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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Beauty's girlfriend is loyal and willing to stand by her side. Other characters lack character strengths. Beauty's mother seems protective and caring for her child but is also unaccepting, jealous, and violent. Beauty's father is emotionally abusive and wants her to perform so he can get a cut of her money. He coerces Beauty's brothers into beating her girlfriend.
Mostly Black cast. Female lead is ambitious and talented. She's in a lesbian relationship but it's not accepted within her family and is kept hidden from the public eye.
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Violence & Scariness
Brothers have a vicious brawl in the middle of the street. A male beats a female off camera, resulting in her being put in the hospital. A parent slaps their child in the face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teenage girls have a very affectionate relationship: They lay on the floor caressing each other. As they get older and continue their relationship, there are many moments of closeness, passionate kissing, and discussions of "sharing a bed."
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Profanity includes frequent use of "f--k," "damn," "ass," the "N" word, and "s--t." "God" is used as an exclamation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters, including teenagers, smoke marijuana, cigarettes, cigars. Drugs are consumed. Characters drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beauty is a fictional story set in the '80s about a young Black singer beginning a promising career. It follows the story of the talented musician named Beauty juggling the pressures of the music industry, her overbearing family, and her relationship with her girlfriend. The movie has strong language, including "f--k," "damn," "ass," the "N" word, and "s--t." Throughout the movie, Beauty has many affectionate encounters with her girlfriend. Though those closest to Beauty seem to know she's a lesbian, she's forced to keep it hidden from the public eye. Several characters in the film smoke, including Beauty, who appears to be a teenager at the beginning of the film. She's also seen accepting drugs. Characters drink. Though the movie is about a singer, the audience never actually gets to hear her sing. On a positive note, the main character is confident and self-assured. Though she isn't exactly role model material, her ambition to go for what she wants is admirable. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
In Beauty, a movie all about a talented young singer, it's disappointing that the audience never actually gets to hear her sing. The film has notable parallels to a young Whitney Houston's early life: a church choir singer from New Jersey with an overbearing father and a secret lesbian relationship. Though visually the story is compelling and filled with a fantastic cast, the movie never really takes us anywhere. There are images of Beauty coming out of the studio or singing in the studio, but her voice is muted. The relationship between Jasmine and Beauty is understandably complicated, especially given the 1980s time period, but instead of tackling the complexities of a hidden relationship, the film glosses over it, and leaves it on a confusing note. "Love prevails" was an almost positive message that is snatched away when Beauty flirts with a man in front of her girlfriend before the story ends abruptly.
There are a couple of notable moments, including a scene where Beauty prepares to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and watches tapes of both Judy Garland's version as well as Patti LaBelle's in an effort to decide which kind of performer she should be. Of course, the audience never actually gets to hear Beauty sing her version, so the audience never knows what direction she takes. However, perhaps never hearing Beauty's voice symbolizes the young star's voice and identity being silenced by her family and record execs. Either way, the story feels like it's leading us somewhere but never actually arrives. It doesn't manage to go into the deep issues at hand: a closeted relationship, industry corruption, or emotional family abuse. Beauty fails to hit the right note and leaves a lot to be desired.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.