Who's In it: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary Kate Olsen, Peter Krause, Neil Patrick Harris, Lisa Gay Hamilton
The Basics: The tale of Beauty and the Beast has existed for almost 300 years, and gets a taser to its soft underbelly in this latest telling. The film begins a shiny, rich high school that puts the Gossip Girl sets to shame. I Am Number Four star Alex Pettyfer plays Kyle, a lazily written hyperbole of an In Crowd Kid, and Vanessa Hudgens is the poor, loner weirdo (who happens to be totally gorgeous). They sniff around each other while Kyle really gets up the ire of the resident witch Kendra (Mary Kate Olsen). She gets sick of his arrogant ways and turns him into Powder…if the Powder sequel involved him losing a wrestling match with a tattoo artist and a woodchipper. Someone has to fall in love with him for who he truly is to break the spell…which means he has to stop being such a tool. Luckily Lindy (Hudgens) needs a place to stay so she becomes the object of his affections while he sorts out his issues.
What's The Deal: In the first 30 minutes, this movie was on the fast track to becoming one of my favorite So Bad It's Good films of the year. Every line is a laugh riot because it's so over the top and ridiculous, including such paraphrased gems as "People like people who look good--anyone who disagrees is either dumb or ugly." Then the movie becomes mired down in Meaning Something, and watching those two fall in love is tiresome and unbelievable. We learned that Jujyfruits are Lindy's favorite candy, and that sent me on a mental tangent about how I prefer Sour Patch Kids, but would leave both behind for anything chocolate. Then I remembered to pay attention to the kid with staples in his face. Yawn.
Look Out, Marilyn Manson: I want to see the movie about angry, haute couture-d witch Kendra. Mary Kate Olsen sulks through every scene, dragging her feet like a sullen child, wearing top hats, flawless wigs, and tons of eye makeup. It appears as though the reason she gets up in the morning is to punish the obnoxious kid and to finally win a walk-on role in a Smashing Pumpkins video. I was transfixed by her and her innate awesomeness.
A More Believable Love Story: …would have been between the two people hired to hang out with Kyle after his father exiled him from his "Hot Sons Only" Apartment. Will (Neil Patrick Harris) and Zola (Lisa Gay Hamilton) are Kyle's tutor and his maid, respectively. And even though Will is blind, I feel like he still really saw Zola. Are you getting that I was paying attention to nearly everything in the film except the two main characters?
Rest Assured: If there's one thing we can count on these days, it's that our favorite stories will be dissected, revarnished, rearranged, and thrown back together with barbed wire, creating a Frankenstein's monster of sadness. Skip this movie and just admit that you want to watch High School Musical.