31 May 2011
Movie Monday - Beastly
This is perhaps one of the rare times that I've seen a movie based on a book where I haven't read the book. What drew me to this film was the retelling of one of my favorite fables, being a pure romanticist at heart, set in the modern day world of New York.
We begin with Kyle (Alex Pettyfer), a pretty boy elitist at a distinguished school, who knows he is good looking and uses that as his platform to run for President of the Green Society. He openly admits that he cares nothing for the environment and wants the title simply because it'll look good on his school resume.
Kyle bashes on the "uglies" of society, even going so far as to equate them as the undesirables of the world. He makes it known that he believes that only the good looking people should be successful in life and when he goes home to his tv reporter dad, we understand how he got these ideas.
But Kyle makes a mistake, he plays a joke on the wrong "ugly", a gothic witch named Kendra, played by Mary Kate Olsen. I was happy to see Mary Kate play this unforgiving character, because Kendra places a curse on Kyle, making him as hideous on the outside as he is on the inside. Kyle has one year to find someone to say the words "I love you" to him.
Kyle's father moves him into a house in the far suburbs of NYC, with a Jamaican housekeeper who hasn't seen her 3 kinds in five years, and a blind teacher. And slowly, Kyle's father pushes his son out of his mind and out of his life.
Kyle develops a fixation upon one of his fellow schoolmates, Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) and starts, well, almost stalking her. He follows her, watching her. Her father gets into trouble with a drug gang, going so far as to shoot and kill one member. Kyle convices Lindy's father to let her move into his house where he can protect her.
Lindy reluctantly does under the belief that she is going to a distant friend of her father. Kyle calls himself "Hunter" to hide his identity and over time the two become friends. Kyle learns what Lindy likes in order to win her affections, namely JuJu Beads and a Greenhouse on the roof. The two fall in love and when Lindy gets the call that her dad OD'd, Kyle lets her go to tend to him.
This is pretty much the standard story of Beauty and the Beast, and up until this point the film was engaging, well acted and nicely directed. However, the story falls apart completely at the end, abruptly ending as if the writer realized that they only had about ten more minutes to sum everything up. Lindy's father is never seen again, his OD is resolved with a "he's doing okay" speech, and the drug gang who vowed to find Lindy and kill her for his brother's death was never an issue at all! The whole MacGuffin that drove the story fell apart.
We get the "I love you", of course, and Kyle turns back into his beautiful self, but we're left wondering if he learned anything at all. There was no "Oh my God!" revelation to support why Lindy loves him, nor do we believe that he had just cause to turn back into handsomeness. I'll watch it again, because I do love both Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens, but I would recommend Netflixing this one, or waiting till HBO.
Posted by Beth D. Carter at 7:42 PM