If you follow me on Instagram, you know I got to see the new Beauty and the Beast this week. So I thought it would be fun to designate this whole Friday Favorites post to a review of my newest favorite movie. 😉
Nate took me to see Beauty and the Beast Tuesday night, and we enjoyed a perfect date night from start to finish. He picked me up at work, got me Chick Fil A, and then we rushed to the theater and got there just in time.
From the very first scene, I knew I would LOVE this movie. Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite ever since I was a little girl (ha, I loved it before it was trendy😉). As I’ve mentioned on here before, I’ve always loved Beauty and the Beast because I felt like I could identify well with Belle. I love to read, I often felt like an oddity and outsider growing up, and longed to be different and chase adventure. Beyond that though, I love the main theme of the story: appearances are deceptive; what’s in our hearts shows who we really are.
Back to the movie though. A few words that come to mind when I think back on the movie: amazing, breathtaking, wonderful, magical, whimsical, marvelous, extraordinary, etc. The cinematography and scenery were breathtaking. The way they incorporated the historical French background with the culture, sets, and costumes made it feel more real somehow, and made me want to go explore the French countryside with its quaint little villages. The costumes and sets also added so much beauty and depth to the story. I loved how they kept the original songs, but made them even more special with wonderful choreography and voices. And all the extra songs only added to the magic of it all (I’ve been playing the soundtrack nonstop, especially “Evermore” by Dan Stevens). The backstory they added about Belle’s Mother made more sense for the story’s historical side as well. I also liked how they incorporated more of the actual story of Beauty and the Beast with Belle asking her father to bring her home a white rose. As I suspected, Emma Watson did a splendid job, as well as Dan Stevens. If you loved the old animated version, you’re going to love the new live-action one even more!
Now, I know you’re probably wondering what I think about some of the more questionable aspects of the new Beauty and the Beast, namely all the hubbub about “the exclusively gay moment.” I don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion on here, so I’ll try and be concise (If you would like to dialogue more with me about it, feel free contact me. I’d love to chat more with you about it). It saddens me that they had to add a gay character to this movie. I believe homosexuality is a sin. But just because there is a gay character in the new Beauty and the Beast does not mean that the whole movie is bad and Christians shouldn’t watch it.** The gay character is a reflection of our culture and what has become the new “normal” (to be honest, this new normal isn’t really new. It’s been going on since Bible times). It makes me sad that directors feel like they need to add these kind of side characters so that their stories will be more appealing and have a wider audience. I wish that the beautiful story in its originality was enough for people. So even though I don’t agree with adding a gay character I think we can look beyond this and appreciate the story for it’s greater redeeming aspects, namely sacrificial love and how what’s on the inside matters more than appearances. Belle took her father’s place because she truly loved him. The beast let Belle go because he cared more for her than himself. The enchantress cursed the beast because even though he was beautiful on the outside, he had an ugly, selfish heart. True love triumphed over evil. Gaston was the real beast, and he didn’t win in the end. These are the themes that we should draw out because they’re echoes of the greatest Story- the Gospel.
So what about the objection that the questionable aspects of this story are going to shape children and make them think it’s okay be gay? Well, my answer is this: first of all, you should never get your theology from a movie. Movies should entertain and tell stories, but they should never take the place of the Bible. Don’t watch a movie to get your theology. Read the Bible to get your theology. Second, this movie is a live-action, wonderful piece of artistry, but it tends to get a little scary at times. I wouldn’t let my kids watch a movie like this until they were at least 10 or 12 or so because of that. By then, we will have already (hopefully) had many conversations about what the bible says about homosexuality and such. And before and after I let them watch a movie like this we would talk through the questionable aspects of it, as well as the redeeming ones. There’s my two cents. 😉 That being said, I know there are those who will choose not to watch the movie because they feel convicted to do so. That’s totally fine with me, but I don’t feel that it was wrong for us to watch it and enjoy it.
So if you haven’t seen the new live action Beauty and the Beast, you really need to! If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! Hope you all have a lovely weekend 💓
** SPOILER ALERT (don’t read this unless you’ve watched it). I’m not exactly sure what “exclusively gay moment” everyone was talking about is in the movie. There are two moments in the movie that it could be, but even then they are pretty small and insignificant in the whole story: 1. When Lefou is dancing at the end and quickly changes partners to dance with a man before the camera moves on, and 2. In the battle for the castle when a group of three men from the village are attacking the dresser and she dresses them in women’s clothing to stop their attack. One of the men smiles instead of being disgusted like the others, so it seems like he could be gay. Again, I’m saddened that they thought they needed to add these to the movie, but they don’t ruin it for me.