I was so looking forward to this movie and was so sad that I was disappointed it wasn't quite up to expectations. I did not read the book but I saw the trailer for this a few months back and Beauty and the Beast had always been my favourite Disney movie. A modern retelling, good-looking leads, gorgeous cinematography and Neil Patrick Harris? Perfect ingredient for a good old romance movie, I'd say.
But I was wrong. The movie even started on the wrong foot, with Alex Pettyfer's dismal acting. Maybe he's been doing so many action movies that putting on the skin of a romantic lead was a little hard. His portrayal of the vain, selfish and mean lead was unconvincing at best. Now, the best part of Beast's transformation was the coming-of-age of the spoiled 'prince' into a rage-filled beast and finally into a selfless man transformed by love. None of that were evident in Kyle Kingson. He was a brat, then a whiny stalker, and finally an emo dude.
Vanessa Hudgens also gave a cringe-worthy performance. She was so flat and void of personality that it was painful to watch. Beside the bad acting, the plot was also a little draggy, lacking in climax and real emotion. You don't feel drawn to the characters, you don't feel convinced by the emotions and you will cringe at the incredibly cheesy lines. In fact, my sister and I kept mumbling 'Don't say it! Don't say it!" throughout the movie because a clichéd one-liner is always around the corner.
The one saving grace was Neil Patrick Harris, but that's only because he brought his 'Barney Stinson' persona into the movie. Though I absolutely adore Barney, it would be nice to see NPH bring something different to the plate.
All in all, I'd say watch this movie if you're looking for style, but don't go looking for substance. There's not much to be had.