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Beastly ain't pretty 

The forgettable fairytale update lacks depth, and acting chops.

Writer-director Daniel Barnz goes less than skin-deep with his Beauty and the Beast update starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer. The latter is Kyle, a vain high school student who becomes a hermit after a witch (Mary Kate Olsen, looking somehow less corpse-like than usual in pasty goth makeup) whacks him with her magical ugly stick, making his impeccable cheekbones and ripped torso look like the victims of a crazed Henna artist. To reverse the curse, he’s got to find true love, so cue Hudgens, several impossible plot contrivances and gobs of leaden dialogue. Ironically, the movie’s heavy-handed message is delivered by actors who can’t do much more than look good. At least Neil Patrick Harris, as Kyle’s blind tutor, has enough sense to make fun of the material.


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