About a Boy (film)

2002 film directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz

About a Boy is a 2002 film about a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy.

Directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz. Written by Nick Hornby (novel) and Peter Hedges (screenplay).
Growing up has nothing to do with age.


  • I think I killed a duck.
  • Suddenly I realized – two people isn't enough. You need backup. If there are only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least.
  • I wanna be with her more, I wanna be with her all the time, and I wanna tell her things I don't even tell you or mum. And I don't want her to have another boyfriend. I suppose if I could have all those things, I wouldn't really mind if I touched her or not.
  • He fancies you. He told me.
  • You're right. You can't help me. How could you? You're a stupid person who watches TV all day and buys things. You don't give a shit about anybody, and nobody gives a shit about you!
  • [Thinking] I used to think two wasn't enough. Now there were loads of people... I don't know what Will was so upset about. All I meant was I don't think couples are the future. You need more than that. You need backup. The way I saw it, Will and I both had backup now. It's like that thing he told me Jon Bon Jovi said: "No man is an island."


  • In my opinion, all men are islands. And what's more, now's the time to be one. This is an island age.
  • [voiceover] She couldn't stay at my place, and she didn't have a DVD, or satellite or cable. So we were always stuck watching some crap made-for-TV movie about a kid with leukemia. I was going to have to end it. But having been Will the Good Guy I didn't relish going back to my role of Will the Unreliable, Emotionally-stunted Arsehole.
  • [Regarding the first SPAT meeting] I'll tell you one thing. Men are bastards. After about ten minutes I wanted to cut my own penis off with a kitchen knife.
  • It was horrible. Horrible. But driving fast behind the ambulance was fantastic.
  • The thing is, a person's life is like a TV show. I was the star of The Will Show. And The Will Show wasn't an ensemble drama. Guests came and went, but I was the regular. It came down to me, and me alone. If Marcus' mum couldn't manage her own show if her ratings were falling, it was sad, but that was her problem. Ultimately, the whole single-mum plot line was a bit complicated for me.
  • I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully dishevelled: four units. It's amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I'd ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in?
  • Me, I didn't mean anything. About anything, to anyone. I knew that guaranteed me a long, depression-free life.
  • [In the supermarket, his father's song begins to play] Shit! It can't be. November-the-sodding-19. Six weeks before Christmas and already they were playing the bloody thing.
  • I'm a bloody island! I'm bloody Ibiza!
  • No, Marcus, I do not want to come over for Christmas. I do not want to spend Christmas with Ms. Granola Suicide and her spawn.
  • Once you open your door to one person anyone can come in.
  • My life is made up of units of time. Buying CDs – two units. Eating lunch – three units. Exercising – two units. All in all, I had a very full life. It's just that it didn't mean anything.
  • The crying in the morning thing, the depression. Let's get that fixed.
  • So there I was, killing them softly with my song. Or rather, being killed. And not that softly, either. I was singing with my eyes closed. Was I frightened? I was petrified.
  • [Thinking] Every man is an island. And I stand by that. But clearly, some men are part of island chains. Below the surface of the ocean they're actually connected.
  • [After being asked to be Imogene's godfather] I couldn't possibly think of a worse godfather for Imogene. You know me, I'll drop her at her christening. I'll forget her birthdays until her 18th, when I'll take her out and get her drunk and possibly, let's face it, you know, try and shag her.


  • Fiona: [to Will] You're a selfish bastard.
  • Fiona: [to Marcus] When you sing, it brings sunshine and happiness into my heart.
  • Lindsey's Mum: 'Sheikh Yur Az' [Shake your ass]... is he Moroccan?
  • Lindsey's Mum: Are we having duck? Delicious!
  • Ellie: [to Marcus] What did you just say to me? You heard me, squitty little shitty snot-nosed bastard!


Will: You must be joking. I couldn't possibly think of a worse godfather for Imogene. You know me. I'll drop her at her christening. I'll forget her birthdays until her 18th, when I'll take her out and get her drunk and possibly, let's face it, you know, try and shag her. I mean, seriously, it's a very, very bad choice.
Christine: We know, I just thought you had hidden depths.
Will: No. No. You've always had that wrong. I really am this shallow.

Suzie: May I ask, does your ex see Ned at all?
Will: Sorry, I didn't catch your name.
Suzie: Suzie.
Will: Suzie. She doesn't see much of him, no.
Suzie: How does he cope with that?
Will: He's a very good little boy. Very, very brave. They've got amazing resources, don't they? Just the other day I was thinking about my ex. He came crawling up, put his little pudgy arms around my neck, and he said: "You hang in there, Dad."
Suzie: God, that's amazing for a 2-year-old!
Will: Is it? Yeah, he's very special. Very, very special. Sometimes I think, you know, he's the one taking care of me. Teaching me the ways of the world.

Suzie: You miss him, don't you?
Will: Who? Oh, Ned! Yeah. Yeah, very much.

Marcus: I got the letter. Thanks.
Fiona: Oh my God. I'd forgotten.
Marcus: You forgot? You forgot a suicide letter?
Fiona: Well I didn't think I'd have to remember it, did I? Did you read the part where I said I'd always love you?
Marcus: It's a bit hard for you to love me when you're dead, isn't it?
Fiona: I can understand why you're angry, Marcus. But I don't feel the same as I did yesterday, if it's any help.
Marcus: What? It's all gone away? All that?
Fiona: No, but, for the moment, I feel better.
Marcus: The moment's no good for me. I can see you feel better at the moment. You just put the kettle on. What happens when you finish your tea? What happens when I go back to school? I can't be here to watch you all the time!

Marcus: I'll come if you take my mom, too. She hasn't got any money, so either we'll have to go somewhere cheap, or you'll have to treat us.
Will: Well, listen, don't beat about the bush, Marcus.
Marcus: Why should I? We're poor, you're rich, you pay. You can bring your little boy if you like. I don't mind.
Will: That's really big of you.

Marcus: [voiceover] If Mum was going to get Will to marry her, she'd have to quit making jokes. At least she looked good. I had her put on that nice hairy jumper and the earrings she got from her friend that went to Zimbabwe.
Will: [voiceover] The kid seemed to think this was a date. As for his mum, she was clearly insane and appeared to be wearing some kind of Yeti costume.

Christine: You will end up childless and alone.
Will: Well, fingers crossed, yeah.

Will: It's a CD, Marcus, by Mystikal. They're cool. You'll like them.
Fiona: What kind of music is Mystikal?
Will: It's sort of, um, world music . . .
Marcus: [reads a song title] "Shake Ya Ass."
Will: ...Slash rap-type thing.

Ellie: You like rap?
Marcus: A little. It's by black people mostly. And they're pretty angry most of the time. But sometimes they just want to have sex.

Will: I want to go out with her, OK. I'd like her to be my girlfriend, here I said it.
Marcus: How brilliant!

Ali: If your dad goes out with my mum, you're gonna be dead, really dead.
Marcus: I don't think it's really up to me, now is it?
Ali: Well it better be... or you're gonna die.

Marcus: Oh, don't worry, I think your mum is keen on him.
Ali: [Shouting] She's not keen on him! She's only keen on me!

Rachel: Ali didn't get along with the last bloke I went out with.
Ali: [Loudly] He was a liar!
Rachel: All right, Ali.

Fiona: You cannot stop someone from expressing themselves.
Will: He's not expressing himself! He's expressing you, okay?

[Fiona is crying]
Fiona: Will, am I a bad mother?
Will: No. No, you're not a bad mother. You're just a barking lunatic.

[Fiona is crying]
Fiona: I mean, he's a special – very, very special boy and he's got a special soul, and I've wounded it.
Will: Oh, please, just shut up. You're wounding my soul.

Marcus: I used to want Will to marry my mom.
Ali: You serious?
Marcus: Yeah, but that was when she was depressed and I was desperate.
Will: Thanks, mate.


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