You have to admire the bravery of the filmmakers, who went ahead and made a movie despite not understanding the subject matter. It's also pretty impressive that anyone could miss the point of Beauty and the Beast.
More than lives up to its name with ultra-campy performances, high-glucose direction (Daniel Barnz), laughable dialogue, cheesy effects and a back-lot simulation of a Manhattan street that wouldn't pass muster on an after-school special.
Oh, yes, the script is a little ham-fisted, plowing through exposition and establishing character with a steam shovel, but in a tale like this, sometimes being obvious and cutting to the chase can be a virtue.
Beastly is just as superficial and obsessed with looks as the characters and the mindset it rails against, which would seem like a bitter, frustrating irony if it merited the emotional reaction to care that much.
Roses and love bloom, and you might giggle yourself sick, but this is the kind of cornball entertainment that rainy afternoons were made for. Throw in a cozy sofa too. Beastly will size down well on your television.
It takes guts to transform heartthrob Alex Pettyfer into a disfigured hero for the bulk of Beastly, a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It takes even more guts to do it differently than the book's fans might expect.