Beastly / Sortilège (Bilingual) Review (2011)

Beastly movie poster

Beastly is Beauty and the Beast turned into a modern-day teen drama with Neil Patrick Harris delivering the laughs. This is exactly what you get with Alliance Film’s Beastly.

Starring Alex Pettyfer as Kyle, a vain 17-year-old whose rich dad is not showing him any attention. Despite his father, Kyle becomes the high school president and torments those he finds unattractive. Despite his superiority complex, Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) has a special moment with Kyle at a school dance.

At the same dance, Kyle tries to humiliate a goth named Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen). Kendra ends up being a witch who casts a spell on Kyle, turning him into a disfigured freak. The only way to lift the spell is for someone to say “I love you” to him.

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To keep Kyle safe and out of his way, Kyle’s dad (Six Feet Under‘s Peter Krause) hides his son in a secluded house with his maid and a blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris). After getting to know the troubles of his companions, Kyle realizes that the moment he had with Lindy was his chance at true love.

Kyle starts stalking Lindy and ends up saving her life. To avoid drug dealers coming to kill Lindy, Kyle makes a deal with her father to take Lindy away from certain death. Lindy refuses but has no choice in the matter. Lindy is locked up in Kyle’s attic as Kyle tries to get her to know the new Kyle, Hunter.

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Pettyfer played the jerk role well at the beginning of the movie. Still, his transformation into a sensitive, caring individual is driven by teen pop music that becomes long and uneventful. Action is limited. Even though Kyle was angry, he only took it out by berating the people close to him.

Neil Patrick Harris helped turn the film from a sob story into a fun situation. Playing golf on the roof and making fun of Kyle for ignoring his studies gave Harris a mentor role and pushed Kyle to better himself.

This movie best suits couples looking to watch a fantasy romantic drama that touches on a few real relationship troubles and triumphs. Unlike other Beauty and the Beast spin-offs, there is no main villain or big battle scene at the end. Surprisingly, the performance of Olsen and the mystery behind her character brings intrigue for a spin-off on the witch.

Beastly

Alliance Films

Rated PG-13

Directed by Daniel Barnz

Run time of 95 minutes