Just finished watching the 2011 movie "Beastly". It's the story of a shallow high school student who is cursed by a classmate, a witch masquerading as a student, and transformed into someone as unattractive on the outside as he is on the inside. He's given one year to convince another classmate to see past his surface and love him, or he'll remain ugly forever.
I gave it three out of five stars.
First, let me say three stars doesn't mean it was bad. You have to dip down to two stars for that to be the case. As a whole, it was okay. Doesn't make me want the hour and twenty-seven minutes back ; it just could have been better.
The movie was too short. You can't tell a personality transformation story in an hour and a half...you simply don't have enough time for character growth in a way that works. Next, the ending undermined the concept that beauty is a shell and what matters is what's beneath the surface. A better ending would have been for him to miss the deadline or want to keep his ugly even if he reached the required result. Some might call that unrealistic but since we're talking about fantasy, unrealistic doesn't have to be a requisite; better to have believable within the context and as it's relevant to the theme of the story.
Anyway... while it's not a film I want to rewind and watch again, it's still not a bad film. It's more than fluff (as some reviews have portrayed it), but it doesn't rise to the higher standard.
Another issue is with the supporting characters. Secondary characters play an important role in any story. If they don't, they should be there. The secondary characters in Beastly should have had more significant roles and a greater influence on the male lead. Instead, we were treated to snippets (probably because the editor or producer felt it wouldn't move the story forward) and paper characters rather than three-dimensional characters who influenced the story's outcome.
Would I recommend this to others? Yes...if you're interested in a short, almost fun, and interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast.