Disney’s live-action remakes will be going on for the unforeseeable future. And while it’s ridiculous to think that these adaptions will ever recapture the feeling of watching those childhood classics for the first time, it’s not asking a lot from these movies to go a bit beyond simple copy and pasting what’s so familiar. Beauty and the Beast isn’t much different than The Jungle Book or Cinderella in that regard. There’s not much there that wasn’t there before. But if you’re not enjoying the dynamite music and lovable characters then you just got to go dude.
I haven’t seen the animated movie in years and remember next to nothing from it, but I was taken right back the second that piano theme kicks in during the opening. From then on, it’s a nostalgia fest. Emma Watson decked in blue and white running around her idiot town. She gets her basket of laundry thrown in the dirt for trying to teach a kid to read. When I was a kid I dropped my lemonade at the fair when I was bending down to pet a dog so we both struggle for doing the right thing. I relate to this character. Emma Watson is also the love of my life.
Belle turns down advances by Mr. Manly Man Gaston (played to douchebaggery perfection by Luke Evans), obviously waiting for the right man preferably one with horns. The only man in her life, her smartypants father (Kevin Kline), fails to return with his horse, which leads to Belle searching through the forest for him. She finds her pop trapped in the castle by the Beast (played with a massive suit, stilts and motion capture by Dan Stevens). Belle swaps out for him and the romancing begins.
It begins all nice with little giggles at dinner and a light snowball from Belle with a snow boulder returned from the Beast. That clocks Belle in the face in one of the most booming sound effects in the film I thought the Beast actually murdered her. The Beast also shows her his thick as hell book collection. That got Belle’s attention. I have Green Eggs and Ham and The City of Ember will Emma Watson also dance with me? What if I told her that lemonade dog story and also chuck a snowball at her face?
There’s a yellow dress, dancing CGI dishes, homosexuality controversy, angry pitchfork-equipped dyslexic villagers, Stanley Tucci is a piano, and just about everything else you could possibly want from a Beauty and the Beast remake in 2017. It’s charming and whimsical without making much of an impact. Sure, it’s always great to experience something new, but there’s no harm and plenty of fun in going back for seconds. Especially when the material is this good.