Beautiful Thing

Bomb Rating: 

Obviously, director Hettie MacDonald is trying to make a statement about the wonder of love, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Nice try.

The "beautiful thing" this movie's title refers to is thepure, tender love between two English boys, Jamie (Glen Berry) and his next door neighbor, Ste (Scott Neal).

Obviously, director Hettie MacDonald is trying to make a statement about the wonder of love, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Nice try. Here's the real theme: If somebody is going to throw you a rope as you drown in the cesspool of life, you might as well lunge for it. Welcome to working-class existence in England.

Jamie's mother is a wacko whose boyfriend is a new age nut who would only be appealing if somebody shoved a copy of "The Celestine Prophecy" down his throat to shut him up. Ste's home is a menagerie of alcoholism and abuse. Against this backdrop, MacDonald hammers in her theme so relentlessly that you'd have to hide under your seat to miss it. I half expected MacDonald to charge across the screen during the middle of the picture with a big sign reading "Hope through love."

After serving up her chocolate cake with chocolate icing, MacDonald forces our heads into a big, slimy vat of chocolate syrup, just to make sure that we get it. Jamie and Ste slow-dance in the middle of the neighborhood to acknowledge their mutual affection. At this point, members of the audience -- both heterosexual and homosexual -- began running for the exits screaming, "I get it! I get it!", a good sign that MacDonald has elevated overkill to an art form.

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