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Like It Is [Import]

Steve Bell , Ian Rose , Paul Oremland    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.98
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Like It Is is much like watching a train wreck--the very idea of it is repellent and yet you perversely can't avert your eyes. While its urban grittiness and sooty veneer entranced some critics who mistook its violent, netherworld neorealism for art, Like It Is offers little in the way of redemption, positive gay imaging, or even particularly good narrative.

Paul Oremland directed this venture about a young, gay Blackpool tough named Craig (Steve Bell) who bare-knuckle boxes for money. He ultimately moves to London in search of a better life and falls in with the trendy London gay club scene, meeting and falling for a handsome record producer named Matt (Ian Rose) and his wealthy boss (played by the Who's lead singer Roger Daltrey). The better life is quickly tainted by disillusion and misery, much as is the viewing experience.

Steve Bell is, in real life, a featherweight boxing champion in Britain and therefore brings an urgent and raw vitality to the lead, but the characters as a whole are either irritating or unsympathetic, and it's ultimately difficult to find anyone to care for, or a story worth empathizing with. --Paula Nechak

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It's very rare a young actor makes such a great positive impression in his debut film.British actor, Steve Bell, does just that!A natural talent, his acting carries this film.Although one cannot ignore how physically beautiful he is, his acting is what matters here.Playing a blackpool fighter(Steve boxed in real life), he carries his role with a masculine swagger, while also displaying a tenderness so rarely captured on film.Struggling with his own sexuality, gay audiences will embrace this performance and straight audiences will find this film proves it appeals to mainstream viewers as well.Soon, gay themed films will not be seperated from "straight" themed films, as love is universal.And this film is ground-breaking as it never depends on stereotype.Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the legendary rock band, THE WHO, shows he has great acting chops, as does Ian Rose.Brilliantly directed by, Paul Orewland, this film is my favorite gay themed film, along with the American film, "Edge of seventeen."I will cherish this film over and over.And, once again, I must say, Steve Bell is sexy, brilliant, and impossible to keep your eyes off of him!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like it is remains as it is, lame. Nov. 16 2001
By Elitium
Format:VHS Tape
Its a movie about finding love, sex , quarrel , get back together , quarrel ..... You get what I mean?
Unless you simply buy this movie just to see the two lead actors butt pressing upon each other, its not worth seeing.
Acting wasn't genuine like as though they are being themselves which shouldn't be the case. In other words they can't act except for the bitchy boss. If you must, simply rent to see the short sex scenes or else pass this movie. Not worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A tough but tender love story May 8 2003
"Like It Is," directed by Paul Oremland, is a love story that takes the viewer into England's gay scene. The story concerns Craig (Steve Bell), a tough young man from Blackpool who earns a bloody (literally) living in the sleazy world of bare-knuckle fighting. He becomes involved with the slick, ambitious Matt (Ian Rose), who works in London's music and nightclub industries. Thus the stage is set not just for a love story, but also for a potent culture clash.
I really enjoyed this film. Director Oremland is unflinching in his portrayal of the violence, drug use, and sexuality of his characters' lives, but the film also is very sensitive in its exploration of their emotional worlds. There is an amusing vein of satire running throughout in the film's handling of a "boy band" subplot.
Roger Daltrey turns in a great supporting performance as Matt's boss, an older gay man with a leering, mischievous charm. But the film really is carried by the two leads. Bell and Rose have a palpable onscreen chemistry and really bring life to these conflicted characters. In a way, "Like It Is" is a very old-fashioned love story that asks basic, universal questions about relationships and the possibility of true love.
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A film depicting a gay love story between a bareknuckled fighter and a coke sniffing record producer? Who would have ever thought it would work? But it does, thanks in large part to Steve Bell, a natural in front of the camera, who steals the show as Craig Collins, a shy, working class, bare-knuckled fighter from Blackpool who chooses to reveal his, uh, less macho side to Matt, played by Ian Rose, an ambitious record and club executive, who's smitten mightily. Christopher Hargreaves, who is reminiscent of Bob Hoskins, plays Tony, Craig's older brother, and also gives a good performance.
By turns romantic, very sexy, humorous and painful, Like It Is is a much better take on the theme of a gay athelete coming out than the smaltzy, better known but much overrated Get Real, and is to be appreciated for showing the diversity of gay relationships. The unlikely ending to this unlikely love story will make you glad. Plus, it's not about high school kids, for once.
As good as it is in the good parts, I can't call this a great gay film, however, because of the inclusion of The Big Name Star, Roger Daltrey of the Who, included, I suppose, in the hopes his name on the marquee would draw crowds, but who only mugs his way through the most unlikeable role in the film, distracting attention from the real stars and the real story.
Still, I highly recommend Like It Is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (I) Like It (Is) Dec 29 2001
"Like It Is" is an entertaining movie. While it is yet another coming out story, the performances and characters help make it more interesting than the average coming out story.
The story starts in Blackpool, England, moves to London, and returns to Blackpool for a dramatic and fulfilling finale. The main character is Craig (very appealingly played by newcomer Steve Bell), a bare knuckle fighter in Blackpool who takes on whatever jobs he can to make a living. He is gay, but isn't ready to do anything about it until he meets record company promoter Matt (Ian Rose) outside a gay bar in Blackpool where Londoner Matt was supporting one of the artists label, Paula (Dani Behr), who is also his best friend and roommate. Craig invites Matt back to his house and asks Matt to *ahem* him. However, a virgin, Craig freaks out at the pain and throws Matt out. Matt tries to offer comfort, but Craig isn't ready to accept it. Matt leaves, leaving behind his card.
Neither of the men can forget the other, and Craig finally decides he has to deal with himself and his sexuality, so he follows Matt to London. Matt takes Craig in and they begin a relationship. Craig has trouble fitting into the gay world and Paula feels jealousy towards Craig for taking her best friend's attention away from her. Added to the mix is Matt's boss Kelvin (the immensely entertaining Roger Daltry) who is very much attracted to rough trade like Craig.
This is a very appealing film with interesting characters and strong performances all around. It does fall into the general category of the "coming out" story, but the settings and the characterization keep it fresh and interesting. The script by Robert Gray and the direction by Paul Oremland are sharp.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This One!
A likeable and capable cast in a well-made movie.
An unlikely relationship develops between an ambitious music promoter and an amateur boxer who is struggling to come to terms... Read more
Published on June 19 2004 by ardar88
1.0 out of 5 stars Phooey!
Obnoxious characters, unremitting self indulgence, and a nonsensical plot make this movie a real dog!
Published on June 9 2004 by James R. Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty. Real. Like it is.
This is not your typical gender-meets-gender story. If you're looking for utopian characters, gorgeous scenery and excruciatingly snappy dialog (a la "Friends"), you... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2003 by PoloGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant entertainment.
This is an excellant film that delivers. The acting was great and the cast was perfect. It had some dark moments but overall was uplifting. Read more
Published on April 21 2003 by T. Hulse
4.0 out of 5 stars It were right good.......
Its not pretty, not brilliantly acted, small budget and the storylines a bit trashy - I really enjoyed it though not really sure why. I think I just got it. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002 by Matt Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet little Boxer
Fun, energetic, & sweet. This boxer knows how to get his man. I saw this Gay & Lesbian short film festival, & I was awe seeing what these guys had to go through. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2002 by Jose Valencia
5.0 out of 5 stars Good British Gay Love Story.....
'Like it is' was my first British gay themed film I have seen. I was not sure what to expect when I started watching this. Read more
Published on April 19 2002 by Plano Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to Paula Numbchick - check this out!
This was a great flick - sensitive, fast-paced and downright fun to watch. Despite its minor faults, I enjoyed it from b to e... Read more
Published on March 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexually Pleasing
I love how the director seized a first-time-gay man and just through him into play. Craig realizes that life is not all about money and fighting. he realizes that there is love. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001
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