Summer Naomi Smart in Belle and the Beast (2007)

More Christian Cute than Beastly

Eric Landry (Matthew Reese) was once a happily married, church going husband that was until his wife died and he turned his back on the church and began drinking. Whilst he sobered up he became a bitter workaholic with a nickname of the "Beast". When Belle Watson's (Summer Naomi Smart) father goes to Eric's home to do some work for him he ends up accidentally destroying a piece of expensive art with Eric angrily threatening to make sure he gets the sack. It leads to Belle agreeing to work for Eric as his assistant so that her father can keep his job and whilst initially struggling to deal with Eric's abruptness her good nature brings out the best in Eric as they become close. But at the same time others in Belle's life are not so understanding over her friendship with Eric.

If I was a young Christian looking for some wholesome entertainment to watch I would love "Belle and the Beast" as it is wholesome and stays well clear of anything which might offend. In fact I would recommend it to others especially young teens looking for something cute to watch as we have this gentle take on the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast with even a soundtrack which at times has a touch of the Disney about it. There is really something quite sweet about how Belle's good nature brings out a change in Eric for the better. On top of that it covers some Christian elements such as Eric's bitterness towards God after his wife died and Belle believing God wants us to be happy.

But what if I wasn't a Christian, what if I was a non believer who has been persuaded to watch this by a Christian friend. Sadly "Belle and the Beast" is one of those movies which present the world in a false light due to it taking an inoffensive approach and it is too much. It is a shame as whilst "Belle and the Beast" isn't great cinema its cuteness could have worked well as a movie to bridge the gap and not make it another movie which is likely to be mocked by those who do not warm to its innocent nature.

What this all boils down to is that "Belle and the Beast" is an entertaining take on the classic Beauty and the Beast but done in a completely inoffensive way so that it is suitable for a Christian audience.