Reviewed by Michael Lujano, CaBoy805@aol.com
This is a dawn of a new time, where gay youth have a little more to look up to then a cheap stereotypical gay individual. It has been a struggle to find any movies that deal with Homosexuality, I do not think that directors, writers, and producers see the potential of making movies that deal with a gay in general.
Recently I have had the chance to view one of the most heartfelt movies of my life, "Beautiful thing." The movie is not new it was released in 1996, but it is now starting to get the recognition that it deserves. Many people may have seen it at 1-3 am, on Showtime 2, but the movie never has a good spot on day time T.V where many people can see it. Why is this? Does modern times feel its not right to show homosexuals on television?
Beautiful Thing, starring Glen Berry and Scott Neal, is a movie that reaches down into modern middle class British culture and shows how two young, sixteen year old, guys that find out for themselves, that they have an attraction to each other. Since the stage is set in a British area, all the characters speak with British accents. The two young boys, Ste and Jamie, live next door to each other in a crowded apartment building. They are like many friends, they have sleep overs, they go to parties, and they go to school together.
In the movies start, the two are seen as straight. As the movie continues the scene starts to unravel. Ste lives with his father and brother. Ste's father is a drunk and an abusive person, who does not care much about his younger son. Ste's older brother is also abusive towards him, also a crack dealer, Ste's older brother Trevor beats him over and over through out the movie. Jaime on the other hand, is young man raised by his mother. Not much is said about his father throughout the movie, but in place of his father is a tall blonde young man, who seems to be the only American in the movie. Jaime's household is run decently, his mother works at the local pub, bar. She is a very caring women, who has a nice house that is fully furnished with nice couches and plants hanging from the corners. Ste on the other hand has it a bit harder, all that sits in his living room is a worn out beat up couch, a small coffee table, and a TV. Jamie is a sweet adorable boy. He is the most obvious of the two. He is well mannered person, who is starting to cope with a new father figure in his life. Last but not least there is Jaime's other neighbor. She's a young black girl, that is totally obsessed with a singer named Mama Cass, from the Mamas and the Papas, whose music is featured throughout the movie.
The movie starts off by going through the lives of the two, switching back and forth. Jaime is taunted by peers at his school, people harassing him calling him bum fucker, and queer bent bastard. His mother receives calls from his school saying that her son is cutting class. She tells the school that he is not feeling well, but later questions Jaime. He avoids her questions, so she starts to assume that kids at school are bashing him about his height and what not.
Then the story moves on to Ste, he comes home to his father in a drunken stupor laying on the couch asleep. His brother beats him, so Ste leaves, he is so hurt. The actor portrays his feelings so well, Ste is later found by Jaime's mother on her walk home from work. She persuades Ste to come stay at their house for the night. The story moves on and the movie shows Jamie trying to except the new father, and Ste trying to stay out of his brother's and father's hands.
One night while Ste stayed at Jaime's house, the big scene unravels. Ste was recently beat again from his brother, and had bruises and welts to prove it, but he tries to hide it and acts like things are fine. By the look on his face you can tell he is in a lot of pain. Jaime offers to rub foot powder on his back to help ease the pain, not long into it Jaime becomes very involved and starts to enjoy the moment. He caresses Ste's back and rubs it in a more then friend manner. Ste quickly hides under the covers and tells Jaime to stay away, but then gets up and lays by Jaime's side.
Jaime builds enough courage to reach over and kiss him. Ste replies "Do you think I'm queer?"
"It doesn't matter what I think" Jaime says softly and comforting.
They are involved that night and wake up nude in the morning, but Ste seems not so sure of what happened and leaves quickly without waking Jaime.
I'll stop here, because the rest of the movie is so awesome that words cannot even describe it. There's many more scenes that are worth seeing such as the Coming out scene. Jaime's mother finds out what's going on, and questions him. The movie was such a touching film. I would laugh at some parts and feel sad enough to cry at others. The movie shows many things that teens deal with today. In one part it shows Jaime looking through a magazine rack and seeing a gay publication. He swiftly steals it, I am not saying that stealing is right, but how many of you have done the same thing? Slowly browsing the rack and when the worker turns you grab it and quickly remove yourself from the crime scene. The movie reaches out to all gay teens.
What was most surprising to me was the fact that the two young actors, in real life, are not gay. For being there first movie I could not believe the feeling they put into the movie, the emotion and heart seems all to real. The hurt and love were depicted so well that it made me feel for the two characters. They receive two thumbs up from me for there wonderful performance.
The movie is still hard to find, video stores do not carry it. The best thing to do is keep an eye out on your TV listings and pray for it to come on, or if you are wanting to buy it check out the blockbuster home page it is not hard to find but it is expensive.
The movie gives out a message to all gay youth. The message is, do not let society tell you what to be, because the only person you have to please is you. Love is something more then a physical emotion, love is wonderful, and for those who have experienced true love can see that love is not a color, description, or even a gender. Love is an emotion that binds the soul and makes a person feel full of life. So live on, be strong, and do what your heart knows is right.
I am Michael, a 17 year old "Out" student. I have been writing for a few years now. I have just started to write more about my sexuality and about issues dealing with it. I feel that anything that is written should be from the heart, anything else is not worth writing. When you feel for what you write, you can make a beautiful piece of work, that may inspire others that may have been or are going through the same things you have. I am somewhat of a computer nerd, I use my knowledge to help others, by posting many of my thoughts and experiences on the Internet. I am a Junior in high school, I go to a new program called Workforce 2000. I love going to the movies or get a hot cup of cappuccino. I like to be a social person and meet as many people as I can. I have been out since I was 15, it was a long hard road to get where I am now. My friends have all stuck by me and push me to be the best that I can, be. Without my friends I have nothing, and I thank them for all of my accomplishments that I have had so far, including a story that was published in XY. Http://members.aol.com/caboy661/Personalindex.html