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Movie Review

The Beautician and the Beast

Reviewed by: Tim Emmerich
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
13 to Adult
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
107 min.
Year of Release:
1997
PG

Starring: Fran Drescher, Timothy Dalton, Lisa Jakub, Michael Lerner, Patrick Malahide, Ian McNiece, Phyllis Newman, Heather Deloach, Adam LaVorgna / Director: Ken Kwapis / Released by: Paramount Pictures

In general, “The Beautician and the Beast” is an enjoyable comedy. A light-hearted love story with some interesting twists provide somewhat decent entertainment that may only slightly offend Christians due to mild language and sensuality. This film will probably make you laugh.

The beautician of the story is Joy Miller (FRAN DRESCHER) who leads a boring life in New York City. The beast is Boris Pochenko (Timothy Dalton) who is the iron fisted dictator of “Slovetzia,” a formerly Communist eastern European nation. As Pochenko tries to democratize Slovetzia, his aide, Grushinsky (IAN McNEICE), is sent to the USA to find an English-speaking tutor (teacher) for his three children. Joy Miller is recruited for the job after her picture appears in the newspaper—the result of a fire at the beautician academy where she teaches night classes!

As we are told, Beauty comes from within. Hence is the Biblical lesson that can be gleaned from this movie. And it takes change from within for Pochenko to make solid progress. There are many funny scenes and twists to keep you guessing, and laughing!

A love/hate relationship develops between Joy and Boris. Also, Boris' teenage daughter Katrina (LISA JAKUB) is pursuing a local, young man, who happens to be one of many who are against Pochenko’s harsh rule. Also, Boris' son Karl (ADAM LaVORGNA) thinks that he can “have” Joy since he will one day be ruler. These and many other twists and turns make the movie’s pace enjoyable as Joy turns the people of Slovetzia on their ears.

For teenagers up, this movie will provide funny entertainment. Parents concerned about their young adult’s morals and choices could benefit by watching and discussing this movie together. There are some great opportunities to point out how choices come with consequences.

Viewer Comments
Cute movie very funny. I intend to rent it for my friend to see. It’s pretty clean—they could have left the “massage” scene out.
—Believer, age 15
This movie is a light hearted, feel good sort. The majority of the story takes place in a small, ficticious eastern European country that is in the infant stages of democracy. This leads to some humorous scenarios that take place when a beautician from New York gets involved in the affairs of state of a former communist country. No memorable offensive language was used. There were a few sexual references that could have been left out. Also some suggestive female clothing. Overall, though, nothing here that you wouldn’t see on normal TV, and it’s actually tame in comparison to most. No deep story-line, but very funny.
—Mzrk Cecere
…Being a hairdresser myself (this movie) had some funny parts. It was generally clean and seemed to be a very loose remake of “The King and I.” The beautician teaches a nighttime beauty school class in a regular school’s science lab. The lab catches fire from a student’s cigarette. Eveyone runs out, but Fran Dresher saves the lab animals and gets her picture in the paper.

In comes the man from the small eastern European country… The president (the beast) finds himself changing as he falls in love with Dresher. Amazingly they don’t have sex (while “dating”)—amazing in today’s world. I don’t remember any cussing. All in all, it’s a very predictable love story…”
—Libby Sellers
My wife and I found this movie to be extremely funny, so funny that I had to remind my comedy-loving sweetheart to “laugh quieter” in places. Maybe it just hit our funny bone at the right time, but we really enjoyed most of this one.
—Dale, age 36