Beautiful Boy (2018)

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Beautiful Boy is a 2018 biographical drama film directed by Felix Van Groeningen, based on the memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetaimes by Nic Sheff. The film stars Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierny and Amy Ryan. It deals with the strained relationship between a father and his drug addicted teenage son.

This film follows freelance writer David Sheff, who realizes his son Nicholas is missing, reappearing two days later. Seeing apparent signs of drug use, David takes Nic to a rehab clinic. Progress is made and Nic requests that he be moved to a halfway house, where there is less security and there is free time outside. Nic and his doctors agree. Days later, Nic doesn’t return home and David finds him in the street.

Time goes by and Nic has completed his rehab program, and seeing his improvements, David allows him to go to college on his own, to become a writer. Nic’s sobriety and freedom start off great, as he becomes a very good student and begins dating a classmate. However, at a dinner at her parent’s house, Nic finds a bottle of pills while snooping through their medicine cabinet. He takes one and goes back to dinner. After this incident, he relapses and this causes his girlfriend to break up with him. His substance abuse worsens, using the money his father sends him to buy heroin. David becomes suspicious of Nic’s behavior and begins researching drug use online.

Coming home, David senses that Nic is using again and Nic leaves feeling cornered from his dad’s behavior and questioning over his drug usage. David and Nic meetup and Nic asks his father for money to go to New York. Knowing what the money will really be used for, David refuses to give him a cent and Nic leaves furiously. David later gets a call from a New York hospital saying Nic has overdosed. He flies to meet his ex-wife, so they can get him out.

This film shows the horrible realities of drug and alcohol abuse and the affects it has on family and friends. It tells us why a person becomes an addict to begin with and shows us how hard it is stop and remain sober. You learn that addiction like this is a disease. It controls your entire body and life. It turns you into a terrible person, that not only hurts themselves, but everyone they know. They can’t live without another hit of that bad substance.

Nic does so many things from cocaine, crystal meth, heroin to hard liquor. One hit, leads to another and another, until he is whacked out of his mind. His father tries to help him, then gives up, then realizes his son needs him. With the help of his family, doctors, therapists and rehabilitation, he eventually cleans completely up, but the road to recovery wasn’t easy getting there. He fights againsts help, saying he doesn’t need it, because he doesn’t have problems. When he finally realizes he does have issues, he gets the boosts he needs to become that great person that has been covered up for far too long.

These books, along with this film are great at helping anyone that has been, is, or you know is an addict. They are eye-opening and do not sugarcoat anything, they tell and show it like it is. They are tough, but addiction is tough and one of, if not the, most hardest things to get through. Steve Carell is outstanding as father David Sheff and Timothée Chalamet is equally fantastic as his son Nicholas Sheff. They bring this tragic, but moving story to life. This film will change your life. It is powerful in every way. We need more books and films like these, because they are important, helping people with addiction to know they are not alone and that help is out there. Truly a great film with both harshness and heart. 18+ 4.5/5

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