(warning: spoilers ahead)
Before entering the theater, I saw one trailer for Beautiful Boy, and it was rather ambiguous. However, after being amazed by Timothée Chalamet’s performances in Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name, I was eager to see him again. Though, this time as Nic Sheff, an adored teenager who becomes addicted to methamphetamine.
Timothée Chalamet plays Nic Sheff, a young adult struggling with an unruly addiction to meth, and even with his loving and seemingly normal family by his side, he still chooses to use. David Sheff, played by Steve Carrell, tries to understand why his beautifully articulate son turns to meth. While the emotional pain and detriment Nic blindly put his father through is difficult to watch, their father-son relationship feels completely authentic.
Beautiful Boy, directed by Felix van Groeningen, will have you in tears but is a film everyone should see, and I’ll tell you why. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what someone else is going through, whether it is sexual abuse, divorce, or death of a loved one, humans can only comprehend what has happened to us, no matter how empathetic we are. Similar to many parents, David just wants to know why his son chose this path and how he can fix it.
No matter how many times he brings Nic to rehab (against his will), he relapses. It’s not until a pivotal point in the story where David learns to let go of the mental and physical pain Nic has unintentionally caused, that they can both move on with their lives.
Beautiful Boy is more than just a message saying, “don’t do drugs”. It shows how debilitating drugs are for the user’s loved ones, and while David tries everything in his power to get his son clean, he knows that only Nic can save himself. Nic Sheff’s story is indisputably powerful and shockingly relatable, and I recommend you go see Beautiful Boy, then call your parents, because it just feels like the right thing to do.
Don’t forget to check out this awesome soundtrack for Beautiful Boy.