Will Lightman (Hugh Grant) is a rich, hip, irresponsible Londoner who, in search of available women, invents an imaginary son and starts attending single-parent meetings — confident in both parties’ inability to make a commitment. But when Will meets Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), the troubled 12-year-old son of a depressed single mother (Toni Collette), a quirky and unexpected friendship blooms as both Will and Marcus help each other grow up.

Netflix, IMDB

Directors: Cris Weitz, Paul Weitz
STC Genre: Buddy Love (rom-com) – are you surprised? 🙂

  • “Incomplete Hero” – Will “Loser” Lightman (what a choice of name!)
  • “Counterpart” – the boy Marcus
  • “Complication” – no shortage of those

Surprisingly well made movie. Why surprisingly? I didn’t realize the main hero could be such a loser, and the unlikely friendship could be such a big deal. In real life it’s usually much more boring and mundane. Somehow, this movie finds just the right balance of being realistic enough and yet pull the emotional strings that you feel for the characters. At least I did. No special effects – no fancy ones anyways (the dead duck is probably the most challenging of all). The magic is all in the story and how it is played and directed.

MILD SPOILER ALERT

The change in both main characters is also very well and clearly shown  – from lies to truth for Will, from being a laughing stock at school to a buddy with a bunch of friends and a girlfriend for Marcus. Hard to miss that one. I also like the theme statement – can’t miss it: “no man is an island”, interlaced with the character setup when Will directly contradicts that statement. And the resolution of the theme at the end… Speaking of which, I’m normally not a fan of a voice-over for character’s “inner thoughts”, but this movie makes it sound quite natural. Apparently, any technique is good when it works.