I liked it! Just went to go see this Disney reboot at 11:00am on a Sunday, and was shocked to find children there. So many children. A whole birthday’s party worth of children. There was a cake and everything. I thought about getting a beer to cope but we got nachos instead. Why did I assume everyone at this princess movie was going to be in their late 20’s? Because I assume the world revolves around me, that’s why.
So we go find three seats amidst a sea of infants in ballgowns and the mothers who dressed them. The opening scene (“Bonjour”) is shot for shot like the original. Just to recap, in case somehow you haven’t seen the original, Beauty and the Beast is the story of a literate girl (the whole town thinks she’s STRANGE because she can read) whose father gets captured by a cursed Prince. She goes to save him and ends up taking his place. There is a magic rose that sheds petals as time passes and if all the petals fall before the Beast has convinced someone to love him in his form, the spell will last forever and all his servants turn into furniture. It’s an oddly dark and specific curse but he was vain and shallow as a man and only a death flower will get him to see that.
So Belle trades places with her dad (Kevin Kline!!) and resigns herself to eternity in the tower prison. But since she is young and beautiful, all the furniture is nice to her because she might be able to break the spell and set them free. (Wouldn’t it be funny if the Beast was gay and into older guys and everyone just eschewed Kevin Kline out never knowing he was their only hope??). They sort of make her dinner (she never gets to eat it!!!) but are mostly just showing off and singing. Belle is both bemused and delighted (the number of times Emma Watson shakes her head and smiles at an inanimate object is this movie is overwhelming) and is kinda taking it all in, but clearly also wishing she wasn’t a prisoner in a haunted mansion.
Someone (Ewan McGregor as Lumiere) has let slip about the West Wing (it’s a fast paced political drama with a bevy of interesting and well-written characters and you can never go there Emma!!!!) so Belle sneaks over there and sees the rose. She reaches out poetically but the Beast comes in right at that moment and yells at her, which is completely understandable because if she touches it they could all die and everyone told her not to come here anyway. But white women don’t like being yelled at (boy can I attest to this one!) so she runs out of the castle, gets her trusty horse named Felipe, and they ride. *Cue the Rihanna.* Unfortunately there’s a lot of ice and wolves on the path out of the forest and they sort of get trapped and it looks like Belle’s going to be mauled to death by a wolf (a different feminist story) but right at the last minute, the Beast comes to save her. He gets hurt (wolves) and she takes him back to the castle on the horse.
Belle nurses him a little but he’s still kind of being a dick but the teapot explains it’s because he never knew his mom and his dad’s an asshole. Belle’s like, “My dad’s cool as hell but I know about dead moms and that sucks” and she starts to contextualize his emotional responses.
She recites Shakespeare to him in bed (if you don’t have Advil, go for rhymed verse) and he wakes up and finishes the couplet. She’s like, “that’s my favorite play” and he’s like, “Lol girl, Romeo and Juliet? That’s basic as hell” and she’s like, “I’ve only read seven books because everyone in my town makes bread for a living and hates progress” and he’s like, “Lemme put a fancy coat on and show you something.” So he takes her to this HUGE library and she gets mentally wet for all the books and he’s like, “If you like it so much, it’s yours” which doesn’t make ANY sense because it’s a room inside a house, she can’t separate it from the house and there’s too many books to physically move anywhere especially when she only has one horse and is forbidden to leave, but hey. Romance!!!
Then they bond over reading and eating soup and they are starting to fall in love. Meanwhile, Gaston (Luke Evans, great) tried to kill Belle’s dad because he wouldn’t give him her hand in marriage. The Beast shows Belle the magic mirror so she can see her dad and she sees her father being sent to the insane asylum by the whole town. The Beast lets her go to him even though the flower is almost out of petals and they’re super close to a moment of some kind.
Aside: I know it works out that they fall in love but wouldn’t it be really funny if the when they’re on the last petal he’s like, “So?” and she’s like, “Oh I don’t really see you that way” then he says “Friendzoned again” and while she’s saying, “that doesn’t really exist” he dies.
Belle goes to get her dad and shows the townspeople the Beast in the magic mirror so they know her dad’s not crazy but the mirror gets highjacked by Gaston (classic white dude) who decides that they have to kill the Beast and Belle is “under his spell” since she disagrees with him. Interesting commentary about who society trusts and the detriments of that here if anyone’s into looking at that. Also lol, while all the townspeople (who are mostly white) are lighting torches and yelling based on one man’s rash decision, the one black man’s face has “Y’all crazy” written all over it.
The whole town goes to the castle and gets in a fight with all the enchanted objects while Gaston goes to find the Beast. The Beast is depressed because he thinks Belle left forever and the spell is going to be permanent so he’s kind of letting Gaston kill him but then he sees Belle came back so he gets back in it but he’s already been shot three times at this point and is hanging off the side of a building.
(Observation: earlier when the whole tavern is singing his song to Gaston LeFou asks Gaston’is that fair’ after he implies that he shoots animals in the back when he hunts and Gaston’s like ‘I still do it!’ which foreshadows him shooting the Beast in the back three times at the castle).
The classic movie murder of a bad guy happens where they are out of the picture but none of the main characters have to get blood on their hands or deal with any complicated moral queries later-he falls off a building that crumbles beneath him.
Then the Beast dies and everyone turns back into furniture and Belle is crying and says, “I love you” and AGATHA who was the shunned town spinster disrobes and really is the enchantress (proving all single women over 40 really ARE all witches) and reverses the spell.
Everyone turns into people, the Beast turns into the Prince (my friend Addy was like, “wouldn’t it be funny if she was like, ‘You’re white?? then doesn’t want to be with him anymore”) and they all have a ball (literally) at the end.
Another funny thing: during the townspeople’s fight with the decor LeFou is trapped under a table and he calls out to Gaston for help and Gaston said he couldn’t cause “it’s hero time” and my friend Jade leaned in and whispered to me, “that’s also what he says before he cums” and I wish the birthday party could appreciate what a good joke that was.
Overall it was fun. It was a lil frustrating that an acceptable love interest for women can be an upright horned centaur but female love interests can’t even have normal size torsos. They added two songs that weren’t in the original and I didn’t need them, but they seemed to serve some point for plot progression? I don’t know.
3 out of 5 talking cups, would masturbate again in a few years.