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Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris, Peter Krause and Lisa Gay Hamilton
Director/Scriptwriter: Daniel Barnz from the novel by Alex Flinn
CBS Films
Rating: PG 13 for themed material
Running Length: 100 minutes
Alex Pettyfer from I Am Number Four is on the screen in Beastly, that was to have opened six months ago. I can see why there was a delay. Beastly is a variation on the Beauty and the Beast story, in which a man, usually arrogant, is struck down with a curse and has to find a girl to love him before said curse is lifted.  Here, the witch who lays the curse on Alex is Mary-Kate Olsen. Also in the cast, as a love interest, is Vanessa Hudgens. 
Story has Alex as an arrogant young man who brushes off a classmate, Mary-Kate. She then puts the curse on Alex and transforms him into a man with scars, and metal tattoos. This is supposed to make him ugly, but instead, makes him interesting with any excuse to take off his shirt. In the meantime, Neil Patrick Harris is a blind friend and Lisa Gay Hamilton, a kind housekeeper who work together to get a girl to like Alex. It turns out to be---Vanessa. Alex protected her father who is into drugs so she is sent to stay with Alex and be safe, but instead, Alex is trying to make her fall for him. The ending is predictable.
Beastly is a slow-moving fairy tale with two lead actors who donít seem to have chemistry. He looks as though he wants to be on the football field and she seems lost in the stars. The rest of the cast is what carries the film along, with Hamilton giving advice and Harris coming up with plans. Since Alex is rich, and his father (Peter Krause) is disgusted by his looks, money is not an object. A greenhouse on the roof or a lakeside home (think mansion) and limousines come naturally. The story is pitched toward tween girls with Pettyfer and Hudgens being favorites. When he picks her up and carries her, you can hear a sigh in the audience. After that, the story turns into a pumpkin at midnight.
Copyright 2011 Marie Asner




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