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Critic's pick: Beastly

Cinderella stories are a dime a dozen these days, but a good retelling of Beauty and the Beast? Now that can get tricky. Lucky for us, the latest teen romance to hit theaters does this tale as old as time up right.

Beastly, starring Alex Pettyfer as the pretty boy-turned-beast and Vanessa Hudgens as the ever-independent Lindy, is bound to be a smash hit for the teen scene (and maybe even an older crowd of romantics, too), and for good reason. Though we’re still a li’l iffy on Vanessa as a leading lady and the plot is awfully predictable (and contrived at times, we have to admit), Beastly is a standout fairytale flick.

And let’s be honest, with a hunky Alex Pettyfer working out sans shirt for the first minute of the movie, how could it be bad? The makeup used to transform Alex’s arrogant and totally gorgeous Kyle is incredible, if a bit disturbing. 

One of the best parts of Beastly isn’t the eye candy, however, it’s the supporting cast. Yeah, the story and its stars are pretty good, but the rest of the cast is top-notch. Neil Patrick Harris puts his incredible comedic timing to good use as Kyle’s hysterical blind tutor, while Mary-Kate Olsen plays the stunning, stylish and slightly freaky witch, Kendra.

Keep your eyes open for allusions to the classic Disney film—the rose and the mirror both make appearances, though Cogsworth and Lumiere are sadly absent. 

One more thing? Please don’t let the few peculiar plot elements—Um, drug dealers threatening to kill Lindy for revenge?—bog ya down. Beastly is a fun and fancy-free movie that will totally steal your heart if you let it. Now back to finding our own Prince Charming…

Warning: The movie is rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, as well as brief violence and drug references. It might not be suitable for younger viewers.

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 3/4/2011 12:00:00 AM


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