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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Retro Review: The Beautician & The Beast (1997)

Beautician & The Beast
Cast: Fran Drescher, Timothy Dalton, Lisa Jakob
Genre: Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: $11.5 million

Plot: A New York cosmetologist mistakenly thought to be a science teacher is offered a job to teach children of an Eastern European dictator

'A Rehash Of The Nanny Sitcom, Minus The Charm & Hilarity'

Fran Drescher is an actress that divides audiences; you'll either love her or hate her, find her tolerable or annoying. It very much depends on how you feel about her sitcom, The Nanny, which ran for 6 seasons and if you watched it and seen it and enjoyed it, then you'll probably won't mind her regurgitating the same role here. I also remember Fran from her brief turns in Cadillac Man (which I didn't enjoy) and Jack - both movies starring Robin Williams, and yet in neither in those films were her characters anything to write home about.

For the rest of you, who haven't watched The Nanny or don't care for it, will find The Beautician and The Beast hard going and lacklustre and not to your taste. I have seen The Nanny, and yet this film was tough for me to get into, as well as enjoy. It was more or less a cash-in, or be it a further attempt to boost Fran's TV popularity.

After disaster strikes and she ends up rescuing some bunnies from a beauty school where she teaches, Cosmetologist Joy's heroics catch the eye of an emissary from Slovetzia who thinks she is a teacher. She accepts the job, only for the person who recruited her thinks it was a big mistake. Timothy Dalton as Boris is the father of one of the daughters, Mrs Doubtfire's Lisa Jakob, of whom displays a more forgettable turn than the one she played in the 1993 hit film, and the performances all round feel as though the cast is here for the ride, more so than to realise how unfunny the script is, for a comedy.

This film is too sitcom-like, I felt as if I was watching an hour and a 45-minute long episode. The Beautician and The Beast is ultimately The Nanny, movie version mixed in with The King & I. The Nanny is one of my favourite sitcoms, but by taking the same premise and concept and changing up one or two things, just doesn't cut it. I'd rather watch The Nanny, rather than sit through this again.

Boris is the stuck up boss who falls in love with Joy in place of Mr Sheffield and Miss Fine, you have 3, or be it 4 kids much like in The Nanny. Nothing much is that different, nor has changed. 

The romantic tension between Drescher and Dalton's characters is played out that evokes a similar tone, yet the chemistry between the actors is lacking and the humour is not well conceived; plus, the comedy struggled to be funny.

I didn't really care much for this film and the longer it continued, the less interested I became. The script was mostly awkward and it was mostly boring to watch, not to mention the material is regurgitated and recycled from plot-lines of episodes of The Nanny.

The Beautician and the Beast, for the most part for me anyway, is a slight meandering yet formulaic satire on the rom-com, & a film which is and was hard for me sustain complete and utter interest in.

Final Verdict:

Why watch another version of The Nanny when you can watch The Nanny sitcom itself? Sadly and regrettably, The Beautician and the Beast is banal when it comes to the comedy and it ventures towards sitcom land all too much that it becomes less of a comedy, as well as a rom-com film, so to speak.

Had the screenplay been given as much attention as Fran Drescher's wardrobe, this film would be not as completely forgettable and trite.

But as it stands, The Beautician & The Beast is more of a Fran Drescher vehicle, and one that is far too much like her TV show, The Nanny, - yet the only differences being this film lacks the charm, essence, and that it is practically nowhere as funny.


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