The Problem with #BeautyAndTheBeast Nobody’s Talking About

As I write this blog post, I am gearing up to see Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast for the third time. That should tell you something right off the bat. I love the movie. I think the casting is brilliant and the movie is beautifully made. This is not one of those posts complaining about Josh Gad’s portrayal of LeFou. At. All. There’s only one small thing I would change about the movie if I were in charge of the world.

Older Daughter and I saw it as a family event the weekend it was released. She’s a huge Luke Evans fan, so we’d been waiting with breathless anticipation for months, watching all the promo and trailers as he and others shared them on social media. We made it a family event. Younger Daughter (who had also been waiting…and waiting) took my granddaughters to see it in the theater in their town 900 miles away at the same time we saw it where we live. We couldn’t go together, so we settled for the next best thing.

The movie gets a collective 10 thumbs’ up from the five of us. (One thumb apiece simply isn’t enough.) Everybody loved it. There are a few additions that we all agreed made the story better. The Beast has a new song. Papa has a song. Some questions are answered. The fact that the Beast turns into Dan Stevens at the end is  is pretty sweet and not at all creepy like that cartoon version of the human beast. (Shdder.!)

That’s all I’ll say in the interest of avoiding spoilers. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, here’s a sneak peek? Okay, it’s not really, but honestly, if you haven’t seen the James Corden version, you really need to:

I saw the movie for the second time with a couple of writer friends (four more thumbs up, and now I’m getting ready to see it with the ladies from my book club. I’m not sure how many will be there, so I can’t anticipate how many more thumbs we’ll be dealing with, but I expect they’ll love it.

But there’s a problem with the movie–one that nobody seems to be talking about. And that is that they have changed one of the lines in the song Gaston sings in the tavern. Did you gasp? Yeah. You should.

I’m not going to spoil anything by giving too many details, but in my opinion, there are three superb lines in Gaston’s song in the cartoon version. They are:

“I’m especially good at expectorating.”

“I use antlers in all of my decorating.”

and

“And every last inch of me’s covered with hair.”

I think the lines are brilliant, mostly because they’re terrific ways of establishing Gaston’s character. I mean, what kind of man takes pride in those things? Seriously.

It’s the last line that’s at issue here. In the live action movie, the line has been removed and replaced with something…less brilliant.  At this point, I would have told you what the replacement is, but Younger Daughter pointed out in conversation this morning that it’s actually used as foreshadowing–a point previously lost on me in my outrage–which is, I suppose one of the problems with outrage. It can blind a person to important points.

But I digress.

Although I concede the point that the new line(s) do foreshadow a later event, I still mourn the loss of the “hair” line. Is it unreasonable to ask that Luke Evans (who makes an extremely good Gaston, by the way) and the rest of the cast and crew necessary to that scene to return to the studio to reshoot? Surely, they can find some other way to foreshadow scenes to come.

Yeah, I guess it probably is too much to ask. I’m just going to have to live with it. And I can hear Luke sing the line in this clip, so…there’s that.

So that’s my one complaint about the movie. Obviously, it’s not a serious complaint. It hasn’t kept me from seeing it again…and again. Nor will it keep me from buying the movie when it comes out on DVD and BlueRay. In my book, it’s a must-own.

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