Is Beautiful Boy Worth Seeing?

It takes a lot to get me to really love a movie. Usually, I don’t have the energy to sit down and watch a movie all the way through, as I get distracted by minute details. Even in theaters, my mind will wander in the middle of an important plot point, and I will be lost for the rest of the film.

However, Beautiful Boy was one of the few films that has kept me on my toes from start to finish, with a longing for the film to never end.

Beautiful Boy is a story of a father son bond that is like no other. The film is based on the personal memoirs written by journalist David Sheff about his son, Nic, who became addicted to crystal meth as a teen. David Sheff is portrayed by Steve Carell, and Nic is portrayed by Timothée Chalamet. The film chronicles the story of Nic's addiction, and the pressures it puts on his family, in the most raw and beautiful way.

While Steve Carell is most commonly associated with his starring role as Michael Scott in American comedy series The Office, he can truly pull of any genre. From beginning to end, the pain and emotion was clear in his voice, as if Chalamet were his own son, and the problems in the movie were his reality. Timothée Chalamet shocked the world in his breakout performance as Elio in Call Me By Your Name, and his next big movie did not disappoint. While the battles David goes through are only imaginable to much of the population, Nic depicts them in a way that feels incredibly authentic, not only for victims of addiction, but also families struggling to cope with the disease.

Beautiful Boy does not follow the typical parent-child trope of “love can conquer all.” There are times when David freely admits his wanting to give up on Nic; he is not sure how his son will get better, and does not think he has the tools to help him. It’s a story about a disease and the slippery slope victims of addiction face everyday, of a father learning how to let go and accept his inability to fully help his child on his own. 

In a way, the movie can be compared to as the male version of Ladybird (a film that Chalamet also had a starring role in), as both have themes of acceptance and new beginnings. Beautiful Boy definitely isn't the typical coming-of-age story. It shows that love knows no boundaries, while also teaching lessons about the journey to self-reliance. It shows the struggles of a disease that is not accepted as a sickness widely among our society, and beautifully captures the illness that is addiction in a way that is moving, raw, and untainted.