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Parents' Guide to


By Jennifer Borget, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bleak tale of young singer has language, smoking, drugs.

Movie R 2022 95 minutes
Beauty netflix movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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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.

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