Film Review: Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer Wallow in Aptly Titled ‘Beastly’

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CHICAGO – The main problem with “Beastly,” a modern high schooler retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” is that the outcome is known (Beast will learn lessons, become handsome again). That leaves only the way it gets to that end for creating story. This film cannot find its way. Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

The script is absurd and doesn’t do any favors for the desperate-to-please cast. Stupid situations, cruel dialogue and overreaction to perceived slights are some of the sins, but mostly the story and circumstance is beastly dull.

Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is the big man on campus, a rich kids’ New York City high school (complete with multi-media screens in the hallways). He has the perfect life, handsome, wealthy and disdainful of anyone who isn’t in that realm. He is running for something called Green President, just to get it on his resume for college. During his campaign he meets an admirer named Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) and comes across a teenage witch named Sabrina….er Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen). Kendra tells the truth at him, and he repays her by standing her up at a school function. Cue the evil spell of the witch.

Handsome Kyle transforms into Beastly Punk Rocker. He’s ugly but not too ugly. After a lame attempt at plastic surgery (why no investigation into the black magic?), Kyle harshly accepts his fate, which can only be reversed by having someone sincerely say ‘I love you’ to his beast self. His vain, image-oriented father (a paycheck collecting Peter Krause) procures a remote NYC pad for him, banishing him to a self-contained kingdom. He even gets the Beast a private tutor named Will (Neil Patrick Harris), who is literally blind, so better to understand the true inner nature of Kyle’s being.

It is Lindy that still holds sway for the Beast, and he begins a campaign to woo her, or in his case stalk her. After some unlikely circumstances, Lindy moves in with the Kyle’s new family, housekeeper Zola (Lisa Gay Hamilton), Will and his Beastly self. Can he find the true love to break the spell? What, you’ve never heard of this story before?

“Beastly” opens everywhere March 4th. Featuring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Peter Krause and Neil Patrick Harris. Written and directed by Daniel Barnz. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Beastly”

Bullseyed: Neil Patrick Harris is Will the Tutor in ‘Beastly’
Bullseyed: Neil Patrick Harris is Will the Tutor in ‘Beastly’
Photo credit: © CBS Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Beastly”

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