Rita’s Movie Review; Beauty and the Beast

Movie Review – The New Beauty and the Beast

By Rita Davidson

 

Wow, I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype? The boycott? I was asked to shed some light on the new Beauty and the Beast movie… So here is my review for concerned parents.

I tend to be suspicious when I hear the same story about a movie repeated over and over on blogs. When this movie scandal first came out I was disappointed and ready to throw in the towel too.

The original movie came out at a time when our oldest girl was just of that age…it was a strong memory for her and us. So when I had a unique opportunity to see the movie (that I thought I was boycotting) I thought it would be worthwhile.

Ready to take on Beauty and the Beast movie…

Let me say, it was almost surprising. The movie followed the original Disney story very closely. That means that some cartoon scenes are very awkward in live person acting. It is hard to translate what was such a well-known cartoon story into live action, but I think it was successful. All the original songs, “Be our guest…” all there, very close to the original.

Emma Watson, I didn’t like at first for Belle, but as the movie got going I could see she was a good choice. I did find some of her attitudes were more of a rebel and instead of a strong character, a very delicate difference that was not carried over as well as it could have been but either way it is so subtle to be unimportant.

Gaston, played by Luke Evans (think Bard in The Hobbit) I didn’t think was as strong of an ugly character as it should have been. (I mean Gaston was truly foul wasn’t he?)

Josh Gad, played the ever-famous Le Fou. Now to properly compare this film I went ahead and watched the original cartoon version as well so I could compare characters. (If your kids haven’t seen the original start with that please). Le Fou came across as cheeeeeesy. Ohhhh so cheesy. You know that guy that gives you the creeps when you see him? Rightfully so in the cartoon as well as the live action LeFou acted like a buffoon, came across as sleazy and a different kind of dark than Gaston. Which was the real ‘bad guy’.

Now we come to the ‘controversy’ the well talked about “exclusively gay moment.” that the Internet is on fire about. I’ve seen reviews about it, and blogs about it and boycotts about it and priests talking about it. But I have to ask has ANYONE SEEN the movie???

Let’s look at this well known review from Pluggedin. (One of my favorite review places by the way.) http://www.pluggedin.ca/movie-reviews/beauty-and-the-beast-2017

Plugged In: “LeFou displays mannerisms and adoring looks at Gaston that clearly suggest he has same-sex attraction for his longtime friend.”

This statement is simply wrong- this scene does not “CLEARLY SUGGEST” he has same-sex attraction…. Yes, Le Fou has adoring looks at his friend, but, as in the cartoon, this was as his best-friend-puppy-dog attraction and could be left at that. (Unless someone stirs it into something else?)

Plugged In: “LeFou is obviously envious of Gaston’s female-focused attentions. LeFou frowns at fawning females and tells them, “It ain’t gonna happen,” when they try to get Gaston to notice their feminine attributes.”

Here again we have an over-assumption of Le Fou’s “envy”…. These females are the fawning females all overdone, vain and ugly and so his attitude could just as much be disgust with them.

Plugged In: “Another scene finds Gaston starring narcissistically into a mirror, telling himself, “I’m not done with you yet.” LeFou, watching from a distance, adds, “Me neither.””

Here again is a misrepresentation of this scene entirely. Yes, Gaston is staring at himself in a mirror talking narcissistically. I mean he loves himself that’s for sure! But LeFou is NOT watching from a distance when he says this. He is behind Gaston watching him talking and when Gaston walks away saying, “I’m not done with you yet.” And walks AWAY.

THEN LeFou walks up to the mirror looking at himself and says, “me neither”.

I’m not going to go over each misrepresentation here, but yes LeFou wraps his arms around Gaston while singing. He lifts his shirt to show a bite. He’s gross and cheesy yes, but he is a BAD GUY remember… this is a cheesy, character wrongly seen as “obviously” gay when it’s not so obvious.

What concerns me more is the people we depend on to weed our way through this de-Christian world. I think these small scenes were purposely blown up by “certain people” on both sides, for the publicity. You have to admit there is so much talk about this movie most of you have already boycotted it just from the petitions and articles. Right? But when I seen it today I had to wonder if any of these review places had actually SEEN the movie?

Do I think this movie should be boycotted? You will have to decide that. I hope not. My problem with boycotting a movie is there are some clearly important topics like sacrifice, family, love and HOPE at the center of this story, and so much more symbolism.

Like the ROSE…

Laetare Sunday is also called Rose Sunday because it is the Sunday that a rose was blessed in the Church. In the Beauty and the Beast story we see the main story surrounds a special rose that holds the key to the beast.

A rose is special because it resembles Christ. All of nature leads us back to Christ in one way or another. The beauty of a sunset, the smell of the rain…in a simple rose His cross is symbolized by the stem, His crown of thorns by the thorns, the Blood of Christ by the red petals and His wounds by the sweet smell. So the rose is the symbol of HOPE and in the movie Beauty and the Beast, the rose holds the HOPE the beast has to be returned to his human form.

The problem I see with boycotting it makes us Christians look like fools to the rest of the world.

The other problem I see is that we want to shelter our children so much from this wicked world, yet our children are growing up in this world. How else will we explain these difficult situations to our children if we sweep this under the rug the simplest resemblance of it in a movie? We are not arming our children for the upcoming battle. We will keep them naive and that is not the way to protect their innocence.

Yes, three men get dressed up in ribbons and women’s clothing at one time and run off screaming – one ends up smiling. At the very end LeFou and one of these crazed looking men in a dress, get paired up in a giant dance and in a crazy, dreamy way dance off the screen. It’s not as romantic as it sounds.

The point here is these “gay” individuals are not made out to be good guys, LeFou acts like a buffoon, admits to being illiterate, is cheesy and generally feels slimy. The fellow in a dress he is paired with at the end, is wild-eyed crazy looking. The gay community is not represented in a good light despite how much attentions these scenes seem to be getting in the press. This movie is not without it’s problems, but it surely is not a success because of the “exclusively gay moment’ that it has been blown up to be. These scenes are buffoonery just like in the original cartoon…but we are so hyper to keep out every evil we are taking the extreme side here and not letting these topics help us introduce these topics to our kids properly. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak…

This movie is not without it’s beauty, and this world needs so much more beauty. With it’s story of sacrifice and love, love for parents when Belle is so devoted to her father she sacrifices her life for his. Her love for the beast, that softens his hardened heart. There is even a sweet addition of the tender story of her mother in this version…oops spoiler alert! This is a LAVISH recreation of an older Disney cartoon (with no glaring immodesty!) At the very least review it before your family if you need to. I look forward to your questions or comments about this movie if you see it. Be sure to come back and leave me your comments here if you see it.

With love,

Rita xxo J

Rita is a Catholic wife, and mother of seven, with three autistic boys.  Author, of “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) and speaker, she has a PASSION for making #realcatholicmodesty understood. She is a licensed Hairdresser, and Make Up Pro with a degree in Natural Health who enjoys essential oils & Jamberry Nail Wraps. She enjoys making people smile and sharing God’s love with anyone who will listen. After overcoming a stroke, disabilities, they lost everything in a devastating house fire that made them homeless for six months. She is determined to lead souls back to Christ by finding the #realcatholicbeauty in their lives by carrying their cross with JOY!

©Copyright 2017 Rita Davidson & Little Flowers Family Press All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 15

  1. I agree with Theresa B. Whether or not it looks ‘gay’ is not the point. Disney has been pushing the ‘ accept me as I am ‘ for a few movies. They purposely pushed this as a breakthrough. Evil is never satisfied. There will be more. My opinion is that my money will not help them make the next one when they eventually decide the hero should be trans or gay or whatever. At some point we have to stand up and say ‘Enough Already!’

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      That is fine if that is what you decide. To each his own as they say. But boycotting movies just “because” doesn’t make any sense. Disney isn’t the worse movie company out there. Why not boycott other studios that put out trash for our children? I do hope your boycotting all of Hollywood as there is little from there that is worth much. But then I hope you dont have children as those children will be living in this world and you can’t hide from the world. It’s much better to make your children aware and guide them to find God out in the world. This is how we prepare them for real life.
      God bless you,
      Rita
      Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from ashes, now changing lives again!

      1. I, too, actually saw the movie . The characters that cross-dressed at the end were present before that in the movie and they were obviously portrayed as gay. That gays want to insert themselves into a children’s movie is very immodest, wouldn’t you say, and treacherous in intending to condition small children to think of the “lifestyle” as funny and therefore give it a normalcy it shouldn’t have? Disgust and horror is what moral people want the “lifestyle” to invoke in people.

        It’s all about conditioning, as I am sure you have recognized, with immodesty in dress. The movement toward women and girls dressing in male clothing was a slow progress, beginning in the entertainment industry (things never change) with the flappers and even silent films. A cultural revolution was foisted on us by enemies of God and the Church. Corrupt their morals and you will negate their influence in the world.

        I agree that we should not necessarily boycott the modern world and completely shield our children from it. But we have to recognize that this is a war and one we have to fight and teach our children to fight even from age 5. We live in a culture that wants to condition our children to acceptance of sin and laxity as regards to sin even before the age of reason. Remember the prophecy that innocence would hardly even be able to be found in children! This is the goal of Satan! And his method to throw just a little evil in with the good, just a little lie in with the truth, just a little corruption in with the Beauty. Our 5 yr old’s hearts are just a little too tender to expose to this rot, don’t you think? Even with guidance and special care.

        This movie is targeted to 4 to 11 yr old girls! Traditional Catholic kids might be able to be forewarned about this. Anyone else, doubtful. It’s the corruption of our society they are after, the negation of any moral influence on ordinary children! I wouldn’t take a child who has not received the Sacrament of Confirmation and achieved the age of 14 or 15 to this movie. And even then I would feel and be guilty if he or she were to comment afterward that the gay stuff was funny. Groan… my choice to let them see it was an occasion of sin to them!

        I liked the movie, the good in it. I wouldn’t actually support the boycott, but I do support a universal condemnation of it by moral people. Some things just should not be brought up in open society, and certainly not in a kid movie.

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          Thank you for your input Roger, I agree with much you have said here as well. It is true that we cannot be sucked into accepting things that are against our faith. And conditioning is something that we do have to consider I agree.
          It’s all about balance…and keeping our head above the water of this world.
          God bless you,
          Rita
          Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, changing lives again!

      2. Dear Rita,
        I am having a difficult time processing your reasoning when you say “you can’t hide children from the world.” This seems different from what I have heard you say in one of your recent on-line conversations that it would be your decision not to take children on beach vacations where they will be exposed to the immodest swimwear, and even to back out of a family reunion time of a beach vacation which your caller encountered. Your statement had a big impact on my decision to follow your advice which I think was right. I agree with what Theresa has expressed — “bolder stuff” would be encouraged if we “just sit back”. So as Southerncatholicmom said, I would not want to support this movie in any monetary way. It is difficult in this day and age, but we must earnestly try to deliberately follow God’s Word: “I will set before eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:3) no matter how “cheesy” or trivial it may seem.
        In Christ,
        Linda

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          Author

          Thank you Linda and I hope I have not confused you in what I have said? I still stand by my statement of not bringing children to the beach with immodest swimwear as we have had statements from the Church that have told us not to allow mixed bathing. Unfortunately we do not have a Church telling us what is right and wrong today. But it is common sense we cannot hide children from the world. I am not saying we should expose them to obvious blatant impurity. But it is important to take the time while children are young under your care to have these discussions with them, so that you can guide them thru the minefield of the world we have all been born into at this time.
          And it is true as movies come out that are more bold and obvious there will be a time when it will be easy to say no.
          My concern is when people are overly cautious and throwing the baby out with the bathwater, avoiding a movie that is overall good.
          If you choose not to see this that is your choice and that is your right. I do not think every family should see this.
          May God guide you in your choice,
          Rita
          Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, changing lives again!

  2. Thank you so much for your review!
    I guess my problem would be that watching it would be like, “showing the world” that even if they say it has gay stuff in it, we watched it anyway. But perhaps this is a bit of pride on my part? Not sure. I’m just sooooo hyped up on “Catholic activism” of sorts ever since I can remember that it’s hard to be bale to do the right thing and live. 🙂
    Also, what do you think about the director being soooo pro-gay and anti-Bible? Perhaps watching the movie/accepting it would in some way be wrong? 🙂
    Again, I’m glad for your open-minded (in a good way! lol) way of thinking!!! We sooo need more of that… yikes!
    God bless!! <3 <3

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      Very good point Jacinta!
      It’s true we do not want to give scandal that we approve of anything against the faith.
      As for the director being pro-gay or anti-bible…well look up any director today, what movies have you seen lately? How about that Walmart store, who runs that? Are they faithful Christians? YOu see where I”m headed here? Most of the world where we purchase food, gas, everything is ran by unbelievers…we would have to go live like the amish if we boycotted everyone. Its a difficult time to live for us for sure…but God has not made it impossible.
      May God always guide you, deep breathe and be at peace. 🙂
      With love,
      Rita xo
      Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, changing lives again!

      1. Wow… you’re totally right… yikes! Its crazy how you can get so wrapped up into different things that you forget the big picture! 🙂 Thanks again!
        Take care!

        <3

  3. Rita, you need to read more of the Popes’ writings. One doesn’t have to expose children to evil to prepare them to deal properly with it. Christians have always appeared as fools to the world. I’m sorry that is a problem for you.

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      Thank you Kenneth,
      I don’t believe I said we ‘had’ to expose our children to this movie. I apologize if this is what I said. This is not a problem for me, what I was trying to do was give my impression of a movie that is getting lots of press about it from both sides. Many families today are confused bringing up children and don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater at every turn. Christians may have appeared as fools to the world. But but we do not need to be fools. When bringing up children in the world today, we must not shield them from the world so much that they cannot find Christ out there. CC Martindale was the one who wrote that we should seek to find Christ everywhere in the world. As our world continues it’s decline, finding beauty in the world is the thread that will be leading many back to sanity.
      God bless you,
      Rita
      Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, changing lives again!

  4. There are two issues here. One, what is an exceptable level of bad in an otherwise neutral or ‘good’ entertainment (movies, TV, music, video games, etc), and two, is it necessary to expose our children to certain aspects of ‘the world’ by choice in order for them to learn how to cope in this life and live as Catholics, fulfilling God’s purpose in becoming saints. A minor third issue that can be big is, should we, as Catholics, give our monetary support to companies that openly advocate immorality.

    I can only give you my opinion, but being an older mom (married at 36, first son at 37, daughter at 39), I had a bit of perspective from the luxury of researching the topics plus watching other parents before being faced with these decisions.

    We decided to only introduce movies to our children when they were five or so, no cartoons only real life actors, and only religious movies at first. Our philosophy has always been if there’s something questionable or contrary to Catholic morality in a movie, it is to be considered the drop of poison – then comes the balancing – is the rest of the movie worthwhile, as in, is it educational, edifying and inspiring, and can the drop be cut out? If yes, then we show it, if not, it goes in the dustbin or is not purchased. One example is the TV miniseries, Jesus of Nazareth. This is a beautiful production of Our Lord’s life and death and resurrection. But the director/producer wanted to portray the characters from a more human angle, so Our Lady is shown in the painful throes of childbirth when we know she did not suffer such pain as she had no stain of original sin. At Our Lord’s death, when His Body is placed in Our Lady’s arms, she is shown going hysterical – again, not what happened. There is also the immodest dance scene of Salome for St John the Baptist’s head, We thought about it, and using technology’s lovely little ability to skip chapters on DVDs we showed the film to our children skipping those scenes. There was a spiritual value to the film, bringing these stories they hear in school and church alive in a visually and auditorily beautiful and inspiring way, but we had a producer with a misguided sense in his portrayals of the characters – it was a few small poison drops that were easily neutralised by chopping them from the film.

    I don’t see the equivalent with this production of Beauty and the Beast. It isn’t an over arching spiritually edifying film and to say some virtues are portrayed, we can say that about many films. Children must see the crème de la crème, if you will, before they are exposed to the mediocre or ‘some bad with the good’ types of movies, shows or music, so they clearly know what’s true and beautiful, and can identify immediately what is wrong or ugly in God’s eyes.

    I don’t think it necessary to expose children (12 or so on down) to ‘the world’ by our choices of entertainment. They will be exposed to the real world every time we must leave our safe harbours of home and hearth and venture out to the store, Church, restaurant, doctor, dentist, extended family gatherings, etc. Then we can give them gentle guidance as they meet with real life quandaries, not slicked and packaged ones from Hollywood and people with not so great motives. Yes we are in the world, but do we really have to blur the line and accept the entertainment that truly is of the world. The Saints would forgo participating over-much with the entertainments of their days.

    The tangent issue of boycotting seems odd to me. The Catholic Church used to have a list of prohibited books and films – was this boycotting or simply common-sense avoidance of the occasion or near occasion of sin? The Catholic Church banned belonging to the Free Masons because of their support of beliefs and causes at variance with God and the Catholic Church, in a sense, boycotting them. Is it wrong to boycott Starbucks because they were active in filing an amicus brief in support of homosexual ‘marriage’ or boycotting Disney because of their active support of the LGBTQ agenda since the 1990’s or boycotting Target for their bathroom policy in support of transgenders? Boycott simply means denying support and monetary funds – money better spent in the collection basket and alms box at Church.

    We were warned by Our Lord that the world would hate us when we follow Him. We should rejoice to appear as fools to the world for following Him, caring enough to cherish and protect the innocence of our children even if they don’t get to see the latest bit of piffle from Hollywood – they don’t miss it if they were raised without it, and recognise it for what it is when they are older. There is so much distraction in the world. We need more pulling back not plunging in to the haystack trying to find the needle of a film that might, just might, be OK.

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      Thank you Marianne for your input which I value!
      you raise many good comments here of which I’ll comment on a few for lack of space.
      1. Yes, this movie could VERY EASILY be edited or CUT and SKIPPED as you term it so those scenes are removed entirely, as they are a small part of the movie.
      2. Without those troubling parts you are now left with a story that is edifying and inspiringly beautiful. We must know that all our teaching does not come from Saint Stories or religious movies. Movies based on old stories of good vs. evil may have no resemblence to our lives as Catholics (think Winnie the Pooh) but give us a unique topics of the faith that we can apply to our lives. For example, Lord of the Rings. No one said they were ‘required’ watching. But they give us a unique view of good vs evil that is inspiring if not sobering in our times. This story is just what it is then, a story of a girl that sacrifices herself for her father even though she is afraid of the beast. Her love for him is most evident throughout the movie. (what better way to show Honor Thy Mother and Father) There is a tender story of Belle rediscovering her mothers history, and she shows a tender devotion to her as well. Then her sacrificial way of caring for the beast and seeing beyond his ugliness which brings about his restoration. (works of mercy) I think there is much rich symbolism here that those that are interested in using these tools to guide our families in this fallen world.
      3. Do we need to support this movie monetarily? Well no if you can get a free viewing by all means – sure. But as we said already, if we are hoping to direct our money to only pro-life, pro-family companies we would have a hard time providing basic needs for our families from what would be left.
      4. Another thought is bringing up children in the world today, most of what we do is “NO”. NO to this movie, NO to this book, NO to this outing, NO to this activity, NO to that immodest dress and so on. I have heard children after having grown up in years of “NO” become very weary of our dull Catholic faith and leave it for something that has more “YES” in it…often not with good results.
      We do not aid ourselves by hiding our heads in the sand, but having children well provided spiritually and well educated in common sense so they can carry themselves in the world and against the world unscathed.
      I hope this is of some help to your choice.
      God bless you,
      With love,
      Rita
      Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, is changing lives again!

  5. Hello Rita. My wife and I enjoy reading your column. We also sell the “Immodesty – Satan’s Virtue” in our church bookstore. Though we agree with most of what you write, we were saddened by your Beauty and the Beast review. My brother and his wife saw the movie and they indicated (as you said) that many of the “gay moments” were vague and implicit. However I think the crux of the problem here is that director Bill Condon (who himself is openly gay), and the Disney Company, spared no expense to exonerate and promote the “gay moment” as if it something to be proud of and encouraged. Shame on you Disney. Your founder would roll over in his grave if he know what you were doing with his good name.

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      Hello Richard!
      And “Welcome!” so glad your enjoying my column and selling my book!
      I appreciate your input here and I agree Walt Disney would be understandably disappointed at the direction the company is going.
      With that said, to each his own – in this topic…I mean if Bill Condon is opening gay,how many other producers are openly or hidden gay? How much of this agenda is behind so much of what upholds our society today?
      There are so many things that could be looked at here. For how many families is this the first look at beauty and sacrifice they will see? A hint of the faith beyond…
      For others who wait for the DVD and can simply skip these small scenes? Isn’t that what we do with other movies? or do we do away with all of them- no matter the good left in them? If we cannot find Christ in the world…then why did He put us here at this time? These are all important questions we need to ask ourselves before we boycott something.
      I hope this helps. God bless and keep you as we search always for the truth!
      Rita
      Author of the bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, changing lives again!

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