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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 9.38%
Just Average: 3.13%
Pretty Crappy: 3.13%
Sucks: 6.25%

1 review, 26 user ratings

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Beautiful Thing
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by Charles Tatum

"No one's gettin' fat, 'cept Mama Cass"
5 stars

This small British film has everything: a compelling plot, a brisk pace, and an astounding cast that does absolutely nothing wrong with their performances.

Jamie (Glen Berry) is a typical teen teased at school by his friends, who include apartment neighbor Ste (Scott Neal). Jamie lives at home with his mother Sandra (Linda Henry), who works as a barmaid and dreams of running her own pub someday. Ste lives with his single dad Ronnie (Garry Cooper) and abusive older brother Trevor (Daniel Bowers), who sometimes beats Ste bad enough that Ste must go stay with Jamie.

Jamie and Ste's other neighbor is Leah (Tameka Empson), a troubled girl who is trying to grow up too fast and is obsessed with '60's singer Mama Cass. Sandra also has a fling going on the side, with younger Tony (Ben Daniels), a twentysomething who is smarter than he lets on. Jamie and Ste begin growing closer, and start an affair. The apartment building being what it is, word soon spreads and Sandra's relationship with Tony begins to deteriorate. Then, Sandra comes up for a better job in another part of the city, disrupting Ste and Jamie's already fragile situation.

This was based on a play, but Jonathan Harvey opens it up well enough that it never had a stagy feel to it. Hettie Macdonald's direction is nothing short of miraculous. Even the supporting characters get their moments, but no one overshadows anyone else. It is masterful.

The film contains some of the best casting decisions ever. No one hits a false note, no one. Berry is appropriately different as Jamie, I would have picked on him in high school, too. Scott Neal is great as Ste, especially in his tentative scenes with Jamie. Linda Henry should have received the freakin' Oscar for her Sandra. She brings so much more to the role that quickly could have gone the way of scenery chewing. She is unbelievably good, and one to watch. Daniels as Tony is so earnest it hurts, and his story (however brief) is just as interesting. Empson has these big eyes and is lovely as the troubled Leah. Like Henry, she easily could have crossed over into hysterics (especially her inebriated scenes), but director Macdonald reins her in enough to turn in a fantastic performance.

The British accents here are very heavy, and some of the lines are impossible to understand. Forget all that, though, and see "Beautiful Thing." Finally, a film whose title is truth in advertising.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=242&reviewer=325
originally posted: 08/16/04 10:10:55
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User Comments

6/17/18 Anne watched for 1/2 hr, boring and hard to understand 1 stars
9/24/09 David A Morse Great coming of age story. If your gay, straight, or disabled like me, you can relate. 5 stars
3/29/09 Eric Beautiful Thing is, well, beautiful! So is the soundtrack. One of my favorites. 5 stars
10/28/08 scotty the ending is one the most joyful and beautiful moments in cinema 5 stars
6/21/08 bgun84 Nice little movie. I'm glad that I watched it. 5 stars
8/27/07 Hamza Kaiser great movie..left me wanting more..i felt highs and lows watching this..awesome experience 5 stars
7/24/07 Sally Wonderful and painful 5 stars
7/21/07 Sunyul Quinlan It is actually quite good! I would give it five stars but that would come off a little gay! 4 stars
5/09/07 Luke My favourite gay movie. Watch it regularly. Never tire of it. Superb! 5 stars
1/30/07 action movie fan dull boring,gay or straight-it,s dull!!! fortune and mens eyes is the best gay film 1 stars
6/23/06 Danny Without doubt, the BEST "gay" coming of age film in the history of cinema! Outstanding! 5 stars
7/28/05 Tony D Fantastic happy sad enjoyable romance with great cinematography and music DONT miss it 5 stars
7/05/05 Daveman Competant and well-acted, but the subject deserves more serious treatment than this. 3 stars
12/03/04 DM Contrived at points, but definitely worth watching 4 stars
9/25/04 Tor Honolulu Why are non-American movies so much better, I ask from Brooklyn NY? 5 stars
8/16/04 tatum Excellent work all around 5 stars
5/20/03 mr. Pink Thank god this movie existed when I first saw it! 5 stars
3/02/02 Andrew Carden Doesn't Deal Well With It's Delicate Subject. Goofy and Bland. 2 stars
3/01/02 Unagiboy Sweet and touching film of young love, gay or straight. Completely innocent. 5 stars
9/08/00 neilb wonderful underrated British masterpiece--gay or straight you'll love it. Shame Channel 9 ! 5 stars
8/03/00 Cassy_gdg 1st showing-couldn't understand the accents, 2nd- loved it, 3rd- addicted! 5 stars
12/01/99 Bozo Ste and Jamie are screen heroes for gay kids around the world - thank you Hattie!!!! 5 stars
6/13/99 Duane Loved it!! I had to rent it and could not help but play it everyday for a week. 5 stars
6/03/99 Ralph R Best gay themed movie ever made. 5 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink Small in scope but delivers laughs, tears and good performances in good measure 4 stars
10/24/98 Vincent A sweet, utterly unpretentious love story about two gay teens- SEE IT 5 stars
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  09-Oct-1996 (R)
  DVD: 20-May-2003

  28-Mar-1996 (15)

  19-Sep-1996 (MA)

Directed by
  Hettie MacDonald

Written by
  Jonathan Harvey

  Glen Berry
  Linda Henry
  Scott Neal
  Tameka Empson
  Ben Daniels
  Daniel Bowers

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