actually (also about a Christmas song) and Music and Lyrics (about the value of a song).

IMDB page

Amazon page

Official movie site, with trailer

Wikipedia entry

The book (click to read excerpts):

(google books page)

Nick Hornby, the author, also wrote High Fidelity.

The book is available for shipping and a penny or so, on Amazon.com and they also have "look inside" samples:

The movie trailer can be viewed there.

Interesting. In Spanish with French subtitles, but an interview with Natalia Tena, who played Ellie in About a Boy, and Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter. She speaks English for a moment in here.