1996 film based on the Jonathan Harvey
play. Beautiful Thing
is essentially an endearing and tender love story, about two urban youths. It is set largely in a south-east London
Jamie is an unpopular and somewhat clumsy young man who despises football (soccer, not American Football) and ditches school to avoid it. He lives next door to Ste, who is a popular athlete with an abusive father and older brother. Jamie and Ste wind up sharing a bed when Sandra (Jamie's mother) takes in Ste after a particularly unplesant episode with his violent family.
Although at first the pair are reticent to share a bed, their attraction and friendship grow. The unabashedly sweet and clumsy Jamie begins to help the physically and emotionally battered Ste open up and the pair fall in love.
Peripheral to the development of Jamie and Ste's relationship is their friendship with Leah, a wisecracking school dropout who is obsessed with Mama Cass and trips on a variety of strange drugs.
Although the film has an unglamorous urban setting and has several sub-plots that are decidely not tender; (e.g. Ste's abusive family, Sandra's philandering, Leah's drug use) the overall tone of the movie is sweet and warm. Although there are many other problems the main characters will have to deal with later, the film is largely concerned about what it's like to be young and in love.