What I like about sites like Wikipedia and YouTube is to hop from article to article, video to video. While I was surfing YouTube, I came across a set of videos that allowed me to view the movie “Beautiful Thing.”
The movie* is a coming of age story centered on Jamie and Ste, two teenagers living next to each other in blue collar London. Jamie is an introverted guy who is getting bullied at school. Ste passes as a regular classmate with an aptitude for sports but suffers from an abusive father and brother. This abuse drives the two closer together and they begin to develop feelings for each other.
First reaction: Geeze, I wish this had closed captioning on it! When I go to England, I might being saying “huh” way too often.
I can certainly see myself being in Jamie’s shoes. I had a very lonely time in high school but I mean that in the more emotional sense. I was never ostracized or bullied but I was always holding back—that there was a part of me that I never wanted anyone to see or know. It amazes me to see how strong of a person Jamie was in this film. He got to that place of accepting himself earlier than I did and seemed to take it in stride.
While the movie did seem a bit formulaic, it was presented in a heartwarming fashion although with the awareness of the problems queer youth face. The thing that I took out of it was that supportive love whether from a parent or from a boyfriend can work miracles. As Jamie’s mother said about Ste—he hasn’t seen live, but he has been given a new one.
Being a British film (and a made-for-television one at that), it may be difficult to find a copy here in the United States. But go searching on YouTube… maybe they haven’t taken it down yet.
*adapted from the play