Like It Is (1998)
Young man, Craig, from Blackpool who is involved in illegal bare knuckle fighting for money, explores his sexuality with, at first, disastrous results. He is attracted to men but can't accept that he's 'queer' until he meets Matt a visiting Londoner who is everything Craig is not, sure of himself, 'successful and confident of his sexuality. Despite things going wrong to begin with, Craig follows Matt back to London to discover that the 'glamorous' life of the London club scene is just as seedy as the underworld bare knuckle fight game.
This was a movie I didn't think I'd like. It's made on a very tight budget....read: cheap:) and the lead actor isn't an actor he's in fact the British Featherweight Boxing champion! But how wrong I was. Steve Bell as Craig gives the character just the right amount of innocence to make him engaging and the sex scene where he panics feels so real it quite shocks you!
Ian Rose as Matt is cocky and arrogant but without ever becoming dislikable and Roger Daltrey as Matt's seedy boss is an absolute treat.
The only irritation is the abominable Dani Behr playing....well....the abominable Dani Behr really. You're supposed to dislike her petulant, whining has been singer act and trust me, you do!
If you can overlook the couple of rather gory fight scenes and boy do they look convincing, you find a real love story beyond, which is both believable and heart warming.
This movie surprised me in just how good it was despite obstacles that could have made it incredibly bad and the director should be congratulated on a fine job.