About a Boy or: The Day of the Dead Duck

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German title About a Boy or: The Day of the Dead Duck
Original title About a boy
Country of production United Kingdom , France , Germany , United States
original language English
Publishing year 2002
length 101 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
JMK 10
Director Chris Weitz ,
Paul Weitz
script Peter Hedges ,
Chris Weitz,
Paul Weitz
production Robert De Niro ,
Jane Rosenthal ,
Tim Bevan ,
Brad Epstein ,
Eric Fellner
music Badly Drawn Boy
camera Remi Adefarasin
cut Nick Moore

About a Boy or: The Day of the Dead Duck is a comedy film from 2002 by the directors Chris and Paul Weitz . The film is based on the novel About a Boy by Nick Hornby . It started in cinemas in Switzerland and Germany on August 22, 2002. With About a Boy a series adaptation aired in 2014/2015.


Will Freeman is a 38 year old single who lives in London . His father wrote the successful Christmas song Santa’s Super Sleigh , which Will earns so many royalties annually that he has no financial worries. Will is completely superficial in character, openly contradicts the saying "Nobody is an island" and compares himself to Ibiza . Even so, he is occasionally looking for a woman, although he is only interested in sex. To this end, he sneaks into a self-help group for single parents, which is otherwise made up of women, and gets to know the 12-year-old Marcus.

Marcus suffers from the image of a weird outsider in his school . He is the only son of his late-hippie single mother Fiona, who often suffers from depression and barely survives a suicide attempt at the beginning of the film . Marcus sees Will as his chance to be "cool" and pushes his way into his life. Will tolerates this at first because he likes himself in the role of the kind, generous helper, and helps Marcus to become "cool" and self-confident by "teaching" him the youth culture that is expressed in hip-hop . Later, Will is amazed to discover that Marcus now means something to him personally.

Marcus sees a life's work in making his depressed mother happy. Since she always says that she is happy when he sings for her, he decides to sing her favorite song Killing Me Softly at the school concert “Kidz Rock” - on his own, since he cannot find anyone to join in. When Will finds out about this, it is immediately clear to him that Marcus would make himself completely mocked by everyone, and saves the situation by going on stage without consultation, accompanying Marcus on a guitar and finally directing the mockery on himself.

In the end, Marcus is happy because, after initial difficulties, he now has a stable circle of friends with Will, his new girlfriend Rachel and their son Alistair and not just his mother. Will, on the other hand, has given up being an island and learned to have a serious relationship with a woman.



Fridtjof Küchemann described About a Boy in the FAZ as a “charming comedy”. He highlighted the performance of Hugh Grant, who "in the role of Will Freemans the balance between ignorance and insecurity, coolness and openness, which shifts more and more, but calmly over the film, and ultimately makes the selfish slacker a real friend" .

Iris Alanyalı said in Die Welt that the film was “not a praise of profundity, nor an apology for coolness”. The funny-between and seriousness iridescent film lead adulthood before, "as the ability to maintain the right temperature between Designer loft and sheep Hat".

Anke Leweke made in the time the conflicting principles "husband and child, seriousness and play, reason and anarchy" as a basic concept and concluded by saying that "in the end everything with sympathetic inconsequence fizzles."

About a Boy brings together two trilogies for Philip French of the Guardian that began in the 1990s: the Richard Curtis films Four Weddings and a Funeral , Notting Hill and Bridget Jones , in which Hugh Grant also starred, and Nick -Hornby trilogy Fever Pitch , High Fidelity and About a Boy . What they have in common is the avoidance of a “state -of-the-nation polemic ” of the Thatcher era . Here one turns away from concern for the community and politics, from ambition and idealism and instead establishes a bond with friends and groups of friends, soccer teams and pop groups.

Financial success

With an estimated production budget of 30 million dollars , the film played worldwide at the box office dollars 129 million, of which a 41 million US dollars in the US and 87 million US dollars in the rest of the world. About a Boy had 2.2 million visitors in German cinemas . In Switzerland it was seen by 299,990 visitors.


All of the film music is from the British singer / songwriter Badly Drawn Boy . The album, released in the same year, was well received by critics.

The title of the novel and film refers to a song title by Nirvana , the band whose music in the book Marcus and Ellie like. In the film, the grunge music of Nirvana was replaced by hip-hop . This is probably due to the fact that the book is set in the early 90s, the heyday of grunge and nirvana (so here, unlike in the film, the suicide of Kurt Cobain also plays a central role at one point), while the film takes place in the early 2000s.

At the beginning of the film you can see an excerpt from a quiz show, in which the question is asked who made the quote “Nobody is an island”. The correct answer is John Donne . However, Will believes it is Jon Bon Jovi , whose song Santa Fe also begins with the line “They say that no man is an island”.


About a Boy or: The Day of the Dead Duck received the following awards:


The Berliner Synchron took over the German setting. Michael Nowka wrote the dialogue book and Tobias Meister , who also played the part of John , directed the dialogue .

role actor Voice actor
Will Freeman Hugh Grant Patrick Winczewski
Marcus Brewer Nicholas Hoult Filipe Pirl
Fiona Brewer Toni Collette Traudel Haas
Rachel Rachel Weisz Bettina White
Christine Sharon Small Ina Gerlach
John Nicholas Hutchison Tobias Master
Ellie Natalia Tena Ursula Hugo
Suzie Victoria Smurfit Daniela Hoffmann
Ali Augustus Prew Nico Sablik
Angie Isabel Brook Judith Brandt

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Age designation for About a Boy or: The day of the dead duck . Youth Media Commission .
  2. Will is 36 in the book, but 38 in the film see: Nick Hornby: About a Boy . Distribooks, ISBN 3-426-61690-4
  3. Charming: “About a Boy” , review by Fridtjof Küchemann on faz.net, accessed on June 5, 2008.
  4. Iris Alanyalı: The question is who is educating whom here. Roaring funny and wonderfully sad: “About A Boy” plays with growing up . In: The world . August 22, 2002, features section. Movie theater. The film page ( welt.de [accessed December 20, 2019]).
  5. Anke Leweke: Finally grown up. From Hallodri to Brit Pop Papa: Hugh Grant and the Nick Hornby film "About A Boy" . In: The time . No. 35/2002 , August 22, 2002, features section ( zeit.de [accessed December 20, 2019]).
  6. Hugh fidelity , Review by Philip French, accessed June 5, 2008.
  7. ^ Entry on boxofficemojo.com , accessed June 5, 2008
  8. Film hit list: Annual list (international) 2002 of the FFA , accessed on June 5, 2008
  9. movie database of ProCinema (Direct link to search is not possible) , accessed on 5 June 2008
  10. ^ Entry on allmusic.com , accessed on June 5, 2008
  11. About a Boy or: The Day of the Dead Duck. In: synchronkartei.de. German synchronous file , accessed on March 5, 2018 .