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Like It Is (1998) HD online

Like It Is (1998) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama / Romance
Original Title: Like It Is
Director: Paul Oremland
Writers: Robert Gray
Released: 1998
Duration: 1h 37min
Video type: Movie
Craig is a rough kid in Blackpool, picking up cash as a bare-knuckle club fighter; he's also having a hard time accepting that he's gay. Outside a dance club, he meets Matt, a Londoner working for Kelvin, a shady but enterprising music producer. Matt's flatmate is a client, singer Paula Poptart, who's Matt's good friend but also insecure and needy as a performer. Craig comes down to London to join Matt, but this presents problems for Matt, who's had lots of blokes but never fallen in love. Matt's feelings, Kelvin's demands, Matt's dream to run a rock club, Paula's snits and jealousy, and Craig's lack of job skills combine to put Craig and Matt's relationship in jeopardy.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Bell Steve Bell - Craig
Ian Rose Ian Rose - Matt
Roger Daltrey Roger Daltrey - Kelvin
Dani Behr Dani Behr - Paula
Jude Alderson Jude Alderson - Gloria
Emile Charles Emile Charles - Aylon
Chris Hargreaves Chris Hargreaves - Tony, Craig's Brother (as Christopher Hargreaves)
Paul Broughton Paul Broughton - Minto
P.J. Nicholas P.J. Nicholas - Jamie
Sean Simpson Sean Simpson - Jack
Charlie Caine Charlie Caine - Terry, DJ
Stephen Burke Stephen Burke - Luke
Dickon Tolson Dickon Tolson - Dirty Dave
Chris Ross Chris Ross - Andy
Tony Van Silva Tony Van Silva - Fight Loser

Reviews: [25]

  • avatar


    I did like this movie. Directed by Paul Oremland, hopefully not his last, he brought truth and fine acting by a not so famous cast, to the fold. It was a low budget made film, but the writing, by Robert Gray, was top notch. It proves you can tell a beautiful love story without the glitz and millions of dollars. I think Mr. Oremland was in love with his story and his cast. He gave it such beautiful and heartbreaking moments. His interview on the DVD explains why he did the film and why he had such a strong connection in filming it. He also explained how he found the leading man, Steve Bell. Bell is perfectly cast as Craig, a young boxer from the skids who is not only fighting in sleezy matches but fighting his coming out as a homosexual.

    He seemed so natural, they claim he actually had done some boxing in real life, you believed him from the start. Watching his opening up in his relationship with a pick-up, played by the beautiful Ian Rose. Rose also gave a truthful and lovely performance as he too found himself in his relationship with Craig. They played their scenes together quite well, including their nudity scenes.

    Other cast members were Dani Behr, who played such a selfish girl-friend to Rose, I wanted to slap her. What a witch, and I use the term lightly. Then there's Craig's brother, well played by Chris Hargreaves,

    who learns his brother is gay and supports him and his choice. Kind of brother every gay guy wishes he had. Roger Daltrey played another sleezy character in this film. I'm not quite sure whether I disliked his acting or his role the most. I didn't like him in this. I'm one who didn't know who he was. Not a THE WHO fan obviously. So I can't compare him to anything, but what he did in the film. Maybe Mr. Oremland felt he needed a name? I thought Daltrey overacted. But, that's a minor flaw in this wonderful movie. The story, acting and directing all make it worthwhile in renting the DVD. Go and do it like it is.
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    This film is about a young boxer who falls in love with a club manager. That's the story: the theme to me was about coming out of the closet as a gay man. I know this situation only too well, and this film hits the nail on the head (no pun intended). Roger Daltrey is the only star in this film, playing an older gay man seeing the younger make mistakes. The two male leads are handsome, and the sex scenes are neither exploitational nor lurid. This movie tells it like it is: coming out is a very painful and distressing emotional experience. Please see this film. This is a very strong drama for those who can take it. Released in 1998 hy First Run Features.
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    Early on into the movie one becomes interested in the story and what will follow. The actors give charming performances and their conflicting interests are dealt with credibly. The film consists of a well balanced blend of drama, humour, fast paced action, and gentler quiet moments. Blackpool is visualized as bleak in comparison to brightly lit London; which symbolizes an environment of repression and brutality in contrast to a more liberal and sophisticated environment. The effect this change of setting has on the main character, is the red thread of the movie. He wants that change but, his character is still very much rooted in the Northern village mentality, albeit combined with a very appealing innocence. A straight audience that criticizes the film because the main characters are gay, and therefore cannot identify with these characters and declare it flawed, only reveal their limited imagination and intelligence. Also one must not ignore other important themes such as jealousy, the North / South divide, fast love against long term relationships.
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    It's very rare a young actor makes such a great positive impression in his debut film. British actor, Steve Bell, does just that! A natural talent, his acting carries this film. Although one cannot ignore how physically beautiful he is, his acting is what matters here. Playing a blackpool fighter(Steve boxed in real life), he carries his role with a masculine swagger, while also displaying a tenderness so rarely captured on film. Struggling with his own sexuality, gay audiences will embrace this performance and straight audiences will find this film proves it appeals to mainstream viewers as well. Soon, gay themed films will not be seperated from "straight" themed films, as love is universal. And this film is ground-breaking as it never depends on stereotype.

    Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the legendary rock band, THE WHO, shows he has great acting chops, as does Ian Rose. Brilliantly directed by, Paul Orewland, this film is my favorite gay themed film, along with the American film, "Edge of seventeen."

    I will cherish this film over and over. And, once again, I must say, Steve Bell is sexy, brilliant, and impossible to keep your eyes off of him!!
  • avatar


    This is a simple and enjoyable film. It shows the evolution of the sexual-love relationship of two young men in London. The total contrast of the characters and their origins, as well as the graphical elements of the characters, specially the one of Craig, demystify alot of gay stereotypes through an unusual romance.
  • avatar


    I found the plot of this film very choppy, even unbelievable. For example, a stolen car plot thread is brought up and then dropped. There is also some awkward staging such as bright lights in bedroom shots where people are supposedly asleep.

    The story of a young bare-knuckles fighter who has to deal with the fact that he is gay is interesting. The point is that love wins out over money and macho. The performance by Steve Bell is what makes the movie worth seeing because he is able to project a sweet, winning personality beneath his tough-guy exterior.
  • avatar


    This surprisingly good debut from director Paul Oremland follows the story of bare-knuckle fighter Craig (impressively acted by British amateur featherweight champion, Steve Bell) as he abandons his violent life in Blackpool's underworld and finds love and disillusionment in London's gay clubland.

    As with many debuts, part of the fun of this film is trying to trace Oremland's influences. There are heavy reworkings of the "Breaking Glass" scenario (1980: Brian Gibson), with the action of "Like It Is" relying on the same devices: the buying of records from particular stores in order to make a record enter the music charts (a hideously corny nineties style boy -band); the predatory boss-figure (played with worrying believability by Roger Daltrey); and the casual drug-taking. Elsewhere, the relationship between Ian Rose's record producer and the naive Bell reminds us of that between the Gordon Warnecke and Daniel Day Lewis characters in "My Beautiful Launderette" (1985: Stephen Frears) although, like all Oremland's 'borrowings' this is given a powerful nineties twist, concerning itself not with a racial divide between the lovers, but a cultural one in the macho, 'don't call me queer' stance of the Northerner and the 'glad to be gay' hipness of the Londoner.

    This is a slightly awkward film but Oremland cleverly sidesteps the usual cliches that so often marr well-intentioned yet cringe-worthy gay drama. The performances of both Bell and Daltry are absolutely first-rate, whereas Rose is satisfactory even if I couldn't quite believe someone throwing up their life to follow him across the country after a one-night stand. Behr is just plain annoying -- although, it must be said, her character is anything but likeable, so how much of this lies with the actress herself is open to debate.

    As a coming-out tale, "Like It Is" is a little too sugar-coated for my tastes: I found the reaction of Bell's elder brother, on finding out his predilections ("Thank God!") rather unbelievable -- as was Rose's telling him in the first place. Surely, as an experienced gay-man, Rose would have more sense than to go into a strange man's home and out his brother -- especially when the aforementioned stranger is standing between him and the door.

    But these are minor niggles -- as a debut film, this is a highly enjoyable effort and well worth seeing. Contains swearing, drug-taking, nudity and sex scenes. 3½ out of 5.
  • avatar


    Although not a masterpiece, there is certainly an air of originality here. The gay boxer theme helps to breakdown some stereotypes (at least he's not a hairdresser or interior designer -- not that there's anything wrong with those, but they would just confirm straight mainstream impressions). Also the fight scenes themselves, instead of being choreographed to cheesy Hollywood-style "fight" music, they've chosen Saint-Saen's piano and cello composition "The Swan." A metaphor? Perhaps, but just the aural juxtaposition itself is intriguing. So if you're looking for something gay, British, non-mainstream, here it is (although not the best of any of those categories it sure beats your typical Hollywood fare).
  • avatar


    Like It Is is one of the better, non-comedy gay films to be released in many years. (The entire script is available on-line from First Run Features, and this may help viewers cut through some British dialect problems.)

    This film, about a scrappy, gay, bare-knuckle fighter from a small industrial town who follows love to the big city, is hard hitting and very real in its plot execution -- except for two somewhat explicit gay sex scenes which seem staged and NOT like it is. Everyone puts in a good performance, particularly Roger Daltry as an unscrupulous, gay record producer whose blue eyes sparkle as he schemes.

    Considering the timeframe, the characters are well developed. The conflicts within the young, chip-on-the-shoulder fighter seem real -- he beats on people who pick on him for being gay until he is reminded by his lover that he IS homosexual. It is impressive that the British will fund movies like Priest, Get Real and Like It Is. I cannot see these being made in the U.S., where gay films are usually comedies (In & Out) where a male-male kiss is a Big Deal.

    The final scenes (a bare-knuckle fight) are bloody and not easy to watch, but the ending is believable.
  • avatar


    Somewhat disjointed in continuity, Like It Is nevertheless did hold my interest. Steve Bell, who plays the young boxer Craig, is effective as the bare-knuckle fighter trying to make his way in the world with his bare fists. At the same time he is troubled by the nature of his sexuality as gay impulses begin stirring when he meets Matt, played by Ian Rose. Their first attempt at a physical relationship is a disaster, but later on they consummate their love in a scene that must have been challenging for the two young actors. The film was obviously shot on low budget but the DVD has a couple of "extras," a sign for me that the producers are aiming to capture a larger audience. Unfortunately a big obstacle is the lack of captions. Much of the film was shot in Blackpool in northern England where the regional dialect is difficult for Americans to understand. It is a "foreign language," and the viewers need a break with some interpretation.
  • avatar


    Paul Oremland shows signs of being an excellent director. There are some awkwardnesses in this film that should have been reshot, but also many of the scenes are excellent, and especially the street scenes seem true to life and very atmospheric. Except for the fight scenes, this movie could cross over and be enjoyable for women. I'd love to see what Oremland can do with a larger budget.
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    I didn't get it. I suppose if you're under 25 you might find this film interesting, but anyone who's seen good films will probably be bored. Unless perhaps you're going to be thrilled that it's got gay characters in it, and a gay milieu. Perhaps now, in the post-Brokeback world, that's not enough anymore? All the stock characters of this type of story are here: the young British gay who's afraid to come out, the seen-it-all club denizen who meets him and falls in love (or lust), the blonde girlfriend just trying to have her big break, the record producer who loves having young boys around, etc.

    Or maybe it was just the boring techno music that put me off?
  • avatar


    With all due respect to those who thought this film had some problems with plot, lighting, or whatever, after just seeing it I would have to ask...what are you talking about???

    Sure, it's not "Gone With the Wind" (thank god); but a very well made picture none the less. Steve Bell (who plays the fighter) is TOTALLY convincing in every aspect of his character: as a confident fighter, a novice gay man, and a genuine (from-the-heart) lover. In the largely unexplored genre of gay romance/drama films depicting everyday guys, "Like It Is" is an important step forward.

    Steve Bell...make another movie, dude. You were great!!
  • avatar


    A likable 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 with his being gay

    Steve Bell, (A real life title-holding boxer,) is a real find, a relatively inexperienced actor with a natural talent and a dynamic screen presence.

    Ian Rose also excels in the other lead role.

    Roger Daltrey gives a standout performance as a sleazy record producer.

    Well written, sensitively acted and directed, the movie is one not to miss!
  • avatar


    Appealing boxer Steve Bell, Ian Rose and Roger Daltry are spilled in this formulaic soap opera. Emotionally-needy gay boxer and a super-cool, jaded, ambitious young record promoter fall for each other. Predictably spanners are tossed athwart young love by wily, self-centered London music biz types jealously guarding their own interests above all else. The choice by Ian Rose's character to throw away career for love is not credible (not that that couldn't actually happen but in this pic it is not believable when and how it happens). Likewise Bell's character's near suicidal and melodramatic plot against himself toward the end doesn't ring true. These actors plus a good script could've made something first rate. But the script wasn't there for this effort. Jim Smith
  • avatar


    I really enjoyed this movie. It had alot of personal resonance.

    A sweet and moving film. I wish I had seen it at 18 or 20.

    All of the actors deliver interesting performances of depth. Steve Bell is compelling as a young man coming of age and coming out.
  • avatar


    The film is an incredibly accurate snap-shot of London's club/music/entertainment scene...which very much like Hollywood is run by a very influential homosexual clique. Most people won't get the subtext here, but it's VERY apparent to anyone who was close to it; in the beginning we see life in Blackpool and the harsh brutality of bare-knuckle boxing to purposely evoke a feeling of "how barbaric! How can people treat other people this way for fun and sport!?" Then we are slowly drawn into the club/entertainment scene, where "shiny new things" get fawned over and praised...all the while being sized up and used, then ultimately discarded when they no longer serve a purpose. The point being; while the life in Blackpool is an obvious physical manifestation of this, at least everyone openly knows what is going on and accepts it, while the scene in London is much more sinister and hypocritical; wounding emotionally and psychologically. Not surprising how the more shallow reviewers will have completely missed this point...but I thought for an independent film it was executed masterfully.
  • avatar


    A potentially overlooked little gem of a film about a young Englishman who is true to himself with such simplicity, clarity, and honesty that it can bowl you over. He inhabits two extremely contrasting worlds. One filled with violence and blood, the other with gentleness and affection. And the leading man, in his first starring role is so good that never for a minute did I doubt the character he played. When a film really impresses me, I buy the DVD version ASAP. I was ordering the DVD of this film even before I had finished watching it. I highly recommend this film.
  • avatar


    This being a gay film for a gay audience it does help to find the actors attractive and Steve Bell meets this criteria as a tall, good looking athletic northern lad (with accent to match - I love the way he says 'Tony' (Tone aye) when speaking with 'he's family' affection of his brother (despite having many arguments with him about his fighting which Tony does not approve of)).

    Although a film made on a tight budget that almost wasn't made due to financing problems the fight scenes are quite realistic - you can actually see whats going on unlike the current trend as in the Bourne films for example where the camera is so close to the action that the fight cannot really be seen. To aid the clarity of the fights some parts were filmed with the actors fighting in slow motion and then this was speeded up for the film.

    The film is based on the experience of the Director and is admittedly something of a fairy tale but has many appealing features. Bell, Rose, Behr & Daltrey all do a good job.

    The ending is also something of a fairy tale perhaps but I'm not complaining - with Matt refusing to be bought by Kelvin (Daltrey) and leaving his job to find Craig back in Blackpool (after falling out with him) and to ask whether they can give the relationship another chance. Craig's response is touching but not repeatable here! What is touching (indeed tear jerking for me) is the compassion shown towards Craig by his older brother & Matt.

    My only complaint is that the film is not sexy enough - I found scenes in the film Quadrophenia more sexy than those in Like it is - for example the bath scenes & the passionate kissing scenes - which is telling since Quadrophenia isn't really about sexuality.
  • avatar


    I saw Like It Is as part of the Sydney gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Queer Screen film festival. As a Gay Northern Lad I could appreciate what was happening. The movie was gritty and true, unlike Beautiful Thing (which is also a fantastic movie!). Things weren't softened up, there is bigotry, and manipulative users/liars in this world, (I refer to Paula and Kelvin), love does win sometimes!. The movie was well acted overall, although Roger Daltrey was a little Dodgy sometimes (he played Kelvin!). It had a reasonable amount of humour...(the first sexual encounter). I want this movie on Video or DVD!!!
  • avatar


    Far from a perfect film, LIKE IT IS still stands head-and-hunched shoulders above more confectionary, gay-themed delights such as PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, TO WONG FOO...and even BEAUTIFUL THING. Refusing to sprinkle even the slightest bit of fairy dust on its P.O.V., this is the down-to-earth tale of Craig, (engaging newcomer Steve Bell), a sexually confused bare-knuckle brawler from Blackpool, who meets up with the more outgoing and OUT Matt (Ian Rose), a budding record promoter/publicist who lives the clublife in swingin' London. Though there are some plot and character inconsistencies as mentioned before in previous reviews, the realism gives a fresh look to the now cliched boy-meets-boy-loses-and-gets-boy-back tale, which by now has lost quite a bit of its shock value for open-minded straight audiences, as well as its novelty and notoriety for gays.

    What further distinguishes it from similarly themed films with low-budget origins, are the standout performances. Bell comes across as a natural, Rose is believably torn between the career his Matt has worked so hard for, and the budding love he thought he would never feel for any bloke, now instilled in him by this tough kid with an angry attitude and a wounded heart, and Dani Behr may come across as grating for some, but she struck me as totally spot-on as a pop-diva-slash-fag-hag who values her friendships only after weighing her options.

    The most impressive turn, however, comes from Who frontman Roger Daltrey. After spending years honing his acting chops in projects as diverse as TOMMY, LIZSTOMANIA and MCVICAR, Roger finally has all the spice and sauce he needs to bring the wealth of his experience and talent to any project, and he will hopefully get the recognition (and the jobs) he deserves. As Matt's boss and mentor, Kelvin, he's calculating, lewd, ruthless and materialistic with a capital "C", inspiring chuckles as he promotes a shamelessly talentless boy band with all the aplomb and avarice of a latter-day, gay P.T. Barnum.

    See this film for its grit, earthiness and heart, but if for nothing else, for Daltrey's amazing performance.
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    Handsome but realistic leads help make this low budget movie worth watching. With Roger Daltery playing record company boss with relish. unimaginative directing doesn't help the obvious limitations caused by a low budget and the script has a few holes in it but all in all it's very watchable and worth getting on dvd.
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    A dull, depressing and highly improbable love story. Horrible acting honors go to Roger Daltry in a truly laughable and forgettable "performance." And then there's Steven Bell who sets a new low in blandness and lack of screen presence. Ian Rose must have been blind in one eye and couldn't see out of the other. His lack of taste in men is downright scary! Much of this film happens in a vacuum, we don't ever get to know the characters, what drives them or how they relate to one another. They just simply show up in the film and we're expected to go along with the sloppy plotting. What was the business with the car theft? All in all, "Like it Is" remains a study in amateur film making.
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    A young bare-fisted boxing bloke finds himself searching for love in "Like It Is."

    Newcomer Steve Bell has the advantage of actually being a semi-pro fighter, so that he physically fits the part. His natural acting ability is acceptable, as is Ian Rose as the fighter's love interest.

    Former "The Who" singer Roger Daltry offers a convincing performance as an oily record producer and Dani Behr is deliberately irksome as a fairly famous rock singer.

    Somehow, though, Robert Gray's characters and situations don't rise much above the norm, which may have hampered Paul Orenland's direction as well as the entire production.

    The fight scenes are well-staged, and the viewer gets an idea of a seamy side of London life where bare knuckles provide perverse underground amusement.

    As for the two unlikely young heroes, it looks like a case of love being where you find it.