Released in 1996, this tender story of two teenagers and their sexual coming-of-age in a working-class development in London is still an inspiring, tender and deeply emotional experience.
Jamie (Glen Berry) is a reserved teen, close to his pub manager mom (Linda Henry), who prefers old Hollywood musicals to sports. His friendship with his hunky neighbor Ste (Scott Neal), a fellow student who suffers through a troubled family life, soon develops into a sexual and eventually loving relationship. How the two boys tentatively handle their nascent romantic and sexual drives and how it affects their family and friends is handled in both a fresh and surprisingly upbeat fashion.
Directed by Hettie MacDonald and written by Jonathan Harvey based on his own original play of the same name, Beautiful Thing was originally intended for television broadcast only, but it was so well-received that it was subsequently released in cinemas. The atmosphere of the film is heavily influenced by a soundtrack consisting almost entirely of the music of the Mamas and Papas and Mama Cass Elliot.
Beautiful Thing still holds a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A wonderful comedy-drama, it may possibly still be the best “coming out” movie to date.