The Real Marin Family Behind the Emotional Film Beautiful Boy

Both father and son wrote memoirs that inspired the touching screenplay

If you watched the award-nominated film Beautiful Boy and recognized the idyllic beachside setting, that’s because it was filmed in picturesque Marin, just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge in Northern California. And Sausalito specifically was home to the actual father and son the film honestly portrays. Marin magazine recently featured an interview with the two men as they reflect on the film and the highly personal setting.

“Based on the paired memoirs of journalist David Sheff (Beautiful Boy) and his son Nic Sheff (Tweak), the film is a portrayal of a father coping with his teen son’s addiction to methamphetamine and the addicted teen’s struggle not just to get sober, but to stay alive. David Sheff and his wife, Karen Barbour, moved to Marin almost three decades ago and raised Nic and their two younger children in West Marin. The film’s stars, Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, give powerful performances, all the more heart-wrenching for viewers who will recognize the roads, mountains, cliffs and coves of our beloved home county. The cinematic artistry of Beautiful Boy only elucidates the family’s experience of a living hell set in a magnificent natural world.”

You can read the full interview and why the Marin setting was important to the story here.