Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Running Time: 129 minutes
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci
Plot: A peasant girl who is universally despised by her community because she loves to read (like a fucking nerd) is held prisoner in a magic castle by some singing furniture and a bipedal wildebeest. Eventually she develops Stockholm syndrome and possibly a fetish for animals.
Review: My understanding of Beauty and the Beast is that it is a shot-for-shot remake of the animated Disney cartoon. Having never seen the animated version I can’t say for sure that it is, but I have seen this version and what I can say for sure is that Emma Watson is gorgeous, and this movie is boring. The fact that this didn’t appeal to me isn’t such a damning indictment when it comes down to it, because, as a grown man, I’m not sure it was ever supposed to.
I don’t want you to think Beauty and the Beast was all bad. It did have some characters I could identify with, namely, the titular Beast. Who among us hasn’t considered, at one point or another, holding a beautiful, well-read lady prisoner in a desperate attempt win her love? I know I have. Unfortunately for me, however, modern day courts aren’t as lenient when it comes to that kind of behavior as they were in the fictional realm of “revolutionary France.” Until our legal system learns to be a little more open-minded I guess I’m just going to have to keep my fingers crossed for some sort of “desert island” scenario to befall me.
Despite my love for movies that feature holding women captive, this really bored the ever-loving shit out of me. It took over two hours for the main characters to eat dinner, have an argument, talk in a library, dance, and then watch some douchey frenchman plummet to his death (Spoilers: they’re all French). I think my biggest problem was that they played it safe. They should have given it some edge and made the witch turning everyone into chairs and wardrobes a real nightmarish scene. That would have been something I’d have happily paid to see. Instead all I got was some musical numbers, which is fine if you go in for that sort of thing. I don’t really care for them. Not one bit.
Would I recommend seeing this film? Sure, if you have kids, or are just dating an immature adult. They’ll love it. However, if, like me, you just like movies about captive women, I have a wealth of better recommendations for you. Black Snake Moan is basically this exact movie, but instead of flamboyant musical numbers it has Samuel L. Jackson singing the blues. Granted, instead of Emma Watson looking radiant it has Christina Ricci looking battered. If I’m being perfectly honest…I didn’t really care for either.