Like It Is [Import]
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Like It Is
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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
Obnoxious characters, unremitting self indulgence, and a nonsensical plot make this movie a real dog!Published on June 9 2004 by James R. Keith
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 morePublished on Aug. 9 2003 by PoloGuy
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 morePublished on April 21 2003 by T. Hulse
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 morePublished on Aug. 11 2002 by Matt Graham
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 morePublished on Aug. 7 2002 by Jose Valencia
'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 morePublished on April 19 2002 by Plano Man
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 morePublished on March 22 2002
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