As some of you I undoubtedly assumed, I spent St Patrick’s Day really partying it up! What did I do, you ask? I went and saw Beauty and the Beast in IMAX. Now, SPOILERS! Okay, everyone has been warned. If you read on, do it at your own peril.
I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so naturally I was ecstatic to see Emma Watson cast as Belle. Frankly, Hermione was so close to Belle, it wasn’t a huge leap for me. But it’s more than that, because Emma is a beautiful role model for little girls. She fights for women’s rights, she encourages literacy, she rocked the pixie cut, and she went to college. Basically, she’s the girl every momma wants their son to marry and the woman every girl wants to be.
Now, as Belle. So I say this in all honesty, she did the best she could considering she isn’t a natural singer. There! I said it! Let the flogging begin. I am a musical theater buff, so I value a good singer. However, I didn’t care. She fit seamlessly into the role, she did sound nice, and I would never have cast another actress. I was, and am, happy with this choice, but I’ll also continue to listen to the original soundtrack.
Now, the rest of the cast. Josh Gad as LeFou was fantastic. As he does in everything, he steals the scenes. However, Luke Evans is so theatrical and amazingly handsome (it’s the biceps to spare) that he quickly took the scene right back. The two played off each other perfectly and there was a new tension…dare I call it…sexual? I think this was an interesting choice. LeFou worships this man, is it really such a far stretch to think that maybe he has a guy crush? I know a lot of people are upset, but the references and the slight nod to it at the end were so subtle, I doubt any children will be forever damaged by it. In other words, move on. I did love how LeFou changed sides at the end. It was a good change and definitely hysterical to watch him run around with Mrs. Potts.
Luke Evans, back to him, was the most amazing Gaston. I was a little worried because if you’ve been to Disney, you know that the actors who play Gaston in the parks are some of the best. They really get into character. Well, Luke did. He was sexy, arrogant, and a bad boy. Everyone swooned a little when he came on the screen…wait, maybe that was just me. Anyway, his song in the tavern had some new parts to it and that was fun. However, I had a seriously hard time making out all the words. I’m gonna have to find one of those YouTube videos with the lyrics at the bottom. But he was such a good singer that it’s okay.
The castle characters were interesting. I know a lot of people were disappointed because they didn’t looked like clones from the cartoon, but I honestly liked it. They were size appropriate, they moved realistically, and the characters are some of my favorites. Literally, everyone in the castle was fabulous and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. I did like (SPOILER IN CASE YOU DIDN’T LISTEN) that they brought Mr. Potts out. I actually have always wondered why he wasn’t around, so it was nice to have that answered.
Now onto the sexy beast himself. Hats off to the writers. He had some really clever lines and instead of making him illiterate (though her teaching him to read was precious) they shared a love of books. As a book worm, there are very few things that make my heart beat a little faster or my knees weaken than a man who can quote Shakespeare appropriately. (Go on YouTube and look up the song, Brush Up Your Shakespeare) The CGI was good, the beast looked fearsome but gentle and when he turned into a prince…dang! I certainly wouldn’t mind dancing on his arm forever. Dan Stevens is the man!
There were some new scenes and some new original songs. To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original songs, but I understand the purpose. You can’t have an exact reproduction. I’m sure I’ll like them more the second time around when I’m expecting them.
Now, to the best part…Be Our Guest and Tale As Old As Time. Yes, they were as magical as I always imagined them. Yes, they exceeded my expectations, and yes, you may tear up during Tale As Old As Time. Again with the amazing CGI, it was perfect and I had a huge smile on my face the whole time. However, there was one minor problem with Be Our Guest…she didn’t try the grey stuff. Come on!
Belle’s yellow dress…speaking of Tale As Old As Time. The yellow dress was obviously different than the cartoon, but I liked it. There was beautiful detailing and it moved with her as she danced. I’d wear it. Hell, I want to wear it. As for the rest of Belle’s clothes, I loved the Something There outfit. It was beautiful. I just didn’t get why her skirt was tucked into her waitband all the time. The best I could come up with is she was trying to take care of chores and it was easier…I don’t know. I thought that was weird.
Overall, I loved the movie. It was well done and my five year old self as well as my twenty something year old self is pleased. Go see it and comment with your favorite parts.