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Film Review: Beastly

07/13/2011 03:32PM ● Published by Wendy Sipple

This is a modern day update of the Beauty and the Beast. The film follows a rich high school boy named Kyle who is only interested in success and looks, especially his own. He is mean to the “ugly” people in particular, a girl that happens to be a witch. She in turn puts a curse on him that deforms his face and body. Kyle has one year to find a girl that can look past his disfigurement and proclaim that she loves him. Kyle goes into seclusion but follows Lindy, a girl from his class. When her deadbeat father gets into trouble Kyle saves her and whisks her away to his private apartment where the two fall in love.

This movie is terrible. I admittedly have never read the Alex Flinn novel on which this movie is based so I can’t say how close of an adaption it is. However Daniel Barnz wrote the adaption and directed this disaster so I will place the blame squarely at his feet. The story is just awful. How can that be you ask? It’s an adaption on a timeless classic isn’t it? You’re correct and I don’t know how, but they couldn’t have gotten it more wrong if they tried.
The dialog is so uninspired and so utterly stupid I felt bad for the actors for trying so hard to sell it. The actors in this movie do their best to sell it too. Although none of them will never be confused as being world class actors, all of them (Mary Kate Olsen included) do their best with what their given. I was most embarrassed for Neil Patrick Harris, who most people find funny and charming, but here may have the worst role in the film and he comes off looking bad, really bad.
As bad as the dialog is the plot is even worse. Putting any brain power to try and go through this mess and point out the countless contradictions and places that just flat out don’t work would be expending more energy on this movie than the writer did. Daniel Barnz may have botched the writing but his direction may have been even worse. There is absolutely no sense of pacing at all. Every moment that could have any emotional pull (and trust me, those moments are fleeting here) are cut short or fumbled with bad camera work and editing. As the movie rolls on it gets progressively worse and the characters say and do things that are beyond eye rolling. I could attempt to list them here but what would be the point.
The best attribute of Beastly is that it is mercifully short. It says it is 86 minutes but the movie stop playing well before that point, leading me to believe it’s credits must be long and slow. You might be saying I am a guy, so I don’t like romance movies and to that I would say you’re wrong. I love a good romance, but the key word is good. Others would say this is made for the young female generation, it is clearly made for the “Twilight” crowd. Twilight looks like Citizen Kane compared to Beastly. I would be nicer to the film if it were so awful it was funny, where it unwittingly became campy or had an ounce of satire in it. But no this movie could not even be bad in a fun way, it was just bad in a bad way. Unless you’re angry at yourself, avoid this movie.
Films like Beastly – Beautician and the Beast, and The Hottie and the Nottie

Click here to buy the film directly from Amazon.com.


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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