Warning: This review contains spoilers
I want to start by saying that I freaking loved this movie. Like absolutely, completely loved it. And here’s why:
1) This movie is pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the Disney cartoon that we all know and love. It starts the same (although the beginning scene in which the Prince is cursed is extended a bit), they used much of the same dialogue from the cartoon and every single song from the cartoon is in this movie (I got goose bumps during the tavern song where they’re all singing Gaston’s praises. The cast did such a good job with that song that I wanted to get up and dance with them). They did add, I think, 4 or 5 new songs but these new additions just added to the soundtrack because they’re all amazing. They also added a bit more back story to the Prince, talking about his family, and they talked about Belle’s mother. They didn’t talk about either of these things in the cartoon but these new additions just added more depth to the live-action version, making it seem more real, somehow, and less like a remake of a cartoon.
2) They did a wonderful job with casting for this movie. Every actor here nailed their role (Luke Evans as Gaston and Emma Watson as Belle are particularly note-worthy). These people weren’t just actors doing a job. They were these characters and it was wonderful to watch.
3) This movie is visually beautiful. Obviously there is a lot of CGI used here but it’s done so well that you can’t tell it’s not real. It’s just gorgeous.
Again, I loved this movie. It was well worth the money we paid to watch it and I give it a solid 10/10 rating. Go see it. Seriously. Take your kids. Take your friends. Hell, go alone. Whatever. Just go see it. You’ll be glad you did.
Now, on to the part of this review that I wish I didn’t need to do. The soul-crushing, child-corrupting gay sex part of the review.
So I know you all have heard about the controversy surrounding the “openly gay” character in Beauty and the Beast. We all have. It’s been a big deal. So here’s my take on the whole thing after seeing Beauty and the Beast for myself.
Their “openly gay” character (Gaston’s faithful sidekick, Lefou) isn’t openly gay at all. In fact, he and Gaston have discussions at least twice in this movie about Lefou dating or being interested in women. Lefou never disavows Gaston of the assumption that he’s interested in women, something I assume he would do if he’s as openly gay as people are claiming. Yes, Lefou’s character is effeminate, speaking in a high-pitched voice at times and making certain hand gestures and body movements that some people, I’m sure, would see and automatically assume “yep, he’s gay”.
At one point in the tavern scene I mentioned above, where Lefou leads the townsfolk in a rousing song about the awesomeness that is Gaston, Lefou sort of wraps himself in Gaston’s arms while he’s dancing around Gaston in adoration. There’s a moment of awkward silence. “Too much?” Lefou asks. Gaston nods and the song goes on.
Later in the movie, during the scene towards the end where the members of the Prince’s household are defending the castle from the torch-and-pitchfork wielding townsfolk, the wardrobe aggressively dresses three men in women’s clothes (if you recall, this also happens in the cartoon, only there’s just one man instead of three in the animated version). Two of the men run away screaming but the third looks pleased with his new look and sort of prances away happy. This scene takes maybe five seconds to play out.
Now we come to the big gay love scene in the movie. The one that is sure to turn unsuspecting children into ravening gay predators and leave Christ weeping on his throne in Heaven. In the story, Gaston is dead, the residents of the castle have been returned to their human selves , the Beast has been magically transformed back into the Prince by the power of Belle’s love and the whole castle is celebrating with a ball. There is much dancing and merry-making and everyone, including Lefou, is on the floor twirling to the music with someone else.
At one point Lefou twirls away from the woman he’s dancing with and finds himself suddenly arm-to-arm with none other than the man who walked down the steps during the siege on the castle happy about his new dress. The two smile at each other…aaand the camera cuts back to Belle and her Prince.
Wait, what?? That’s it? Where’s the passionate gay kiss? Where’s the two men rushing into each other’s arms?
Sorry, folks. That’s all she wrote. That one scene – Lefou and a random extra with a whole 10 seconds of screen time in the whole movie touching arms for maybe 2 seconds while smiling at each other (it’s seriously a blink and you’ll miss it situation)is what all this fuss has been about.
All in all, you are going to have to really, really be looking for those homosexual undertones in order to find them in this movie because, other than those two barely-there scenes, the homosexual aspect of this movie just doesn’t exist. The “openly gay” character that so many fundamentalist Christians that I know personally were boycotting this wonderful movie over is not even remotely openly gay and doesn’t even once in the entire 2 1/2 hour running time mention anything about his sexuality. I don’t understand how your kids could possibly be indoctrinated into the “gay lifestyle” by what they’re going to see in this movie because there’s literally nothing to see. And if you don’t want to see two guys touching arms while smiling at each other for the time it takes the average person to blink their eyes than just leave as soon as the scene with everyone dancing starts. There. Problem solved.
The bottom line is this. This movie was visually beautiful, musically amazing and a faithful adaptation of a beloved classic. That in itself – the faithful adaptation part – is a reason to celebrate. The love story is moving and the writing is at turns witty, funny, poignant and thought-provoking. You will laugh, cry and be moved in ways that a good movie should move you.
This story is one of redemption, of family, of loyalty and friendship, of love in all it’s many forms. And above all it’s a story that teaches the incredibly important lesson that we need not judge others by what we see with our eyes, but by what they have in their hearts. These are lessons that are desperately needed in this world where compassion, empathy and love seem to be going extinct.
And if you are so closed-minded that you are going to deprive yourself of that experience because of rumor you heard on some blog or an article you read on a website – a rumor that I am telling you now is completely groundless – than I feel sorry for you. Because with a mind and heart that narrow, your world must be a dark, lonely place indeed.