Beautician and the Beast

Beautician and the Beast

4.4 5
Director: Ken Kwapis

Cast: Fran Drescher, Timothy Dalton, Ian McNeice

     
 

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Joy Miller (Fran Drescher) is a beautician who teaches an evening course in hairstyling at a Brooklyn community college. When a cigarette dropped on a wig leads to a fire, Joy saves the lab animals kept in the building and achieves 15 minutes of local notoriety. Grushinsky (Ian McNeice), a representative of the leader of the small Eastern European nation of Slovetzia,… See more details below

Overview

Joy Miller (Fran Drescher) is a beautician who teaches an evening course in hairstyling at a Brooklyn community college. When a cigarette dropped on a wig leads to a fire, Joy saves the lab animals kept in the building and achieves 15 minutes of local notoriety. Grushinsky (Ian McNeice), a representative of the leader of the small Eastern European nation of Slovetzia, is visiting the United States while looking for a tutor for the leader's three children. Thinking Joy teaches science (apparently the Slovetzian government doesn't check the resumes of their teaching staff too closely), Grushinsky offers Joy the job, believing that it would be good PR to have a well-known American educator on hand. Joy takes the job and must now deal with Boris Pochenko (Timothy Dalton), the grim and humorless tyrant who rules Slovetzia. Joy's low-brow fashion sense and broad nasal twang of a voice don't sit well with Boris at first, but the kids love her; in time, she teaches Boris to lighten up and enjoy himself, and romance begins to bloom between the unlikely couple. While Fran Drescher had a number of film roles before her TV series The Nanny, this was her first starring role following the show's success.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Beautician and the Beast is the prototypical example of a style of romantic farce that thrived in the 1990s, even using two particularly well-worn scenarios: "opposites attract" and "outsider cons his/her way into real/metaphorical royalty." But even though the setup is unremarkably ordinary, it's executed with a certain competence, occasionally rising to the level of contagious. Bringing her Nanny shtick to the big screen, but minimizing the nasally laughter to become a more credible romantic lead, Fran Drescher is actually pretty charming, almost to the point you'd understand why a stolid Eastern European dictator would melt in her presence. Timothy Dalton, in a rare post-Bond big screen performance, is pretty good as that dictator, though his Russian accent isn't a significant improvement from that attempted by a hundred other actors. What keeps the movie from being a full-on guilty pleasure is the couple noticeable ways it's not particularly competent -- or, at the very least, deviates from the prototypical structure viewers are programmed to expect. For one, the fact that Drescher's makeup artist is mistaken for a legitimate teacher gets very little comic mileage. It never becomes either an actual source of tension in the script, or something she tries very hard to cover up. Another thing that doesn't sit so well is the representation of the fictitious nation of Slovetzia. It's small enough that the entire country seems to consist of one downtown area, and everyone seems to know everyone else, yet it's big enough to get a front-page news story in USA Today. Then again, another distinguishing characteristic about movies like Beautician and the Beast is that details like these aren't supposed to matter. For the most part, they don't. The movie also doesn't matter much, but it's not a total waste of time, either.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/24/1998
UPC:
0097363340034
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Fran Drescher Joy Miller
Timothy Dalton Boris Pochenko
Ian McNeice Grushinsky
Patrick Malahide Kleist
Lisa Jakub Katrina
Michael Lerner Jerry Miller
Phyllis Newman Judy Miller

Technical Credits
Ken Kwapis Director
Sara Andrews Set Decoration/Design
Roger Birnbaum Executive Producer
Peter Lyons Collister Cinematographer
Steve Cooper Art Director
Fran Drescher Executive Producer
Cliff Eidelman Songwriter
Richard Bryce Goodman Sound/Sound Designer
Todd Graff Producer,Screenwriter
Janet Hirshenson Casting
Craig Huston Asst. Director
Peter Marc Jacobson Executive Producer
Jane Jenkins Casting
Howard W. Koch Producer
Jon Poll Editor
Rusty Smith Production Designer
Barbara Tfank Costumes/Costume Designer

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