A modern-day take on Beauty and the Beast.  Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is the pretty boy son of a famous newscaster.  In the opening scene, he is running for student council president, or something along those lines.  In his campaign speech, he calls out all the freaks and uglies.  And he flat-out says that everyone should vote for him because he’s rich, good-looking, and his dad is famous.

In steps on of the “freaks,” Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen).  She casts a spell on him to make him a freak.  A tattoo of a tree appears on his arm.  It blooms with the seasons.  He has until the flowers bloom again to get someone to say, “I love you.”  If he can, the spell will be broken.  If not, he will remain in his “hideous” form forever.

His dad (Peter Krause) is embarrassed by his appearance.  He has him sent away to a country house where no one can see him.  He even hires a blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris) to school him.

After coming to grips with his anger, he decides to try to break the spell.  He sets his sights on Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens).  They start to spend time together, with Kyle at first hiding his appearance.  Can he get her to fall in love with him before it’s too late?

I got this movie for the kids.  And I sat through it with them.  That’s about as much excitement as I can garner for this movie.

The movie goes out of its way to make Kyle blatantly egotistical and cocky. The speech at the beginning is beyond over the top.  The cinematography is jostling.  And not in a CSI way.

The story ends up coming across as more of an, “I bet I can get her to fall in love with me,” than, “we’re falling in love with each other.”  When Kyle chooses Lindy as the object of his desire, he becomes creepy and stalkery.  And he also apparently develops superhero agility.

I’m trying not to be too harsh on the movie.  It’s aimed more at the tween/teen scene than adults.  And my kids enjoyed it.  To me, it felt like it was trying too hard.

Get it for your kids to watch.  And then find something else to kill an hour and a half of your time.

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