Saturday, December 29, 2007

Best. Movie. Ever.

"The most beautiful love story ever told."

I don't remember exactly when I bestowed that title on this movie, but I'm fairly certain it was more than ten years ago. Every once in a while I go ga-ga for it all over again, this being one of those times.

Yes, at nearly 23, I still love this movie obsessively, and I still can't think of a better movie (movies as good in their own way, absolutely, but none better). It is a wonderful, simple story, artfully rendered, carefully crafted, and populated by fantastic characters. The music is killer, and is not simply integrated into the story, it tells the story. The pacing is perfect, the colors are rich, the writing is simple and elegant at the same time, and the story, like its protagonist, has a lot more to it than may appear at first glance.

This blogger, who I stumbled across while obsessing about how good Disney's Beauty and the Beast is, suggests that this story sets a bad expectation because Belle and the Beast have one of those "I can save him!" kind of relationships that pretty much never work out well. I disagree about the nature of their relationship: the Beast changes himself, first to try to make Belle love him, and then because he has come to truly love her. Belle never intends to save the Beast (on the contrary, she always retains the desire to go back home), she merely treats him with unconditional kindness (occasionally called Christian love or charity), looks for the best in him, and subsequently comes to love the person the Beast makes himself into. Hence, this really is a movie about the transforming power of love -- both of loving and being loved, romantically or otherwise.

Besides, Belle is kind of a bad ass. She's an independent thinker, she doesn't take no crap from nobody, she's compassionate, and can ride a horse through a castle door. I always wanted to be her. When I'm feeling extra delusional, I like to think she's the Disney princess me. She does have my coloring. This song has been my quasi-official anthem for a long time. I think it's totally fitting... minus the masses of French people singing in harmony about how weird but pretty I am.

I just get the "weird".


Erin said...

Bonjour! As I too love this movie, I understand your quasi-obsession. It's endearing. Overall, this movie is just so lovely and has such a wonderful message. And the music is fabulous. I've even been known to sing this song to myself everytime i get a wee bit restless. I do however feel like you may be harboring a bit of jealousy toward belle. I mean, with the masses of french people and all:

"I think it's totally fitting... minus the masses of French people singing in harmony about how weird but pretty I am."

but i think it's something you can work through. As for Gaston though.. i am not a fan.

and i'm out. like a phantom! :)

Dad said...

A mass of French people is nothing to be envious about. They got rid of the wigs and the powder, but they still don't bathe regularly. They're second only to the Egyptians. Nothing like a plane full of Egyptian paratroopers on an Africa hot day to actually make you want to be in a train full of Frogs. Sacré béte!