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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Beautiful Disaster - At the Crossroads of Drama and Mindless Fun

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Released 04-12-2023

Watched 07-08-2023

Reviewed 07-24-2023

"It's dangerous to need someone that much. You're trying to save him, and he's hoping you can. You two are a disaster."

"Beautiful Disaster" delivers a captivating, if slightly predictable, love story to the silver screen (Well, for two days anyway), wrapped in the trappings of college life and underground boxing matches. It combines the charm and nerve of a new adult novel with the heart and humor of a college campus rom-com.

Dylan Sprouse shines in the lead role as Travis Maddox, a charming campus lady-killer with a dangerous nocturnal hobby. Sprouse embodies the arrogance and impulsiveness of his character with a charisma that is palpable onscreen. His performance is, without a doubt, one of the movie's highlights.

Virginia Gardner's portrayal of Abby Abernathy, the hard-to-get freshman, is commendable, if not entirely convincing at times. Her character's mix of guarded innocence and inner strength makes for an interesting dynamic with Sprouse's Maddox. Yet, at times, her performance lacks the emotional depth necessary to engage with Abby's character arc fully.

The presence of Brian Austin Green as Mick Abernathy, Abby's father, adds a layer of tension and intrigue to the narrative, even though his character remains underutilized and could have benefited from more screen time.

The narrative hinges on an engaging, if somewhat cliched, bet, with stakes that escalate as the plot progresses. There are moments of genuine tension and unexpected twists that keep the viewer invested. Yet, the predictability of the main storyline and the lack of originality in the narrative structure leaves something to be desired.

The film's screenplay and dialogues, while not particularly groundbreaking, are serviceable and keep the plot moving at a steady pace. The cinematography offers some visually arresting moments, particularly during the underground boxing scenes. The soundtrack compliments the on-screen action, although it rarely stands out as memorable.

The movie does a solid job of not allowing the off-screen controversy surrounding its source material to seep into its narrative. "Beautiful Disaster" is certainly entertaining, providing a perfect slice of escapism for those in search of some mindless fun. It's a film that doesn't demand much from its audience and, in return, offers a relatively enjoyable viewing experience.

In the end, "Beautiful Disaster" is a fun romp, flawed but enjoyable. It might not leave a lasting impression, but it does provide a fun distraction for a couple of hours.


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