See This - Wonder Boys


Robert Downey Jr, Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire in Wonder Boys

Robert Downey Jr, Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire in Wonder Boys

 

 

 

Michael Douglas plays the college prof with one book under his belt and a smart-ass student (Tobey Maguire) about to steal his thunder with his debut novel, which is going to be glorious, headline-grabbing, sexy, everything Douglas once was but now just isn’t. However, this fading wonder boy does still have enough residual kudos to make him a honeypot for a girl (Katie Holmes) who’s attractive dark-haired and far too young for him (and what a nudge nudge that was at the time). He’s also having an affair with his boss (Frances McDormand). And, on the weekend of frenzy that we catch up with him, he’s being pursued by his drug-monster editor, played by Robert Downey Jr (more good casting), who’s wondering how much longer his author is going to keep him waiting for his book. It’s been seven years. In short, Douglas is over 50 and has both the face and the life he deserves.

When this film first hit the screens, some critics were aghast that Douglas could happily play someone so unlike the Michael Douglas who’d been stalking movies since 1987’s Fatal Attraction – the alpha male busting with testosterone of Wall Street, Basic Instinct or The Game. And didn’t he look old. And dishevelled. But one of the real strengths of Douglas is indifference to what others think (Remember the hoo-haa when Falling Down came out?). But then maybe when you’ve got the Oscar, the dynasty and the girl, the opinions of others aren’t worth an awful lot. Curtis Hanson’s first film since LA Confidential is funny, zappy and emotional, it’s an adult film in the best sense of the word – driven by character, comfortable with what it is, rich and complex. There are plenty of campus novels but not so many campus movies. Wonder Boys helps address the imbalance.

© Steve Morrissey 2013

 

Wonder Boys –  at Amazon

 

 

 

 

imdb poster Wonder Boys
Wonder Boys (2000)
Run time: 107 min
Rating: 7.4
Genres: Drama | Comedy
Director: Curtis Hanson
Writers: Michael Chabon, Steve Kloves
Stars: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand
Trivia: An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
Storyline Grady Tripp is a professor/writer living in Pittsburgh who is struggling with writer’s block. Whilst doing this, he also manages to get the chancellor pregnant. In the meantime, he and a college student, James Leer are trying to find a rare jacket once owned by Marilyn Monroe, and a college girl, Hannah Green boarding with Grady has a bit of a crush on him. Written by Dave Lean <davelean@hotmail.com>
Plot Keywords: college, professor, jacket, college girl, dog
Box Office Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $22,992 (Finland) (17 November 2000)
Gross: ESP 492,395,876 (Spain) (29 June 2001)