This sweet but flimsy re-telling of the oft-told tale Beauty and the Beast (or the Nordic version, East of the Sun and West of the Moon) is set in contemporary New York City at an exclusive high school. Just one look at Alex Pettyfer ("I Am Number Four") and you wonder how such a handsome fellow could conceivably be construed as a beast...until he opens his mouth! What an ugly, ugly human being: Vain, mean-spirited, selfish and cruel, he is the spoiled son of a wealthy vain, mean-spirited, selfish and cruel father.

We can hardly wait to spot our heroine in the high school halls...AND the wicked witch can't come any too soon, either! When a story is as well known as this one, it is just the details that are lacking.

Here's the rest of the cast:
  • Vanessa Hudgens ("High School Musical" franchise) is Belle ...oops! I mean Lindy... Who is earnest and overwhelmed as she tries to cope with a father who is a drug addict.
  • Mary-Kate Olsen ("The Wackness") is the wicked witch who makes our hero's outside reflect his ugly inside. She gives him one year to find someone who will love him.
  • Peter Krause (LOTS of TV) is that wealthy, vain, etcetera, father, who is far too busy being successful to cope with an ugly son he can't bear the sight of.
  • Lisa Gay Hamilton ("The Soloist") is the Jamaican maid who is assigned babysitting duties when Dad sequesters his son out of sight.
  • Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") gets all the good lines as the blind tutor hired to help chaperon The Beast.
We watch our guy learn his necessary lessons about what is valuable. I particularly liked the Greenhouses for Dummies book...you had to be there. Don't worry, there is only one chaste little kiss in this chick flick for tweens. Oh! And a happy ending!