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About a Boy DVD suffers from by bleak extras

Every time Hugh Grant stars in a movie, the critics say he is playing the same character again. Even when the characters are as different as a simple man in love with a movie star (Notting Hill) or a British guy who needs to fit in the mafia (Mickey Blue Eyes), criticism always comes his way. About a Boy gives Grant a chance to prove his skill, and his achievements culminate in a Golden Globe nomination.

The movie, released Tuesday on DVD, is full of warmth and satire and is a must for any serious collection, but the DVD features are not worth the $20 Universal wants one to dish out in order to acquire it.

About a Boy is a story of a man who gets taught a lesson by a 12-year-old geeky vegetarian. After inventing a kid as a ploy to woo single mothers, Will (Hugh Grant) gets himself into more trouble than the whole ordeal was worth. He meets Fiona (Toni Colette) and her son Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and suddenly, his single mother plan begins to have flaws. As he tries to court a new mother (Rachel Weisz), Marcus proves more trouble than he seemed.

About a Boy is a movie about a grown, but immature man who is taught how to grow up by an eccentric kid.

Based on a novel by Nick Hornby, whose High Fidelity was made into a motion picture in 2000, the movie is a witty comedy about men, boys and the women in their lives.

To complete the package, the DVD contains several deleted scenes, directors’ commentary, music videos by Badly Drawn Boy (the band that sings the theme to About a Boy), as well as the lyrics to “Santa’s Super Sleigh.”

Although the features seem forced, they provide entertainment and insight into the movie. The deleted scenes are highly advertised on the box as hilarious. However, while viewing them, one can clearly tell why they ended up on the cutting room floor — they add nothing to the plot, they lengthen the movie, and are certainly not hilarious.

The “English-to-English Dictionary” seems like a good idea, but once explored, it leaves the viewer wanting to hear less familiar phrases. The thought is to translate British expressions into American, but the outcome is most of the phrases translated are well-known even by Americans (bloody and bloke have become token Brit phrases familiar to all).

While the directors’ commentary shows the ins and outs of the film, hardly adds depth to the feature.

The movie is as great as it is cynical and deserves a rightful spot in any DVD collection. However, the extra features included are not impressive.

Contact Olga Robak at