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If you’ve read the book Beastly, you’re probably pretty psyched about the new movie adaptation that just came out. For those of you who haven’t read it, it’s basically a modern version of Beauty and the Beast about a selfish teenage boy named Kyle who cares only about his looks, and after blowing off his date to the dance, a witch named Kendra, gets transformed by Kendra into a hideous beast and is forced to live isolated from the world, with only his humorous blind teacher and loving housekeeper for company. The catch to the spell is that Kyle can have his looks back if he can get a girl to fall in love with him and “see him for who he truly is” within a year. Kyle thinks this task impossible, but then fate steps in and leads him to Lindy, a somewhat awkward, but very intelligent girl. Well, this movie is one of many that did not stay true to the book very well, but was still enjoyable for anyone who didn’t mind the tweaks or hadn’t read the book at all. They didn’t butcher it in a bad way, is what I’m trying to say.First of all, many of the names were changed and I don’t understand why. It’s not as if they needed to change the names; it seems like it may have been something the director(s) just did for fun. Another small concern I had was Vanessa Hudgens, and it’s not about her acting. She was way too gorgeous! Whoever did her hair, makeup, and wardrobe, you hit the nail on the head with the beauty factor. I think this is the prettiest I’ve seen her look, to be honest. And unfortunately, that’s just didn’t fit with how I pictured Lindy. Vanessa’s still gorgeous and I’m definitely not fuming with anger about it, but in an interview, Hudgens said, “Lindy’s kind of the girl that no one notices.” Umm, not with the way you were looking in that movie! I found it very unrealistic that someone that gorgeous would have the life and social skills of someone like Lindy. I think the directors were trying to stay true to the original Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, being that Belle was known for her looks, but odd and independent personality. They may have also done this to emphasize even more how ugly Kyle was! Kyle also was not a furry beast like the Disney movie as it describes in the book. That I can completely understand. That would just be way too much makeup work and too much of their time. What killed me the most about this movie was the ending. It was very rushed and was so abrupt. After reading the book, I had much higher expectations.
Overall, this is a typical chick-flick that is enjoyable and pretty entertaining for those who haven’t read the book, but may be a bit angering to those who have because of all the changes that were made. Therefore, if you’re not dying to see it or are getting this vibe that you might hate it, just wait until the DVD comes out and rent it. It’s a better book than a movie, but still great for just watching for pleasure or with friends. Read the book before or after you watch it and see what you think!
“If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time.” Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
After the Twilight Series, I am Number Four, and now Beastly, I’m not sure I ever want to take that Hot Tub Time Machine back to those love-weary days. I mean, are these kids getting any love these days, or is their passion filtering through cell phones as their fingers do the walking rather than the stroking? Beastly once again shows teen longing relieved by the workings of magic, not old-fashioned getting-to-know you stuff their grandparents labored through.
Kyle (Alex Pettyfer straight from his boring turn as a hunk with little affect in I am Number Four) learns from his distant dad that looks are what count in life. As he imputes this “aggressively-unattractive” characterization to Goth Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), she condemns him to being all he hates, largely ugly, until someone says “I love you” to him.
Beauty waiting to be rescued, Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), falls into the protective custody of now ugly Beast, Hunter (Kyle). And there you have Beauty and the Beast revived for 2011 teens. Dramatically the audience can anticipate every outcome, not just because of the adapted classic’s well-worn story, but because the dialogue is pedestrian enough to telescope it all anyway.
The blind tutor, Will (Neil Patrick Harris), has some wry commentary, suited to the off-beat characters Harris usually plays, that saves this adolescent sentimental claptrap from my damnation. I get it that beauty is from within; I just don’t buy why all the teens should be hot when most in real life are pimpled and gawky. It’s too bad some wizardry couldn’t save Beastly from mediocrity—but then I would need resuscitation that I finally had a teen weeper worthy of an audience smarter than filmmakers give them credit.
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