Given the rigid tropes that govern pretty much all high-budget movies about high school, it's sometimes hard to believe that the people who write and direct them ever actually went to high school. You've got the group activities fictional students inexplicably give a shit about, the 25-year-old actors who look like 25-year-olds cast as 17-year-olds, the head-slappingly out-of-touch indicators of social status; Alex Pettyfer's attractive and popular character, for example, is running for class president. Did you give a shit who your class president was? I sure didn't. But those classic genre staples are not the only ways Beastly will require you to suspend your disbelief.
The premise of this movie is that Pettyfer is a physically attractive man made physically unattractive -- but here's the thing: He's not. Drop him in that getup at any ICP show, guaranteed he'll fit right in and be the most attractive person there. Even by the grossly inflated standards of attractiveness in film, he's not all that bad-looking; okay, he's got some face tattoos, but apparently he's allowed to keep his delicate facial bone structure and godlike physique. In terms of looking bizarre, Mary Kate Olsen's got him beat even in real life.
Speaking of Olsen, she's got all the acting prowess of the world's goth-est pullstring Bratz doll. Who directed this? And why does he keep making her whisper? At least her role is clear -- Neil Patrick Harris has no obvious reason to even be here, aside from that he seems to be bringing 100 percent of the film's meager charisma.
Like Vanessa Hudgens, we've seen worse. But unlike Pettyfer, this is not something we want to see more of.
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