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 seeking refuge from his heartache in drinking. Whilst he sobered up he replaced the distraction of alcohol with work, becoming 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 starts to bring out the best in Eric as they become close. But at the same time others in Belle's life are not as understanding over her friendship with the "Beast".
If I was a young Christian looking for a wholesome movie to watch I would love "Belle and the Beast" as it is exactly that, wholesome and staying well clear of anything which might offend. In fact I would recommend it to others especially young teenagers looking for something cute to watch as it features a 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 in this movie 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's unwavering belief that God wants us to be happy.
But what if I wasn't a Christian, what if I was a non believer who had been persuaded to watch "Belle and the Beast" by a Christian friend. Sadly this is one of those Christian movies which present the world in a wholesome but false light due to it taking an inoffensive approach and sadly in some scenes 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 could 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 with some Christian messages interweaved with the familiar storyline.