Beastly: Beauty and the Whiny Entitled Guy

OK, I don't really have a good explanation for why I voluntarily viewed this film, except that I read the book when I was younger and it was OK in a crappy, guilty pleasure, only socially acceptable when you're a teenager kind of way.  And I was bored.  And it was free online.  Don't judge.

Ugh even the poster makes it look all kinds of terrible.

Kyle is a doucheface rich boy who thinks that he can do whatever he wants because he's gorgeous and rich and privileged.  A random witch who happens to go to his school calls him on his shit after he plays a prank on her.  She makes him all "beastly" (I think they were going for unattractive, but he kind of just looks like an intense guy who's into alternative rock or something), and she gives him a year to find someone to fall in love with him, otherwise he will be stuck like this FOREVER.

But just so we're all clear, this is the horribly disfigured guy who has to hide in a secret house in Brooklyn, lest people glimpse him and vomit profusely at the sight of his disgusting visage.  Babes will weep, children will point, and women will cry out Dear God What is that Thing?  It's all very dramatic.  Yeah.  It's this guy.

So anyway, he mopes around for about five months, being all Woe is Me I'm Hideous.  His absentee dad hires a blind tutor (way to inspire confidence and self esteem, Dad) played by Neil Patrick Harris and an oh so very Jamaican housekeeper to look after the little scamp.  At some point, Kyle decides he wants to be referred to as Hunter (random) and tracks down Lindy, a girl from his school that he met at a dance once but apparently she made an impression?  Luckily for him, he witnesses her father kill some dude and blackmails him into letting Kyle keep Lindy prisoner.

Yes I wish I was making all of this up.  But I'm not.

So they bond, he learns that Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and You Shouldn't Value People Only On Their Looks and a whole bunch of other trite lessons, and they fall in love.  Obviously.  He turns back into the normal attractive Kyle, and Lindy gets the added bonus of the guy she's in love with turning into a male model.  But then she has to pretend it doesn't matter that he's all suddenly hot because that would not be in line with the story's moral.  Duh.

Random Musings:

  • OK, so...if I went to this guy's school, I would key the shit out of his car.  On like a daily basis.  Just saying.

  • I'm a little unsure of what this election speech is going for.  I mean, I understand that they're laying the groundwork to show that this kid is an asshole and high school students are sheep, but it's all a little...nonsensical.  Granted, it has been a whole five years since I've been in high school, but if anyone actually got up on stage, called us ugly, and told us we should vote for him just because he's rich and beautiful...well, we'd just call him a douche.  I mean, he's basically like:

Vote for me!

And the reaction from the student body?  Please.  You couldn't have gotten that much enthusiasm from us if you were handing out free beer and sex in the parking lot.

  • Actually don't hate Mary Kate as the Witch.  Is the world coming to an end?

  • OK, is this the part where we learn that beautiful, rich, popular Kyle actually has a difficult life full of tragedy and I should be all sympathetic to the plight of the entitled Manhattan teenager?  Please.  I may be five years out of high school, but I still have that petty chip on my shoulder.

  • Anyone else questioning why this Kendra chick, who's attractive and dresses like a runway model, is the social outcast of the century?  Aren't there any LARPers or D&D enthusiasts at this school?

  • "Go blow a goat!"  Um...what?  Probably one of the best random insults in a teen movie.  Right up there with, "Did you eat a brain tumor for breakfast?" from Heathers.

  • I'm struggling to reconcile a world where Vanessa Hudgens is the ugly girl.

  • Ummm...there's definitely tons of girls who would go for the whole skinhead, weird tats look.  They should have made him furry.  Furry's a lot harder sell.

  • Neil Patrick Harris?!  I'm so glad you showed up, this movie just got 66.66% better.  Let's have an NPH party.

  • "You went to regular school?"  Is it just me or is that a pretty offensive question to ask a blind guy?  It's like, Woah they let you go to school with normal people?

  • Oh please.  He deletes his myspace account (or whatever outdated social networking site that's supposed to be), and when the computer asks him why, he types, "I am no more."  Dude, go read Catcher in the Rye and cry about how no one understands you, you emo douche.

  • I seriously want NPH to tell this kid to Suit Up.  It quite possibly could have redeemed this movie.

  • Do newscasters really make enough money to afford a kick ass apartment in Manhattan, as well as a multiple story house in what appears to be Brooklyn?  Shit, and a lake cottage??  And let's be clear, when I say lake cottage, I mean lake palatial estate.

  • OK assholes, the conductors on NY trains don't actually say All Aboard anymore.

  • So, when Kyle/Hunter shows up to tell Lindy that he loves there anywhere they could have carried out this very private conversation besides a crowded hallway full of nosy high school students?

And that's Beastly.  Yeah, it's cheesy, predictable, lame, with a shedload of horrendous dialogue and questionable acting.  All of this I can forgive.  After all, it's the film version of a young adult novel that's a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast...starring Vanessa Hudgens.  If you're not expecting it to be crappy, you are optimistic to the point of naivete.  And that's fine.  Whatever, it puts teenage butts in seats.

What I have a harder time letting go of is the horrible missteps in the monster design.  The whole crux of the narrative is that Alex is turned into a hideous beast who has to be hidden away and isolated.  But this guy...I mean, he lives in Manhattan.  I can say without a shadow of a doubt that when I worked in NYC, I walked past way worse than him every day on my way to the office.  Without giving them a second glance.  This guy would fit in so well in New York it's not even funny.  So when you're turning someone into a horrible should probably make sure he actually looks like a horrible monster.  It just doesn't really work.

But Neil Patrick Harris was good.  The blind guy was my favorite character anyway.

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Belgie said...

Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly. this book is about a boy named Kyle Kingsbury he is popular and good looking and than a witch casts a spell on him for him to be a beast and the only was he can break the spell is making a girl fall in love with him the way he looks as a beast, i highly Recommended this book i love this book so so much it is so good.

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