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- Director: Daniel Barnz
- Writers: Daniel Barnz (screenplay), Alex Flinn (novel)
- Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen
- Release Date: April 2011
- Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
- Run Time: 86 min
It’s what’s underneath
Charming, witty, and everything you could want in a teen flick, “Beastly” modernizes an age old tale, and it does it right. Neil Patrick Harris steals every scene he’s in as Kyle’s blind tutor Will, and Mary-Kate Olsen shines as Kendra the witch. The film’s leads, Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens, lack in neither chemistry nor the acting department. While Vanessa Hudgens is clearly the weak link of the bunch, even her performance could have been much worse.
The strange thing about Alex Pettyfer is that he always comes off as so sweet and sincere in his movies, but in real life he seems a tad full of himself. In all honesty, it saddens me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish he was like the characters he plays. That’s actors for you, I guess.
“Beastly” is utterly beautiful. In the beginning, Kyle is a shallow, egotistical jerk. But when he’s served a piping hot slice of humble pie, compliments of Kendra, he becomes Hunter, the guy he he should have been all along. Perhaps one of the best parts of the movie was watching him try to woo Lindy. When his attempts to buy Lindy’s love fail, Hunter stomps his feet and whines like a child. It’s so adorable that you can’t help but smile.
With that said, there ARE some predicaments from which “Beastly” suffers. If you liked the book, you’ll probably be disappointed to know that the library was ultimately traded in for the greenhouse. My heart nearly broke in half at this realization. However, I eventually got over that, as there is an even bigger problem: the ending. Simply put, the book’s ending is 10 million times better. The ending in the movie is not nearly as powerful, and, at the end of the day, lackluster.