Beautiful Thing is a delightful English film directed by Hettie Macdonald from a screenplay by Jonathan Harvey based on his play.

Sandra (Linda Henry in a smashingly robust performance) is a feisty barmaid and single parent who lives in a rundown London housing project with her 16-year-old son, Jamie (Glen Berry).

One night she gives shelter to Ste (Scott Neal), a handsome teenager who lives next door with his physically abusive older brother and alcoholic father. Sleeping in the same bed, Jamie and Ste act upon their sexual attraction to each other. They secretly visit a gay bar and feel quite at home there.

Leah (Tameka Empson), an outrageous 16-year-old black neighbor who's obsessed with Mama Cass, a singer in a 1960s rock group, sees what is going on between her two neighbors. Sandra, who's dating Tony (Ben Daniels), a hippie painter, eventually rejoices in her son's coming out. In a warm, funny, and winning way, Beautiful Thing charts the dawning of homosexual love.