I love the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and am a fan of all of its various retellings — from the late ’80s television series starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, to the 1991 Academy Award-nominated Disney insta-classic, to the subsequent stage production. But I have not read Alex Finn’s Young Adult novel, Beastly, which sets the story in modern-day NYC and tells the tale from the Beast’s point of view. When I learned that Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame landed the lead in Beastly‘s film adaptation, I wrote it off. But while the trailer below does look incredibly cheesy, dammit if it didn’t win me over in the end. I’ll chalk it up to the power of the story. And the presence of Neil Patrick Harris.
One of my favorite TV actors, Peter Krause (Six Feet Under, Dirty Sexy Money), is also in the cast, even though he wasn’t in the preview. So Krause and NPH might just outweigh the existence of both Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen (both of which, if I’m being totally begrudgingly honest, looked to have done a decent job). Then I saw Lisa Gay Hamilton (from one of my other favorite TV shows of yesteryear, The Practice) and I was like, “What? What is up with all these randoms in this movie? And why does Lisa have some sort of weird Jamaican accent?”
So are there any fans of the novel who can testify whether or not the film lives up to their expectations? And what do the rest of you think — yay or nay? My prediction is that Beastly will do well with the Twilight crowd but definitely won’t become a huge hit because I’m sorry, but Alex Pettyfer is no R-Pattz.