March 20th, 2017


Beastly Plot Problems

It took a little more than a walk to the movie theater and back to work out my plot problems, but I think over the weekend I finally figured it all out. I’m bad about doing a lot of handwaving when I plot my books. The start of the synopsis is really detailed, then about midway through it becomes more a case of “and then stuff happens.” I figure it’ll come to me when I get there. But when I get there, I need to be a lot more specific than that. I’d reached that point in the book, and every idea I came up with fit into the “but why would they do that?” category. It’s very frustrating. I do think I figured it out, though. We’ll see when I get to work today.

I loved the new Beauty and the Beast. It fixed some of the issues I had with the animated version and the Broadway version. I’ve always been a bit bothered by the enchantress cursing the whole castle because the prince was leery of letting in a stranger. Supposedly, he was being punished for judging by appearances, but if she’s the kind of person who puts that kind of curse on someone and on all his innocent servants, then maybe he was judging her by what was inside. This movie alters that a bit so it makes a lot more sense. I’ve also always been bothered by the fact that the way he shows that he’s changed from judging by appearances is to fall in love with the most beautiful girl in town. In this case, in spite of the song lyrics about Belle being the most beautiful girl in town, I think they make a distinction between her kind of beauty and the kind of beauty he was previously interested in. She’s more girl-next-door pretty, and I don’t think the prince before the curse would have even looked at her twice. He was more into the very artificial Baroque-era beauty of powdered wigs and face paint.

I loved the music enough to immediately buy the soundtrack and have listened to it repeatedly. There are a number of new songs — not just coming from the Broadway version, but new for the movie — that I really love, and I enjoy the new versions of the old songs (Ewan McGregor had WAY too much fun with “Be Our Guest”).

I was really impressed with Dan Stevens’ version of the Beast. His facial expressions really come through even in the CGI, and his eyes say so much. It looked nothing like him, yet was obviously him, if that makes sense. I even managed to have a few Downton Abbey flashbacks, where I recognized a look on his face, in spite of the fact that in this he looked like a fur-covered beast.

So, yeah, this will be one I buy on BluRay on release day. Then I may have to have a massive fairy tale weekend, watching this and Cinderella and maybe mixing it up a bit with Into the Woods and throwing in some Tangled. With lots of chocolate and pink champagne.