Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing

4.8 11
Director: Hettie MacDonald

Cast: Andrew Fraser, Linda Henry, Glen Berry

     
 

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In this alternately somber and witty coming-of-age drama, a pair of teenage boys growing up in a working-class neighborhood become aware of their homosexuality. Introspective Jamie (Glen Berry) is the son of Sandra (Linda Henry), a tough but warm-hearted barmaid who lives in a public housing block in a rough-and-tumble section of South London. Living a few doors away

Overview

In this alternately somber and witty coming-of-age drama, a pair of teenage boys growing up in a working-class neighborhood become aware of their homosexuality. Introspective Jamie (Glen Berry) is the son of Sandra (Linda Henry), a tough but warm-hearted barmaid who lives in a public housing block in a rough-and-tumble section of South London. Living a few doors away is Jamie's classmate Ste (Scott Neal), an athletic type who often has to take a beating from his hard-drinking father and hard-headed brother. One night, Jamie and Sandra discover that Ste has been kicked out of the apartment and has nowhere to spend the night; Jamie lets him stay at his place, and a casual closeness eventually stirs sexual feelings. While both were vaguely aware they might be gay, neither had ever acted on their impulses, and once Jamie and Ste decide that they're attracted to each other, neither is sure just what to do. Tony (Ben Daniels), Sandra's boyfriend, doesn't know what to think about Jamie's new lifestyle. Meanwhile, Jamie and Ste are themselves a bit puzzled by their neighbor Leah (Tameka Empson), a teenager obsessed with the life and music of Mama Cass Elliott.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although it's a remarkably unself-conscious, non-dogmatic and tender gay love story, the film Beautiful Thing loses something in its translation from the original stage version. South London writer Jonathan Harvey adapted his own play for the screen and enlisted its original stage director, Hettie MacDonald, but in reworking the material for the cinema the pair lose some of its focus and economy. The oppressively static sense of place that was enforced by the cramped, council-flat setting opens up too much on film, robbing the story of some of its subtext; additional plot points such as an ecstasy-fueled night of revelations detract from the play's almost ritualistic structure. Worst of all, Mama Cass-obsessed supporting character Leah (Tameka Empson) becomes more of a human punchline than a fully realized and sympathetic individual. Despite these shortcomings, though, Glen Berry and Scott Neal are terrific as the tentative young lovers. Stage and television vet Linda Henry, meanwhile, deftly and wittily combines working-class grit, maternal concern and knowing sex appeal as Sandra, the barmaid mum who unwittingly helps the boys come together. Harvey's express intention in writing Beautiful Thing was to prove that working-class gay boys can have happy endings, and on that count this modest film succeeds very well. Sweet, wistful and full of hope -- just like the Cass Elliot songs that pepper the soundtrack -- Beautiful Thing ultimately survives its translation to celluloid.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/30/1998
UPC:
0043396949737
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Andrew Fraser Jayson
Linda Henry Sandra Gangel
Glen Berry Jamie Gangel
Julie Smith Gina
Jeillo Edwards Rose
Scott Neal Ste Pearce
Daniel Bowers Trevor Pearce
Ben Daniels Tony
Tameka Empson Leah
Ozdemir Mamodeally Slasher
Beth Goddard Brewery Official
Anna Karen Marlene
Marlene Sidaway Betty
Liane Ware Claire
Catherine Sanderson Kelly
Dave Lynn Drag Performer
Jonathan Harvey Wheelchair Queen
Meera Syal Miss Chauhan
Martin Walsh Mr Bennett
Steven M. Martin Ryan McBride
John Savage Lenny
Garry Cooper Ronnie Pearce
Terry Duggan Kevin
Sophie Stanton Louise
John Benfield Rodney Barr
Davyd Harries Brewery Official

Technical Credits
Hettie MacDonald Director
John Altman Score Composer,Songwriter
Kevin Brazier Sound Editor
Wayne Brooks Sound Editor
Don Fairservice Editor
Tony Garnett Producer
Victoria Goodall Asst. Director
Jonathan Harvey Screenwriter
James Imber Asst. Director
Elisa Johnson Makeup
Susie Liggat Asst. Director
John Midgley Sound/Sound Designer
Andy Pryor Casting
Chris Seager Cinematographer
Bill Shapter Producer
Chrysoula Sofitsi Art Director
Gail Stevens Casting
Mark Stevenson Production Designer
Pam Tait Costumes/Costume Designer
Jim Wilkinson Asst. Director

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Beautiful Thing 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that this is a very good and entertaining movie. I have been waiting for this movie to come out (no pun intended) on DVD. Some of the english slang can be a little difficult to understand at first, however a very well written script and directed movie. It is well worth the wait for it to come out on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great coming out film. Heartwarming and funny. MaMa Cass soundtrack adds a nice touch to the film. Definitely a must have in the collection. This is great that it is finally released on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok i havent actualy bought it YET!! but i just saw it on the independent film channel and it was one of the GREATEST movies i have ever seen!!! its my new favorite movie! the way the storie goes its just so...i cant think of the words. but i can kind of feel how they do because im gay and 15 ( somewere around their age) and i can relate to alot of the themes. and the ending!!! Mama Cass just adds a whole lotta spice to the whole thing makeing it even better!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw this movie on the independent film channel about 1 year ago , and never got the title . I've been going crazy trying to find it and finally they began playing it again on IFC. This movie is gripping and grinds right down to your soul . Going thru not only what happens when one comes out , but when family and friends are forced to accept the coming out of a loved one . Its a movie of truth and frighting strength . I love it !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the hands down winner film to explore what it is like for teens to discover who they are and what they want in life. This film also does a beautiful job of defining what family and community is and how they influence what you do with your life. The central story is about the growing love between Jamie and Ste, but all of the characters are worth investing in. Jamie's Mother is a wonderful character brought brilliantly to life by the actress who plays her. The final scene is the only one that does not seem totally realistic, but who cares. It was so 'beautiful' that I wouldn't want it to end any other way. And yes, the soundtrack is fantastic and totally right for the story. Bravo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before watching this my biggest fear was that it would be another movie about sex and sex and sex!! I am so releived to tell you that it is not. The movie is set in a working-class London neighborhood. The actors portray the two boys amazingly and the story is perfect. It is basically about two boys slowly falling in love with each other and exploring their sexuality and love. Anyway, I think if anyone enyojs a love story then this is the movie for you. And the music is amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is fantastic for gay teens who are trying to come to terms with their sexuality. The ending will move you to tears, but don't worry, they're happy tears! I highly recommend this movie.
OutAndAbout More than 1 year ago
I found the scenes between the two boys were moving and believable. You can feel the chemistry and if all you had were those scenes, I think it would be awesome as a love story.. However, I found the other scenes and characters rather odd, crass and difficult to relate to. So the plot around the boys did not do alot for me. It is well worth seeing just for the scenes with the boys: coming out to themselves and each other, first time going to a gay bar, and the scene at the end shows they have become comfortable with themselves and the heck with what the world thinks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jamie and Ste, the two lead characters of the movie, find love in an unaccepting south London "redneck" world where everything is going against them. The mother, played by Linda Henry, and the struggles of her everyday life as a single mother showing her love and compassion after finding out Jamie and Ste are gay is a "Beautiful Thing". The mother's boyfriend who's 8 years younger brings an interesting twist to the tale as well as Leah, the Mama Cass loving girl who lives next door who brings lots of laughs and tragedy is an unbelievable character you won't forget. The music of Mama Cass highlights appropriately throughout the movie and the scene of the boys running through the woods, as well as the ending will bring tears to your eyes. Gay, straight or bi, this movie has something for everyone to relate to ... single parenting, parental and sibling abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, bullying and more, I think you'll find either yourself or someone you know in one of the characters. I highly recommend giving this "Sony Classic" film a view. Afterall, Sony wouldn't have classified it as a classic for nothing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago