Director: Paul Oremland
Starring: Steve Bell
-------------Ian Rose
-------------Roger Daltry
-------------Dani Behr

Running Time: 93 mins
UK 1997 Available on DVD

Young Craig (Steve Bell) is a closeted bare-knuckle fighter barely surviving the rather seedy streets of Blackpool by night. When a chance but disasterous encounter with Matt (Ian Rose) shows that Craig that no matter how tough he is intamacy is what he needs.

Following Matt to London, Craig clashes with the characters populating the capitals gay scene, from sinister music mogul Kelvin (Roger Daltrey) to fag hag Paula (Dani Behr). When all both want, is to rip apart Craig and Matt and keep the pieces for themselves Craig finds himself facing a tough decision. To leave the game to the players and lose his chance at love or to fight for Matt without resorting to his fists.

"Like It Is" is a raw, passionate and violent movie about first love, coming out and the strain these place on the characters lives. But unlike some gay movies it doesn't moon about the subjects, it instead deals with them quite acutely. Easy answers are hard to come by and that is one of the movies the strengths. The script isn't faultless but it never feels like the gay wish fulfilment cinema I've come to expect from films of it's ilk. The bare-knuckle fighting scenes, with Bell stripped to the waist while a crowd of onlookers bay for blood are handled with a gritty realism. The homo-erotic elements of such an event aren't over played for our or of the directors voyeurism but instead show through because those elements exist in such an event anyway.
The stunning Steve Bell (in his first acting job) is fantastic in this, caught between the tough kid who knows his place in Blackpool to the deer in the headlights in London. Ian Rose doesn't come across as a natural actor but he handles his scenes well and is beliveable for the most part as the more worldly music promoter who falls for Bell. But its Daltry who very nearly steals the show, veering between camp, scenery chewinig pantomime villain in one scene and sensitive, lonely, older gay man in the next.

An unpretentious thoroughly watchable film that deserves to take place among the dvds of any collection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this film, Steve Bell is gorgeous throughout. Did you know he was on Hollyoaks last year for a bit. He's still gorgeous.


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