**½/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras B
starring Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, Isabel Brook
tscreenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz, based on the novel by Nick Hornby
directed by Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz
by Walter Chaw Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) is a philanderer and a playboy. Independently wealthy because of residuals from his father's authorship of an inexplicably successful Christmas tune, he spends his feckless days in carefully scheduled thirty-minute "units." (One unit for taking a bath; three for lunch.) Finally feeling a void in the middle of his rootless life at the tender age of thirty-eight, Will--after a scheme to feign single-parentage backfires roughly--finds himself involved with a mordant thirteen-year-old named Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and Marcus's suicidally-depressed mother, Fiona (Toni Collette). Rachel Weisz plays the girl too good for the pre-evolution rapscallion, her late appearance ultimately best described as the plot point that drives act three.