Beautiful Thing (1996)

Beautiful Thing (1996)
7.5
  • 22336
  • R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1996 ()
  • Running time: 90 min
  • Original Title: Beautiful Thing
  • Voted: 22336

A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate. Jamie, a relatively unpopular lad who bunks off school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic lad but who is frequently beaten up by his father and older brother. Such an episode of violence brings Jamie and Ste together: Sandra (Jamie's mum) offers refugee to Ste, who has to 'top-and-tail' with Jamie. Hence, the story tells of their growing attraction for one another, from initial lingering glances to their irrefutable love, which so magnificently illustrated at the end of the film. It deals with the tribulations of coming to terms with their sexuality and of others finding out, in light of Sandra's unwavering loyalty and defence of Jamie and the fear of repercussion should Ste's family find out. The plot is set against sub-texts of Sandra's desire to manage her own pub, and thus escape the estate, and of her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and of Leah, the ...

#PersonCharacters
1Glen BerryJamie Gangel
2Linda HenrySandra Gangel
3Meera SyalMiss Chauhan
4Martin WalshMr. Bennett
  • The Brits do it again... by 9

    It seems when it comes to gay-themed movies, the Brits outdo us Americans hands down. This movie is another example of this fact. This movie rates as one of the best in this genre. Get Real comes a close second.

    The young actors that play Jamie and Ste do an extraordinary job sometimes forgetting how well they pull off such complex characters throughout the movie. I think any gay man growing up can relate to Jamie. He doesn't excel in sports, and almost too smart for his own mother. He is comfortable with his sexuality, and he doesn't give a damn what the world thinks of him. Ste, on the other hand, fears his older brother, and his father made his life miserable. As he states in the film, "they made me ugly". Ste is not all ugly, and Jamie realizes this, and is attracted to his brash, manly demeanor. Unfortunately, Ste's own demons and his insecurities are present throughout the film. At one point, Ste ashamed of rumors of his questionable sexuality, denies it to a heartbroken Jamie.

    Obviously, I enjoyed this movie. The scenes between Jamie and his mother and likewise, between Jamie and Ste, are perhaps the best parts of the movie. I understand having Leah in the movie to provide the supporting role of comic relief was a necessity in most film requirements, but in this one, it distracted the viewer to an extent. I was so glad when it came out on DVD, so I can put my last VHS tape to rest, but disappointed that there were no cast interviews or extras at the end. Granted, the movie was made six years or so after the DVD came out, but you might think the film makers would find something of interest.

    So England what will be the next great gay movie ?

  • Self discovery and first love by 7

    Gay or straight, this is one of the finest movies ever made about self discovery and teenage love. Albeit the end is a little wishful and optimistic, the characters and situations are perfectly developed and realized, ringing true in almost every scene. This movie makes me smile on every level...from the way the two boys discover their affection for one another, the wonderful comedy relief from the next door neighbor Leah (and her relationship with the entire tenement population), and the perfect choice of soundtrack music from Mama Cass that, at times, seems written specifically for certain scenes and works on both a nostalgic and familiarity level. This movie gets better with every viewing...and I'd love to see what happened to each of the characters in a sequal.

    This movie is, without a doubt, very personal to all gay men and women who came out during their youth and a favorite of all of my friends, both gay and straight.

  • Two male teenagers discover love. by 10

    Never have I seen such a simple film that was so satisfying. The screenwriter dealt with the issue of homosexuality among teenagers in a realistic and smart manner. Every time the film becomes a little too dramatic, the director has something funny happen to lighten the atmosphere, which makes for a sweet and touching film. Also, all the characters are complex, so that bad characters do good things and good characters do bad things. Nobody is perfect and nobody is all bad, which makes the film even more realistic. It's similar to the more recent Get Real, but Beautiful Thing is definitely better. This is without a doubt my favorite gay film. Only the British can make a film this good!

  • Excellent Gay Romance by 8

    BEAUTIFUL THING is a unique drama - presenting an adolescent gay couple as complex individuals, within a greater setting (an English housing project) that also captures a bit of a slice-of-life feel. I like the working-class setting, and wasn't bothered by the accents - as an American it required me to pay attention - a good thing as there are many subtle details that make this a very rich drama.

    It does tug at the heartstrings a bit, and it lays on the cuteness a bit more than it should, but I loved the characters anyway, and the setting and context (very nicely detailed film-making) keeps those minor gripes minor.

    There have been so many cynical or clichéd gay dramas released during the last decade or two, especially in the US (gay film from elsewhere in the world often seems so much more fresh and lifelike) - in many ways this film was (and remains) a real breath of fresh air.

  • Extremely Moving by 9

    A wonderful story of gay teenagers that is ideal for parents to show their children; so that they understand that gay people may be different, but not bad. Faithful to the play, great music score and gives a real feeling of English tenements.

#PersonCrew
1Chris Seagercinematographer
2John Altmancomposer
3Hettie Macdonalddirector
4Tony Garnettproducer
5Bill Shapterproducer
6Jonathan Harveywriter