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Movie Review: 'Beautiful Thing'

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Beautiful Thing

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
90 minutes
Wide Release Date:
10/09/96
performer:
Glen Berry, Scott Neal, Linda Henry
director:
Hettie Macdonald
genre:
Drama

We gave it a B

Two teenage boys in a British housing project — where the walls are thin and everybody knows your name — come out and fall in love in Beautiful Thing, an optimistic little movie that steers pretty well clear of bathos: There are few sentimental or campy doodahs, if you don’t count a strutting neighbor girl (a gutsy performance by Tameka Empson) who fancies herself a black Mama Cass, occasioning much welcome Mamas and the Papas music. Among the things going for this East-Enders-type romance: Jamie (Glen Berry), a gym-o-phobe and Ste (Scott Neal), a jock, aren’t starlet hunks, they’re just believably average-looking guys. And Jamie’s single mum, Sandra (wonderfully played by Linda Henry), is a tough, strong-willed, cig-smoking bird. Hettie Macdonald, in her feature debut, directs Jonathan Harvey’s script, adapted from his stage play. Don’t let the slangy Britishisms and working-class accents drive you nuts; just sing along to the music. B

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