Boovies Book and Movie Club’s Review for March 2017: Beauty and the Beast
Book/Movie Club Set Up:
Each member of our group (women ages 24-48) draws a month and a genre/theme. Whosever month it is, gets to choose a book and movie in their category. (They do not have to be one in the same.)
The group has approximately 3 weeks to read the book and then we get together to eat, discuss the book, and then watch the movie.
Note: We had a schedule change; March’s book will actually be April’s, so we decided at the last minute to read the original fairy tale and compare it to Disney’s Movie version this month.
Quick Story Summary (from Amazon):
1756 Written by: Jeanne Marie Le Prince de Beaumont 1756 (French: La Belle et la Bete) is a traditional fairy tale (type 425C — search for a lost husband — in the Aarne-Thompson classification). It is a timeless story about looking past appearances to uncover truth and beauty.
Quick Movie Summary (from IMDB):
2017 Directed by: Bill Condon Screenplay by: Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos – Staring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, and Josh Gad. An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.
We met at the movies and then went to our local hangout, The Draft, for food and drinks after the show to discuss and compare story to movie. They make a mean pork & chicken quesadillas and chili corn dogs.
Thoughts about the Story:
It was written in traditional fairy tale style with lots of familiar genre elements: the evil sisters, the misunderstood fair maiden who everyone mistreats, no mother figure, romance, magic, and even a little danger.
In the original story, Beauty had sisters and brothers. I can see why Disney decided not to use them for their version because even though they weren’t stepsisters, they were still evil and that would have been too much like Cinderella. So the townsfolk took that role. There was also no Gaston in the original version, and, of course, no enchanted talking castle furniture.
I liked that Disney took and ran with the wolves from the original story. They also kept the roses, the castle, and the theme: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Thoughts about the Movie:
It was a really good movie – even our group’s biggest skeptic (“This is a musical?!”) ended up liking it. I’m not a big fan of musicals, either, so some of the singing numbers went on a bit long *yawn,* for me. And one person added, “Don’t let the beast sing.”
But I thought the scenes were big and theatrical and reminded me a lot of the “Phantom of the Opera” movie. The set (the castle) was grand and amazing. The movie had just enough magic to make it a true fairy tale. Some of our group loved everything about the movie and have watched it multiple times.
We kind of thought Beast looked better as the beast – “The movie title should have changed to Beauty and Beauty after the Beast turned back into a man.”
We thought Josh Gad was funny and the perfect actor to play LeFou. He has also been a lot of voices in animated movies – Frozen, The Angry Birds Movie, and Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Luke Evans (Gaston) played in “The Girl on a Train” – one of the movies we recently reviewed. But most of us didn’t recognize him until someone pointed it out.
According to IMDB: “The film title and part of the closing credits are accompanied by French subtitles, to homage the fairy tale’s French origins.” I think that’s pretty cool.
The Group’s Average ratings (out of 5):
Story: 3.7 Roses
Movie: 4.3 Roses
The bottom line:
It was interesting reading the original fairy tale before watching the most modern version of the movie. I think the heart of the story was kept, and the movie is entertaining enough for the entire family. Read and watch them both!
Next month’s Book:
The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan
Love and Laughter,
The Day Dreamer