Beastly

(2011)

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Review: Beastly

Transcript for Review: Beastly

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Our next film, BEASTLY, features a bunch of really pretty people trying to teach us all a lesson about appreciating inner beauty. Alex Pettyfer stars as the most popular kid at an elite high school. The students all look suspiciously like twenty-somethings and speak like characters out of Diablo Cody’s script for "Juno." The wealthy, vacuous son of an even more vacuous news anchor, Pettyfer is given his comeuppance when Mary-Kate Olsen casts a spell on him that doesn’t actually transform him into a monster, but does give him a bunch of tattoos and scars that actually are still kind of good-looking.

Clip 1/

IGNATIY:
This being another version of the Beauty and the Beast story, Pettyfer must find a girl who’ll love him for his personality, not his looks, and his best chance is Vanessa Hudgens.

Clip 4/ I’ve seen worse.

IGNATIY:
Through a complicated set of contrived circumstances, Hudgens moves into his brownstone, unaware that the new, less handsome Pettyfer is her former classmate.

Clip 5/ That’s why I like you.

IGNATIY:
BEASTLY falls flat as a love story, and what we’re left with are a few interesting ideas presented in the most patronizing way possible.

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
This is a very strange movie and not for the reasons it intends to be.  Because I know it’s supposed to be other worldy, I get that it’s magical.  Mary Kate Olsen is a magical witch who gives him a curse, but then the things that should be rooted in reality, like the relationship between Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer, like are distractingly all over the place.  So, for example, she’s meant to be the only outcast at this gorgeous school of gorgeous people or whatever, but she’s still gorgeous too.  They make her a little bit vaguely bohemian to suggest that she’s a social misfit in some way which makes no sense.  You know, he gets banished to some beautiful Brooklyn brownstone with like flawless views of downtown Manhattan and it’s just this is not anything that would make sense to me at all. And the thing with the dad being a news anchor and all the kids think that he’s cool because his dad’s a news anchor.  Big deal, he reads a prompter…we do that, we’re not that exciting.   

IGNATIY:
Our kids will never think that we’re that cool.  

CHRISTY:
So it’s a weird contradiction between those two things.

IGNATIY:
And it almost seems like parts of the film are at odds with themselves for example, I feel like Neil Patrick Harris’ performance is very funny.

CHRISTY:
The only good thing in the whole movie.

IGNATIY:
The only good thing in the movie and it’s one of the least patronizing portrayals of a blind person I can think of in a Hollywood movie, but then he’s treated in such a patronizing way by the movie itself.