on March 27, 2003
Loved the movie, hated what the European (Prague) weather looked like. Makes me glad I live in the USA instead of over there.
Location aside, I have to laugh at all the snippy internet reviewers of this movie in general, who want to hold up Fran's acting in comparison to the standards of a Carole Lombard or a Mae West.
Strange how these same reviewers have no problem agreeing that terrible actresses like Paltrow and Kidman should have Oscars shoved at them, with no comparison of them to real actresses like a Meryl Streep or a Jane Fonda.
Anyway, it's just supposed to be a light comedy, so lighten up!
This flick, which is The King And I meets Beauty And The Beast, is all about Fran, so hang the rest. If you're not a fan, get over it and go watch something else, without raining on the parades of others.
But if you're a good little Nanny nosher, then there is nothing but enjoyment to be found in the lighthearted banter and cute outfits that our favorite Flushing girl offers.
Even the political slant of poking fun at dictators has taken on more relevance in recent years, if one wants to look closer at the plot. But who cares about dull things like script construction when there's so much of gorgeous Fran to see?
Naturally, though, all us Nannyholics have been waiting impatiently for the widescreen DVD release of this movie - so get on it, you lazy studio execs out there!
UPDATE: On June 24, 2003 this movie indeed WAS released on a wonderful widescreen DVD! Thank you, studio folks!
Oy, I know there's no original trailer, so it doesn't get five stars, but I've changed my earlier 3 star rating to a 4 since there IS audio commentary by the fabulous Fran herself! So enjoy!
on November 4, 2000
Fran Drescher is an interesting actor, in that she doesn't so much do the same schtick in everything she does as play exactly the same character, a brass-plated beautician from Queens whose irresistible charm blows like a cheery breeze through the stuffy household of yadda yadda yadda. In this film, it's supposed to be the household of a Slavic dictator, but it all looks a bit Prisoner of Zenda to me, especially in the uniforms. (High collars and fencing went out with the Romanovs, guys.)
This is a two-star movie because, while it's not exactly awful enough to shout and swear at, it's certainly awful enough that the fact of its existence, soberly considered, is a serious misdemeanour. "The Nanny" was pleasant enough in its WASP setting, but placing the same character down in a totalitarian society is a major lapse of taste. I mean, where are the holding cells? Where are the death squads? Where are the State Security Police? The random shootings? The ethnic violence? The villain is that nice Patrick Malahide, the hapless lech from "The Singing Detective", who while he does have the physical appearance of a party functionary, is too good to be doing stuff like this. (Maybe he had kids' dental bills to pay.)
The whole thing is like some nightmare dreamed by Stanley Donen after a night of Andrzej Wajda movies and too many beetroot milkshakes. I predict a limited life for it on early Saturday evenings. Which, oddly enough, is when I saw it.
on March 16, 2000
Think Cinderella for lonely yentas and you get this crooked picture. Drescher is Joy Miller, who, after rescuing some bunnies from the beauty school where she teaches, is enlisted by an emissary from Slovetzia, an eastern European country where the iron curtain hasn't been fully drawn yet. Her job? No, not pedicures. She's to teach the repressed children of Boris "The Beast" Pochenko, a grumpy, Stalinesque leader played by Timothy Dalton.
Joy gets cutesy-cuddley with the president's kids and still finds time to talk to the common people (Yo! It's Evita from Queens). Bypassing all boundaries of movie realism, Joy somehow endears herself to Boris. For his part, the cold as ice commander strokes his bushy mustache, gobbles one of Joy's delicious sandwiches, and ponders a former Communist country with the gum-chewing shrew as his first lady. Predictable, eh comrade?
Apart from the Drescher's missing-in-action talent, The Beautician and the Beast suffers from an utter lack of inventiveness: the proletariat is oppressed, the prime minister is the snarling villain, and the children are sweethearts who just want daddy's love.
The only thing that keeps the silly enterprise afloat is Dalton. He, at least, looks like he's having fun putting on the hokey Baltic accent. Even with the stinker dialogue he's handed, the former 007 appears to enjoy hamming it up.
The Beautician and the Beast isn't exactly endearing Valentine's Day entertainment. In fact, if I took my wife to this one she'd probably ask for a divorce and demand half of what I own. She'd deserve it all and then some.
on December 9, 1998
I was never a fan of neither star of the Beautician and the Beast, but after watching it on TV I became and addict to Timothy Dalton. This is a very romantic comedy but one has to look deeply into the feelings of Pochenko and Joy, he is a grumpy teddy bear that loves his children but tries to appear tough and mean and we have to understand his loneliness and lack of romantic love in his life until he truly falls in love with a woman that changes his way of thinking and humanizes him and on the other hand, Joy fulfills her love not only with a man that very much needs her but with his children that eventually will become her family. After buying the video and watching it numerous times, I think this is a great movie but has been underrated and criticized for Fran's voice which she can help and is one of her main charactericstics. Ever since, I am forming a collection of videos of this great actor Timothy Dalton, ah! that voice and his looks! But mainly what an performer! . I recommend this movie but please read in between the lines all the mixed feelings including her parent's feelings and mean old jealous envious and devious prime minister, what's his name? Ira is delightful and so are the children! Also the music! I even bought the soundtrack, the waltz is beautiful!
on November 2, 1999
Timothy Dalton and Fran Drescher give viewers precious, intimate moments as well as plenty of laughs. They are a great comedy team and belong together on the screen for many more movies. This is one of the best movies that I have seen in years. "Talking to the Hand" is a classic comedy device that will be remembered and imitated for years to come. Dalton continuously proves he is perhaps the best actor today, though greatly underrated. His flair for comedy that was magnificiently demonstrated earlier in HAWKS should not be overlooked by producers, directors, and audiences. I have seen 99% of Dalton's films and his superb, acting skills distinguish all his films. Certain reviewers' nasty remarks about Fran's accent and New York style are indicative of the prejudices of meanspirited turkeys.She remains a gifted actress worthy of challenging parts. Additionally, this is a family film that everyone can enjoy.
on December 15, 2003
As a lifelong Timothy Dalton fan (since 1968, sad isn't it?), I will watch absolutley anything he is in, though a lot of his stuff is a bit grim for my taste. In this delightfully frviolous romantic comedy he plays a stern Eastern European Dictator whose heart is softened by the feisty New York girl he engages as governess for his children. The plot is extremely silly but who cares, it's funny and romantic, a sort of whimsical updateing of 'The Sound of Music' (thankfully without any singing). The scene at the ball where Dalton suddenly sweeps the girl into his arms provoked an involuntary whimper of excitement and envy from me, causing my oldest son to exclaim "Oh honestly, Mum" in that disgusted tone teenagers are so good at. Even if you are not a Dalton fan you will enjoy this film if you are partial to romantic comedies that aren't too soppy.
on July 15, 1999
If you like romantic comedies, this is the thing for you! Specially if you're fond of the old kind of stories, like the ones Audrey Hepburn used to do. But in this case, today's Lucille Ball Fran Drescher is the princess. Well, kind of. She plays a typical new yorker beautician who's sent to a once-upon-a-time land as a tutor to the three children of a dictator ( played by Timothy Dalton ). As chemistry starts working its magic, romance begins to blossom where no one would ever have thought... So, join The Beautician And The Beast in this wonderful story and have a great time!!! It'll certainly entertain you and your whole family! Timothy Dalton is very charming and Fran Drescher has never been this funny! So, let's put it this way: if you don't have it, buy it now! You won't regret it! :o)
on March 8, 2004
I can't say that I have been a fan of Fran Drescher, mainly because I never watched any of her TV shows. However, she does very good job in the role of a New York City beautician who is mistakenly recruited as a teacher for the children of an eastern European dictator played by Timothy Dalton.
Much of Drescher's comedy is geared around, believe it or not, her voice. It has an Elmer Fudd quality to it--especially when she laughs.
Drescher goes with the flow in attempting to teach Dalton's four children, but goes well beyond the three Rs--much to his consternation. Still, her down to earth style slowly wins Dalton's heart and transforms into something of a more acceptable world leader.
While the ending is predictable, it is nonetheless satisfying.
on May 3, 2001
Riding high on the success of her hit TV show "The Nanny", Fran Dresher conquered the cinema with the 1997 hit THE BEAUTICIAN AND THE BEAST, an update of the classic fairytale with a modern twist.
Joy Miller (Fran Dresher) is a struggling makeup artist from Queens who is mistaken for a highly intelligent teacher and taken to the small European kingdom of Slovetzia to teach the three eldest children of dictator Boris Pochenko (Timothy Dalton).
The children blossom under her unethical guidance while the cold Boris slowly falls in love with the pert and perky Joy.
Featuring Lisa Jakub (MRS DOUBTFIRE), Heather deLoatch (A LITTLE PRINCESS), Phyllis Newman (MANNEQUIN) and Ian McNiece, THE BEAUTICIAN AND THE BEAST is a delightful comedy favorite.
on June 4, 2000
This is a wonderful Cinderella story if ever I've seen one. Mistaken identity, a teacher of cosmetology becomes a teacher of royalty. The children in the movie are great, and I took an instant liking to the youngest girl, due to the fact that she was a "big, beautiful woman."
Timothy Dalton was spectacular in playing the stubborn, nonsympathetic king of his country, who had no clue as to what his staff were doing behind his back.
Fran Drescher was magnificent, and even in her Queens behavior, innocent, but strong-hearted. She was the perfect match for this king who realized after meeting her that he could not live without her.
I would hope everybody will watch this beautiful, sincere love story, and recommend it highly.