Directed by: Hettie MacDonald
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Length: 87 mins
Released: 24 September 2007
Cat No: F4DVD90024
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A long, hot summer in South London is the turning point in the life for two teenagers, Jamie and Ste. Ste, a popular sporting hero at... Read More
A simple tale of two male working-class teenagers who fall in love with one another, Beautiful Thing has deservedly become one of the most acclaimed gay films in recent years; Attitude magazine voted it the best gay film ever made. A terrific script blends biting wit with very moving scenes, and, like the similar-themed Show Me Love, it depicts the thrill of first love perfectly, particularly in the charming scene in which the boys run ecstatically through the forest.
Although the film is very sensitive to the feelings of the two boys’ sexuality, the film is packed with witty exchanges, often between Jamie and his sarcastic mother (played brilliantly by Linda Henry, better known as Yvonne Atkins from Bad Girls). There are also some classic moments when a serious scene is wickedly undercut by a sudden unexpected occurrence, such as in the “coming out” scene.
Bizarrely, screenplay writer Jonathan Harvey (on whose play the film is based), who creates a sensitiv e, appealing picture of gay life in this movie, went on to write the horrendous series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, which featured every camp old cliché in the book wheeled out for the purposes of “comedy”. Still, Orson Welles made Citizen Kane and the frozen pea commercials, proving geniuses can be temperamental beasts. With Beautiful Thing, Harvey, along with director Hettie MacDonald, has made one of the most delightful films of the 1990s, with a cracking script, strong performances and a magical, unforgettable ending.