[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B00AC7PJIY][/pullquote] Beauty and the Beast is a French fairytale of a virtuous princess who falls in love with a hideously deformed beast and releases him from a curse. Beastly was originally a novel and now a film that retells the story and sets it in modern-day New York. It is clearly aimed at the Twilight community and involves a lot of brooding, poetry and discussions of the true meaning of love between two potentially big stars of the future.
The story of Beastly revolves around Kyle Kingston (Alex Pettyfer) who is the son of a music executive and has money, good-looks and the adoration of the masses. What he doesn’t have is a heart, or it seems a realistic impression of a human being to hand. Lindy Taylor (Vanessa Hudgens) is a thoughtful and ˜deep’ person (that’s deep in the movie sense, not in the actual intellectual sense) who has a secret crush on Kyle but doesn’t like the way he treats people. Kyle then messes with Kendra Hilfirty (Mary-Kate Olsen) in a school election and is cursed to be ugly for a year unless he can learn the true meaning of beauty by having someone say they love him even when he looks like a reaver from Serenity.
Beastly‘s acting is woeful from the very beginning. There’s a temptation to blame the script, which is about as bad at creating a sense of tension as any I’ve seen and with dialogue straight out of a nine-year-old imagination. But in reality the actors are just as much to blame, spoon-feeding this nonsensical dross with about as much passion as a brick wall. Thank the film Gods then for the unexpected appearance of Will Fratali (Neil Patrick Harris) who seems acutely aware that everything around him is undeniably terrible and just tries to have fun. It is only when he speaks that we are relieved of the crushing disappointment of the lead characters.
Created as a way to sell the old story to a modern Twilight-loving demographic, the film lacks the true message of the story and instead replaces it with middle-of-the-road cheesy love ballads, the realisation that Alex Pettyfer is a charisma black hole and that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get those 86 minutes of your life back.