The Centennialight

Beautiful Boy

The Story of a Father’s Journey Raising a Drug Addict

Timothee+Chalamet+and+Steve+Carell+in+%22Beautiful+Boy%22.+All+film+photos+are+in+courtesy+of+Amazon+Studios.
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Beautiful Boy

Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell in

Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell in "Beautiful Boy". All film photos are in courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell in "Beautiful Boy". All film photos are in courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell in "Beautiful Boy". All film photos are in courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Jaelyn Hawken, Arts & Entertainment

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“What happened to my beautiful boy?” asks David Sheff in his novel “Beautiful Boy”. David Sheff is a father. His story really began, in his mind, when his first born son, Nicholas Sheff, was born on July 20th, 1982. He was married, but later divorced when Nic was around the age of 12. Not long after David remarried and had two new little children running around, leaving a pretty big age gap between them and Nic. Nic was forced to spend his months in school with his father in Northern California, and Summers with his mother in San Francisco.

Seems like a normal divorced family, the constant back and forth can be frustrating of course but it isn’t uncommon, unfortunately. But Nic Sheff had a few other problems; he had a drug addiction to one of the worst drugs of all, crystal meth. David Sheff was a journalist who wrote about his son’s addictions in one of his articles for The New York Times. But, this wasn’t enough, so he wrote a book. David Sheff’s journey of raising a son with such an addiction for so long, without knowing it, drained him for quite some time. A majority of his time was spent studying the drug and what it could possibly do to his son, and how he could help.

David Sheff knew about his son’s use of marijuana, he didn’t mind too much considering he was 18 at the time. He later realized his addiction to that drug and forces Nic to go to rehab. He does, sort of, for awhile until he ran. Nic’s previous decision to not go to college had been revoked. David was under the impression that Nic was better than ever. But, he was wrong. Nic had not only began smoking again, he started overdosing on any prescription drugs he would come across in other homes. Not to mention the extreme amount of heroin use while in college. All of this just finally lead up to Nic trying Methamphetamines. He claims that once he tried it, he liked the way it felt, so he just kept on doing it.

What makes the Sheff family special compared to other families going through a loved one with an addiction? Nothing. This is simply a representation of how it feels to go through an experience like this. The trouble parents will go through to save their child. David Sheff wanted readers to understand the damage addiction does to someone and their family, and how it important it is to help.

In late 2018, the film based on the book was released. It stars Steve Carell as David Sheff and Timothee Chalamet as Nic Sheff. The film gives viewers a visual of what it is like to watch someone you love go through addiction. The film starts with Nic’s leaving for college, then quickly leads to a downward spiral after that. The spectacular performances by the actors truly brought the film to life. The book and the film were incredible and truly opened my eyes to what can happen to someone who not only goes through the addiction, but the ones who have to watch it happen, and not know how to help.

The heartbreaking story of Nicholas Sheff was also documented by himself, in his own novel, “Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines”.

The film Beautiful Boy is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

David Sheff and Nicholas Sheff.

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Jaelyn Hawken, News Staff

Jaelyn, a shy and quiet girl when you first meet her, but once you get to know her she is very outgoing and is extremely sarcastic. She loves to listen...

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