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Beautiful Thing (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  9 October 1996 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 16,854 users  
Reviews: 153 user | 49 critic

In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Martin Walsh ...
Mr. Bennett
Steven M. Martin ...
Ryan McBride (as Steven Martin)
Andrew Fraser ...
Jayson
John Savage ...
Lenny
Scott Neal ...
Glen Berry ...
Julie Smith ...
Gina
Linda Henry ...
Jeillo Edwards ...
Rose
Tameka Empson ...
Anna Karen ...
Marlene
...
Ronnie Pearce
...
Daniel Bowers ...
Trevor Pearce
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Storyline

A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate. Jamie, a relatively unpopular lad who bunks off school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic lad but who is frequently beaten up by his father and older brother. Such an episode of violence brings Jamie and Ste together: Sandra (Jamie's mum) offers refugee to Ste, who has to 'top-and-tail' with Jamie. Hence, the story tells of their growing attraction for one another, from initial lingering glances to their irrefutable love, which so magnificently illustrated at the end of the film. In deals with the tribulations of coming to terms with their sexuality and of others finding out, in light of Sandra's unwavering loyalty and defence of Jamie and the fear of repercussion should Ste's family find out. The plot is set against sub-texts of Sandra's desire to manage her own pub, and thus escape the estate, and of her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and of Leah, the ... Written by Mark Edwards <me93fm@soton.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An urban fairytale.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, pervasive strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Csodálatos dolog  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,931 (USA) (11 October 1996)

Gross:

$1,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Harvey:  Screenwriter appears as the Wheelchair Queen in the scene in the Gloucester pub. See more »

Goofs

The rainbow early in the movie is inaccurately depicted: the red band should be outside the curve, and the blue/violet band on the inside. A rainbow is composed of the entire spectrum of colors of visible light, from the longest wavelength, red, to the shortest wavelength, violet. The order of colors in a rainbow is easiest to remember by the following mnemonic (a formula that helps one remember something): Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain. R=red, O=orange, Y=yellow, G=green, B=blue, I=indigo, and V=violet. Red is naturally at the top edge (longest, or hottest in the spectrum) of the rainbow and violet is at the bottom edge (shortest, or coolest in the spectrum), with the other colors, in order, in between. See more »

Quotes

Sandra: What happened? School burned down, did it?
Jamie: Yeah.
Sandra: What was it this time? IRA bomb?
Jamie: Fundamentalist Muslim pyromaniacs.
Sandra: Oh, funny, that. Looked all right when I walked past it.
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Creeque Alley
Written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips
(1967)
Sung by The Mamas and the Papas
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User Reviews

Feel-good, positive film
1 June 2004 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

This is one of those great British dramas set in a typically grim environment but shot with positivity throughout. Having grown up around the area in the film and being only a few years older than the featured boys, it was a joy to see life there depicted in the film.

I agree with all previous comments about the actors and how true-to-life it feels. Although slightly exaggerated in places, this film is a great comment on London working class life as well as being focused around a gay-based storyline.

However, I wanted to add that this film also comments on the complex class system in the UK which explains why Tony was dropped by Sandra. Many non-British viewers may not have picked up on this. Thoughout, Tony is shown as a middle class character who doesn't really fit into the working class environment. He uses different slang words to the others, has a 'posher' accent and has slightly different attitudes to all the other characters. He and Sandra come from different worlds. As Sandra says, she has been fighting all her life, whereas he has had evertyhing given to him on a plate. Ultimately, this relationship was never going to last. Life in London (and the UK) is still spilt into different social classes, although they do mix a little more than they used to. But you can often tell where someone is from by their accent and their choice of words. This was used to great affect in the film.

Overall, a light-hearted look at life on a London council Estate with some great performances... one of my favourite films.


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