Finding Light in Mediocrity- A Movie Review

No, that is not the title of the movie. It’s Beastly.

Beastly is a modern re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, set in New York city, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, and Mary-Kate Olsen. It tells the story of a popular, good-looking, rich teenager, Kyle (played by Pettyfer) who looks down on people who ‘missed the beauty boat’. He looks down on ugly people and boasts openly that good looking people ‘just have it better, plain and simple’. He is at the top of the social food chain, and crosses paths with the school witch, a scary-looking Mary-Kate Olsen. After being insulted, she puts a curse on him, morphing his face into a distorted ugly one. He must find a person to say the words ‘I love you’ to him before the year ends. His father is just like him (an asshole) and buys him son a home in a less-conspicuous location where he can hide his face. He disappears from school, and gets tutored at home by a blind Neil Patrick Harris. He remembers a girl from school that he’d almost clicked with, Lindy, a nobody scholarship student. He bumps into her again when he visits school during a Halloween party, right when he witnesses his former friends’ fickleness. He follows her around, being now interested in her. He later saves her and her druggie father from a couple of men with guns, only to later blackmail the father (who’d just shot and killed one of the men) into sending her to live with him. Nothing says knight in shining armor like blackmail followed by forced co-habitation.

What did I think of the movie?

Well, lets just say that never have I had such a hard time sitting through the first half of a movie. It was so predictable and cliched, like the writers were trying too hard to ‘push it’. The dialogues were overly-verbose, slick and filled with weird phrases that made me wonder if people in real life actually talked like they were on a sitcom. The emotions of a guy who’d just lost everything that made him who he is were lost. I did not really feel anything, except a little scared for her while he stalked her. I told myself I’d stop watching over and over until I reached the part where he saves her from those armed men. The way he takes pictures of the crime scene and her father’s face and demands that he give her to him was….decidedly creepy. Wait, are we really supposed to root for him at some point when he coerces the dad to ‘give’ her to him?

Is he not pretty? Too bad he's a lame actor

Anyways, that point was when I made the connection, that this film is based on Beauty and the Beast. *interest piqued* I finally saw the significance of the rose motif, and appreciated the similarities and differences between the two stories. All things considered, it started to look better from that point on. I actually enjoyed the film. I watch them slowly dance the friendship to romance dance. I knew she’d at some point, say the magic words, but a perverse part of me wanted to see what would happen if she didn’t, just for the sheer entertainment value that would bring, (Deeno and Bitter would be proud of me.)

Nothing really had changed, since the movie went on pretty much the same as before. The lines were still stupid-sounding and the acting was still weak, but the innocence and warmth shone through. The little gestures, the dreamlike simulations, the small trials and victories of love, they really are what saved this movie. It’s reminiscent of the movie’Penelope’ from a few years ago, and I am a sucker for the ugly-duckling-falls-in-love-with-someone-who-loves-him/her-for-who-he/she-is-inside stories, especially if there’s a little fantasy thrown in too.

My favorite part, though, is the part when he’s sitting in the dimly lit den, watching a korean sitcom. Without subtitles. That was the highlight of the film for me and made me sit up in my seat and think to myself, ‘How’d Korea permeate even this little nook of Hollywood and find me? IT MUST BE FATE.’ Anyways, what ensues is a conversation between the two protagonists that establishes that he fluently speaks Korean. Random much? But I sorta love him for it. Haha.

Another thing that stood out in the film was the music. At times I’d get so distracted by a particular song in the background that I’d momentarily forget about the story itself and make a mental note to look up the song in the end credits. Some of the songs were that good.

So, to sum it up:
Acting: 4 (out of ten)
Plot: 6
Music: 8
Overall: Recommendable, if you don’t mind wading through the first half.

le witch. Is she not scary? But on a serious note, what ever happened to her as an actress?

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About thejawavillager

I am a mad scientist with an underground lab rivaling Dexter's that I will soon use to rule the world. Join my army or be killed in the aftermath.
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23 Responses to Finding Light in Mediocrity- A Movie Review

  1. MadDino says:

    My link is wrong. Just saying. I do often desire for the characters to die and I have a feeling that this movie would be no different. I’ve never even heard of this movie, but it sounds horrible so I’m not surprised. Maybe they should have put a twist in it? Make the woman a beat. Made him a murdering psychopath, beast inside and out.

    • Will fix that asap. I never heard of it either. I mass downloaded a lot of movies so it ended up on my hard drive that way. TBH, I was in the mood for a rom-com. If you want something more dark or realistic, don’t watch this.

  2. eva626 says:

    i saw this…it was wack

  3. Min says:

    aaah, I think I’ll skip this movie… it doesn’t seem like I’d enjoy it… though I might just look for the scene where he’s watching a K-drama! lol that is so random! Thanks for the review Jawa 🙂

  4. JoAnne says:

    Actually really wanted to see this because Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories in any form…going back up top now to read your review but a few of the comments I couldnt help overhearing on the way down seem to indicate it’s about standard for young adult movies these days – ie: suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckage.

    • JoAnne says:

      Gonna say…I’m not deterred from seeing it, even now. The Korean thing made me laugh. Truly random. Kyle Pettyfer is a stunningly beautiful human being who is, apparently, a complete ass in real life. Fortunately, I only have to look at him.

    • True. The movie isn’t anything special, since adaptations can be very good if done well enough (Ella Enchanted, the book, is a great example) but yeah, it’s precisely why I titled this post what I titled it. I AM NOT KIDDING, the first half SUCKS. I marveled at myself for being able to get through it. Maybe it was out of laziness to actually find something else to watch, I dunno, but once I got past the half-way mark I found I was able to keep going. I don’t think you would like the movie, lol

      • JoAnne says:

        I’ll just wait for it to stream on Netflix then – it will be one of those I half watch while I am doing something more absorbing with my hands. (That sounds bad but I mean knitting something complicated as opposed to easy, or paper-cutting. It’s almost time to start Valentines!)

  5. renxkyoko says:

    Damn ! I missed this post !

    Anyways, I will definitely watch this movie. I don’t care if it’s B or C.

    But for some reason, the plot feels similar to a manga I just read. Hmmmmm.

    • haha, thanks for commenting. Your screen name reminds me I gotta do a post on skip beat. 🙂

      • renxkyoko says:

        I know it’s heresy, but , to be honest, Skip Beat is starting to bore me. And to think my sig comes from there.

        • haha, poor you. I actually took a long time deciding my blog and screen name. In the end, I chose something stupid-sounding that I knew wouldn’t tire me easily. lol.
          I don’t blame you for getting bored of Skip Beat. Fans who sacrifice time and energy need some sort of payment. Call it fan service, call it obvious logic, we need some sort of gratification, something we can hold onto. And we need an ending in sight. I don’t see it ending anytime soon. There are a lot of things that I like, but yeah, I only read till the volume released when I started downloading. I don’t have the energy to read chapter by chapter. 🙂

  6. renxkyoko says:

    Oh, gawd. I bought 23 volumes of this. Unfortunately, I have to see through this til the end. Either that or I sell them off at Amazon. I used to love Kyoko and Ren but now, I find them the most boring and stupid couple ever. The charm is gone. I don’t know why the author made them so dense and oblivious. Okay, I know they aren’t really, they are aware, but enough already. KISS ! !

    • I think I’ve read it till volume 29. I dunno, I do understand where you’re coming from, but I never really put that high an expectation on it to begin with. I’m firmly in camp Hana Yori Dango for best manga of all time. When I first started it, I expected a whirlwind romance to smack us in the face, but nothing happened for like, 5 volumes or so. That kinda made me reduce my expectations. I’m not a huge huge fan, but I like it. Hoping to get some action. She’s making him sweat in her ghetto slut outfit. hahah. But yeah, I really do wish they’d give us something more concrete to go on, like a real kiss or confession or something.

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