The Twenty-First Century

Beastly [2011]

If you’re a girl and/or ten years old, “Beastly” is the movie event of the year. It’s a lame adaptation of Alex Flinn’s novel that flatters itself by pretending to be a modern day update of the beloved “The Beauty and the Beast”. You wish. Alex Pettyfer (who is not enjoying a good introduction to movie audiences following  his forgettable debut in “I Am Number Four”) and Vanessa Hudgens have charm. But director Daniel Barnz buries them in a lame script, a clichéd story, and dialogue that makes “Twilight” sound like “Gone With The Wind”. Pettyfer plays Manhattan pre-school senior Kyle, a shallow though very popular guy who gets turned into a beast by a witchy fellow student Kendra (a horrible Mary Kate Olsen). She tells him that he has one year to find a girl who will love him, despite his hideous face, or he will be forever beastly. I especially gagged at the sight of his face following his so called transformation, with exotic tattoos and razor cuts all over his bald head and body, looking like a rapper crossed with Denis Rodman. Barnz gives no life to any of his characters, nor does he make their situations the least interesting. Perhaps most disappointing, since this was supposed to be a modern take on “Beauty and the Beast”, is the fact that New York is completely wasted as the city of choice for this disaster. The best thing I could say about it however, is that it’s only 86 minutes long. For that, you must be grateful. My number one contender for worst movie of the year so far. Congratulations!


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