In the new movie, I like Beauty. I always do.
I even like the Beast. Yes, he suffers a bit of testosterone poisoning. He manages his anger poorly. He’s rude and talks coarsely. People are afraid of him. He’s ugly.
What’s not to like?
But even though I mostly like the leading characters, I don’t like the movie.
The central theme of the movie is fine. Beauty and ugly are only skin deep. But to support that, our friends at Disney get everything else wrong.
Here’s the story, for those who were sensible enough to pretend to fall asleep when fairy tales were inflicted on them as children:
The Beast imprisons Beauty’s kindly father in his castle in the French countryside for accidentally stealing a rose from the Beast’s garden. Beauty offers to take her father’s place, and the Beast accepts her offer.
But the Beast is not really a beast. He’s a handsome prince. He’s rich too. He’s just having a bad-hair decade because a local shaman cast a spell over him for being a jerk.
But it’s not his fault that he’s a jerk. It’s the fault of his father who was mean to him before dying and leaving him a beautiful castle and fabulous fortune that enables his life of trustafarian leisure.
His servants are under the same spell. They’ve been turned into a candelabra, a clock, a coat hanger and, well, you get the idea.
Beauty is initially put off by the Beast’s beastliness. He’s violent and threatening. He eats soup without utensils and wears dark pants after Bastille Day. Worst of all, his castle is stuck in that hideous Louis XIII decor that is so 1790s/1970s.
To make a long and predictable story into a short and predictable one, Continue reading