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'Beastly' is only skin deep

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POSTED: April 1, 2011 10:53 a.m.
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Even Vanessa Hudgens' beauty couldn't save this beast of a movie.

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Love is the major theme of today’s film, and the target audience is young adults (and those of us who are young at heart). But did I love the film? Read on to find out.
“Beastly” is in theaters now. The film follows arrogant, looks-obsessed high schooler Kyle Kingston, who enjoys his wealth and popularity a little too much.
To teach him a lesson, the least attractive student at his school, Kendra, who just happens to be a witch, curses him with terrifying ugliness. Kyle has one year to get someone to fall in love with him or his new body — scarred, hairless and tattooed — will remain that way forever.
The film is based upon the Alex Flinn novel of the same name. You guessed it; this is a modern retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Beastly” is a beastly mess. While Alex Pettyfer (also in “I Am Number Four”) is a competent, charismatic actor and his co-star Vanessa Hudgens is totally beautiful, they can’t cover up their movie’s flaws.
Peppered with clichés, drowning in jarring modern jargon, swathed in awkward and juvenile moments, the film very simply falls short of even moderate expectations.
Let me give you an example. The female lead, Lindy, is so innocent that she’s only at the elite high school in the city on scholarship. So great is her meekness and virtue, but wait, her father is a sickly drug addict. Like many details of the film, that one comes to us out of nowhere.
The film’s only saving graces are, No. 1: actor Neil Patrick Harris as the blind tutor of the beast. His every line is inspired and absolutely hilarious. And, No. 2: Mary-Kate Olsen’s witch, Kendra, supposedly ugly, who was, for me, the most interesting character to watch.
Still, I’m not a fan!

 

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