In many ways, Grant and Hoult's relationship is a juxtaposition of opposites. Grant is a wealthy 38 year-old man with no attachments to the world, and spends most of his life trying to seduce women--an activity in which we gather he's rather successful. Hoult, on the other hand, is the picture of awkwardness. His only true relationship is with his depressive and somewhat eccentric mother--played by the incomparable Toni Collette2. While Grant tries to distance himself from real ties in life, Hoult wants nothing more than a true friend and to make his mother happy.
Though it contains tones of sadness and bitterness, in the end, this movie's message is that even in a modern age, John Donne is correct, “No man is an island, entire of itself...”3 And while a DVD collection can be complete without this film, I find myself enjoying it whenever I'm feeling a little down and in the need for something heartwarming.
1. More Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
2. More on Toni Collette when I cover Connie & Carla and Muriel's Wedding.
3. “...every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” [Full text.]