Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris
The Buzz: Another genre movie with Alex Pettyfer as the lead, while High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens co-stars.
The Story: The Beauty and the Beast story is transposed onto a high school setting, as vain dude Kyle (Pettyfer) runs afoul of goth chick Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), and is afflicted with a curse that transforms him into an ugly creature. He has one year to find someone to love him, or else the curse becomes permanent.
inSing says: High school seems to be the perfectly malleable setting for all kinds of stories; in this film it’s a recasting of Beauty and the Beast that seems to be targeted at the Twilight crowd.
Pettyfer gets a series of skin disfigurations from a school witch that would look pretty cool at a rock concert. He realises that Lindy (Hudgens), the adoring environmentalist gal, might be the one able to break the curse. Neil Patrick Harris plays a blind tutor who provides some comic relief, as well as bits of advice to the clueless Kyle.
Both Hudgens and Pettyfer sound like they're reciting the lines, and there's not much chemistry between them. Director Daniel Barnz fumbles the final part, as Kyle turns emo and insistent that Lindy won't love him, and ideas are rushed on and off-screen quickly.
Despite some earlier misgivings, while looks might not be important, it seems that wealth is, as Kyle provides what he can for Lindy. Lindy also seems rather passive, and doesn’t try very hard to break away when Kyle places her in his multi-story apartment. For an updated version of a fairy tale, some more smarts and snap would have been appreciated.