My Beautiful Laundrette

Good lord, has 26 years really flown by since this film was first released? I don’t remember seeing it when it first came out. Perhaps I didn’t see it until I moved to NYC in the 90’s. I do remember loving it, the definition of a classic film. I’d say modern, but anyone under 30 might disagree with calling a 1985 film modern. The script was written by Hanif Kureshi (The Buddha of Suburbia, My Son the Fanatic, The Mother, and Venus). Stephen Frears directed. Frears is one of those directors whose catalog snuck up on me over the years. Now I can barely list in this review all the films he’s directed that I adore: Prick Up Your Ears, The Grifters, High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things, Mrs. Henderson Presents and of course, The Queen. Just fucking brilliant. The best part about Laundrette is the subtly, the ordinariness of the gay love story. Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke are perfectly cast. Remember, this is 1985 people. Not many mainstream films have made a matter of fact, realistic, healthy, happy ending, gay love story. Much less between a first generation Pakistani Brit and a working class Caucasian punk. Kureshi and Frears make it just seem like two boys in love. No big deal. I worried about this seeming dated. The only thing that really bothered me was cousin Salim’s hair style. A Paki Lionel Ritchie. But it all somehow works. Neither of the boys have to sleep with a woman to make the audience feel better about two men in love, and the ending is happy. That’s a big feat for 1985. Hell, it’s a big feat for 2011!  Future writers and directors take note: Laundrette is the template for a great film. This is definitely going on the list to be considered for the film series. A must-see.  5 out of 5.


One Response to “My Beautiful Laundrette”

  1. Uncle Barb Says:

    This has topped my list of best films for over two decades. Still I was afraid it would be dated, especially for a younger audience. Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureishi make beautiful movies together. They are masters of filmmaking. I would add one more film that they did together to this list: Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, another of my all time favorites.
    My Beautiful Launderette first blew me away in 1985 and then in all subsequent viewings when it was a test for anyone I dated. If they didn’t like the film or get the film, then it wasn’t worth pursuing another date.


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