Beastly (2011) starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Neil Patrick Harris directed by Daniel Barnz Movie Review

Beastly (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Alex Pettyfer in Beastly (2011)

A Shallow Movie About Shallowness

Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is popular, handsome and utterly shallow, only caring about himself, his looks and his ego. It means he can have the pick of girls at the school he goes to and he does with the only one coming close to meaning anything to him is the innocent and hard working Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens). But Kyle's attitude leads to Kendra the Witch (Mary-Kate Olsen) placing a curse on him, robbing him off his looks and turning him in to a freak. His father who is as shallow as Kyle is finds him a place to live away from others, employing Will (Neil Patrick Harris), a blind tutor, and Zola (Lisa Gay Hamilton) a maid to look after him. The only hope of breaking the curse is that if Kyle finds someone to fall in love with him before the year is out or he will remain a freak for ever and he wants that someone to be Lindy.

"Beastly" starts with the character of Kyle being shallow, he is campaigning for some sort of high school election and planning to win with out a manifesto but just on his looks and popularity. It works as with Alex Pettyfer with his looks, hair and designer clothes delivers the shallowness of this perfectly. Unfortunately for the next 80 minutes all we get is more shallowness built around good looking younger actors making statements and doing some sweet things so that they don't seem so shallow. It really is weak for anyone seeking anything more than a good looking cast doing fairytale romance.

The thing is that if I ignore the shallowness of it all then there is the "Beauty and the Beast" storyline which is clear to see as we have the monster who is in love with the beautiful young woman who starts to fall for him and so on and so forth. But whilst the strength of the story makes it watchable the shallowness of it all is soul destroying. The worst part of this for me is that all the characters talk in statements rather than actually talk to each other and hold anything close to a conversation which makes it all the more a movie which works purely on a visual level, never coming close to working on a visual level.

What this all boils down to is that "Beastly" maybe a romantic drama about a shallow character learning there is more to life than looks but ends up an incredibly shallow movie which is all about the look of the cast rather than the story. That is fine for maybe a younger audience but for anyone else the shallowness of it is a spoiler no matter how cute Vanessa Hudgens is.