In Beautiful Thing Jamie (Glen Berry) is a troubled high school student who’s in the closet and has a crush on his classmate Ste (Scott Neal), and lives with his single mother Sandra (Linda Henry), who pays him little attention as she focuses on plans to open a pub, and a revolving door of assorted lovers. Ste also comes from a troubled home, with a drug dealer for a brother and an alcoholic and abusive father.
After one night when Ste is beaten worse than even usual by his father, Sandra takes pity on the boy and offers her home as a sanctuary for him. However, there are only two beds in the house, and Ste is forced to share a room with Jamie. The second night, the two get a little closer, and Jamie dares to try to kiss Ste. Although Ste accepts it at the time, he panics the next morning, and avoids Jamie for the next several days. Soon, the details of their intimate time together are publicly announced by Jamie’s neighbour, causing even more trouble.
Nevertheless, Jamie and Ste slowly mend their relationship and come to accept themselves for who they are, as Sandra also begins to put her life back in order and accept her son’s identity.
Gay Themed Films, Critics
“Beautiful Thing tells the story of two teenage boys, neighbors in a London high-rise housing project, who gradually become aware that they are homosexual. But a funny thing happens: the most interesting scenes involve the characters around them, who all but steal the movie. The boys’ lives contain few surprises, but from the other characters there is one astonishment after another.”
— Roger Ebert
“Beautiful Thing, directed by Hettie Macdonald from a screenplay by Jonathan Harvey, is very well acted. Glen Berry and Mr. Neal capture every blush and awkward gesture of two shy adolescents stumbling together in terror out onto some very thin ice. Ms. Henry is wonderful as a woman whose fighting spirit masks a streak of hard-bitten tenderness.”
— The New York Times
Gay Themed Films, Did You Know
The soundtrack for the film Beautiful Thing consists almost entirely of Mama Cass Elliot. At one point in the movie, Sandra reiterates a common myth about the death of this singer, saying that she had choked to death on a sandwich. The truth, however, is that the doctor in charge of the autopsy made that irresponsible comment before actually performing the operation, and discovering that her cause of death was heart failure. Review our Gay Themed Films Here
All pictures reproduced courtesy of Film4