Beastly is a disgrace to all Romantic Comedies

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For a brief, yet uncharacteristically blissful period of my life, I had forgotten that this movie existed. I highly recommend you don’t watch this movie. In fact, you could take this review as a public service announcement of sorts. So, you, dear reader, can save yourself from having this terrible blight of a movie in your mind.

What is Beastly? Well, it’s a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast starring a post-High School Musical Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Taylor, who is a high school student who gains the affections of Kyle Kingson, an arrogant, and vain popular kid who treats the school as his own castle, played by Alex Pettyfer–who was likely hired for his good looks, because he certainly wasn’t chosen for his acting prowess. Kyle’s father, Rob Kingson, played by Peter Krause, is a rich news anchor who has raised Kyle to be entitled and selfish. Kyle is the modern equivalent of the Prince/the Beast, seeing as he is cursed by one of the Olsen twins, who plays a witch that’s bullied by Kyle. Oh, very clever, Beastly, very clever. Alex Kingson. Like, the son of a king, or a prince. Get it? Cause he’s the prince who gets cursed. Wow, what sterling creativity. Oh Daniel Barnz (the director and writer of Beastly), where is your Oscar?

Similar to a one-legged dog balancing on a unicycle, Beastly’s plot is flimsy and can be easily pushed over. Lindy is basically Belle, but with all the personality sanded off to create an edge-less, depth-less character. Kyle’s curse is that he looks like a beast, or at least Beastly’s version of a beast, which is just being bald with weird piercings and tattoos sporadically placed on Kyle’s body. Honestly, he doesn’t look that bad, mostly just like a skinhead got tons of piercings and went to Hot Topic. The only way to break the curse is if Kyle can get someone to tell him that they love him.

Kyle’s dad is so ashamed at his son’s bald, tattoo-covered appearance, that he has him go to several doctors, but they can’t fix Kyle. Eventually, Kyle’s dad hides his son in an apartment across town, thus we have the metaphorical castle. Kyle’s dad hires Zola, an immigrant maid and an analog for Ms. Potts played by LisaGay Hamilton, and Will, a blind tutor, and Lumiere’s equivalent, played by Neil Patrick Harris, who must’ve been blind himself when he agreed to appear in this movie; there’s no way he could’ve read the script and thought this was something he should be in.

Anyways, the whole movie is Kyle trying to win over Lindy Taylor, Hudgens’ character. He does the usual. He compliments her, writes her nice letters, builds her a greenhouse, spends time with her and even saves her from dangerous thugs that Lindy’s drug-addicted father got involved with, so, just the usual couple stuff. Basically, this is just Beauty and the Beast set in modern times just substituting certain elements.

Kyle’s maid and tutor are also apparently cursed as well, as the movie implies. Zola’s curse is that she can’t afford green cards for her kids, while Will’s curse is that he’s blind. Although I’d hesitate to call being blind a curse, as it’s just a natural thing that some people are born with, but I suppose I’m being too rational.

The finale, which I will spoil with less shame than a Florida man streaking across a highway, is Lindy telling Kyle she loves her before she leaves on a trip, and Kyle transforming back. Somehow this curse also affects Zola and Will. Zola magically gets green cards for her kids, and Will is no longer blind. Which begs the question: was Will always blind? Did they get cursed at the same time as Kyle? Why does Kyle’s curse being broken extend to them?

Who released this garbage? Oh, looks like the Wikipedia page says CBS Films. Yeah, I suppose that explains a lot. CBS is to entertainment as Senator Joseph McCarthy was to the 1950s.

Calling this movie a romcom is an insult to the genre. Beastly’s leading couple has all the romantic chemistry of a pair of deck chairs, and the movie’s about as funny as finding out you’ve contracted polio. Don’t watch this movie if you value entertainment on any level.

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