7.7/10
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157 user 49 critic

Beautiful Thing (1996)

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. It 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

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Release Date:

9 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Csodálatos dolog  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,931, 11 October 1996

Gross USA:

$1,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Linda Henrys character in this needs up owning a pub and working as a barmaid in a pub. Shirley Carter, her character in EastEnders also owns a pub and works as a barmaid. See more »

Goofs

When Ste and Jamie are talking outside at the party, it's cold enough that you can see thin fog from their breath, even though it's supposed to be set during a heatwave. Occasionally, other almost-invisible puffs of fog appear behind Ste (probably from crew members), even though they're supposed to be alone. See more »

Quotes

Ste: There ain't nowhere else.
Sandra: There is, actually, Ste. There's an island in the Mediterranean called Lesbian, and all its inhabitants are dykes. So you've got your eye wiped there.
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

One Way Ticket
Bruce Hart (as Hart) & Stephen Lawrence (as Lawrence)
Sung by Cass Elliot (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Feel-good, positive film
1 June 2004 | by 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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