BEAUTIFUL BOY

"A Father Tries to Save His Son from Meth Addiction"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

In BEAUTIFUL BOY, a father snuggles to save his son from a crystal-meth addiction. While the movie is well-made, it contains content about heavy drug use and drug overdoses, with lots of foul language. Extreme caution advised.

Review:

BEAUTIFUL BOY is based on the autobiographical novel about David Sheff and his teenage son, Nic. Over a period of years, Nic goes from a typical boy to multiple drug addict. Although David felt he had the perfect family, with a nice house and a glamorous writing job, he’s unaware his 18-year-old son is experimenting with crystal-meth and heroin. Nic withdraws from his family and friends, holes up in his room and spends hours drawing, then goes missing for days. Calls to the police and hospitals to find his son become routine for David.

When Nic finally shows up at home again, David confronts him and tries to talk him into a drug rehabilitation program. Meanwhile, complicating matters, David’s ex-wife blames him for Nic’s downward spiral and refuses to help him. While David has the support of his current wife and two younger children, he feels like a failure as a parent. Nic had a normal childhood, and the two of them shared a close bond, or so David thought. Clueless on how to help his son, David begs him to check into the rehabilitation center. Nic reluctantly agrees, and things seem to be progressing nicely.

The father-son relationship appears to be on the mend. David spends countless hours doing Internet research on crystal-meth addiction and sees a psychiatrist for more advice. Nic comes home occasionally and is the perfect older brother to his step-siblings. However, days later, David receives a call from the rehabilitation center letting him know that Nic ran away, and there’s nothing else they can do. David is devastated and tries to initiate a search for his son. His wife reminds him he can’t save other people, and it’s time to let Nic go. As Nic jumps back into a lifestyle of drug abuse, David has to come to terms with possibly losing his son forever.

Amazon Studios does a good job choosing what could be an Oscar-worthy story. The movie is shot very well, the acting is superb, and it produces a tactile feeling of anxiety in its most emotional scenes. It’s easy to forget that Steve Carrell (David) is usually associated with comedy as he plays a convincing father who experiences the joys and sorrows of his son’s experience. Timotheé Chalament (Nic) is a rising star sure to make a splash in future movies.

As expected from a movie about drug addiction, the content is heavy. That said, the overall plot is a positive story about a family’s love, sacrifice, and overcoming the trials of life. Nic wants and tries to do the right thing, but the drug’s effects on his brain makes this an almost impossible task. One concerning thing is that Nic’s father, David, is revealed to have been a recreational drug user in his past, and decides to have a couple of marijuana joints with his son as a “bonding” activity. Graphic scenes depicting crystal-meth usage with syringes, overdoses and the physical effects of the drug happen several times. There’s also lots of foul language, a scene depicting sex between teenagers and tense scenes between David and his ex-wife. Extreme caution is advised.

Content:

(B, C, LLL, V, SS, N, A, DDD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light moral story in that the characters are trying to do the right thing to overcome drug addiction, with examples of strong family support and love, brief mentions of dabbling in church and spirituality;

Foul Language:
About 36 obscenities and four profanities plus two scenes depict vomiting;

Violence:
Graphic scenes of injecting crystal-meth, and a boy breaks into a house;

Sex:
One scene depicts teenagers having sex in the shower, but they’re only seen from shoulders up and a lewd sexual act is mentioned;

Nudity:
Boys are shirtless while wearing swim trunks;

Alcohol Use:
Mild drinking in some scenes;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Several scenes depict cigarette smoking, several scenes depict marijuana smoking, several scenes depict making and injecting crystal-meth, some scenes depict heroin use, some scenes depict drug overdose, one scene depicts drug dealing; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Strong miscellaneous immorality includes family central to the plot has to deal with the effects of divorce, father uses marijuana occasionally with his son in an effort to bond with him and wean son off harder drugs, ex-husband and ex-wife fight several times, son lies to parents multiple times, boy steals money from his brother, son runs away for days at a time.

In Brief:

BEAUTIFUL BOY is based on the autobiographical novel about David Sheff and his teenage son, Nic. Over a period of years, Nic becomes a multiple drug addict. Although David felt he had the perfect family, he’s unaware his 18-year-old son is experimenting with crystal-meth and heroin. Clueless on how to help his son, David begs Nic to check into a rehabilitation center. Nic reluctantly agrees, and things seem to be progressing nicely. However, Nic runs away and jumps back into a life of drug abuse.

BEAUTIFUL BOY is shot very well. The acting is superb, and the story produces a tactile feeling of anxiety in its most emotional scenes. The overall plot is a positive story about a family’s love, sacrifice and overcoming the trials of life. One major concern is Nic’s father smoking marijuana with him as an attempted “bonding” activity. The movie also contains graphic scenes depicting crystal-meth usage with syringes, overdoses and the drug’s bad physical effects. There’s also lots of foul language, a scene depicting teenage sexual activity and tense family scenes. Extreme caution is advised.