Beauty and the Least: The Misadventures of Ben Banks (2012) Poster

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Typical feel-good movie
Nielsen Ramon21 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When I looked up information about this movie, very few could be found. There aren't any records from the main actor Ben and next to that it is a first-timer with many new actors and a starting director.

I watched this movie on a lazy Sunday and it turns out to be the best day to watch this. The movie is very 'light', nothing very mind-breaking nor very emotional. You can call this a typical feel-good movie.

Micha Barton performed very well as she was expected to. Ben Banks is a very interesting character as we don't get to know a lot about his father or his past. The movie has been made to his life stories. Ben is a fresh actor but with potential for more. Everything he performed in this movie is very pure and sincere. The way he embodies his role makes me want to see more of him.

I didn't give this movie a lot of points as it contains some bad scenes and here and there poor acting but it reaches out to new actors like Ben Banks.
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Horrendously mis-paced film with no direction
Robert W.4 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I think Ben Banks or "Beauty and The Least" as its known on the cover is sort of like a bad accident. Certain aspects of the film are awful and yet I couldn't look away. It might have even made a better stage play than a movie but some of the performances in the film are literally mind numbing, the expressionless and monotone delivery of nearly every line is excruciating at times. The film tries to be an indie comedy and a drama at different times but has this depressing quality to most of the film too. The biggest issue with the film is the lack of direction. When you read the back of the movie it reads like guy meets girl, discovers she's done porn, goes on a quest to remove all that material for her. Yes that plays a part of it but the entire first hour of the film is just one bizarre story after another mixed with Banks and his friends getting high, finding a body, contemplating life in a stoner sort of fashion and a sub-plot about a skeezy RV Salesman. They just try to do too much all at once. Now I understand its an indie film and that is why I'm giving it a little bit of leeway. That and the last half hour is the most entertaining part of it with some loud and boisterous characters and a decent wrap up to all the various plot points.

So who is Ben Banks? No really, who is he. Its not only his character's name but also his real name apparently? He's not a good fact he is atrociously awful. He has no emotion to his voice, he delivers his lines with utter incompetence. And yet all that being said somehow he has this charisma on screen where you actually grow to like the big doofus. This is his only acting credit whoever he is. Mischa Barton has the honour of being the biggest name in the film really. Barton does a really good job actually. Maybe because Banks shows such little emotion Barton seems so much better. Either way she is watchable and their chemistry is pretty good. David Sullivan is decent as the aforementioned skeezy RV Salesman. His character is over the top and ridiculous but he definitely adds something comically to the cast. Kim Huffman is okay as Bank's mother but doesn't particularly stand out. Banks' best friends are all very typical stoner best friends and I can't really say much about their performances. Certainly they fulfil what they are supposed to in their roles but that doesn't give them much to stand out with. This mysterious Ben Banks is what really gets me. In every description of the movie, including the cover box, it says starring Mischa Barton and Melora Hardin (who is in the film for maybe five minutes.) There are no credits at all for Ben Banks. Just bizarre and I would guess by his performance that he is not a professional actor.

So as with most indie films this is written and directed by the same person...Bryce Clark. I must first of all admit that the last half hour of this film was much better than the first hour. If the entire film had been consistent with how it wrapped up I probably would have scored it at least an 8. But it isn't consistent. The script is disjointed and all over the place. It tries to do too much all at once and misses the mark on what it should focus on. However, as I said the last half hour makes sticking in there worthwhile. It even shows a surprising moral lesson in the end that was welcome in my books. Is Beauty and The Least a good film? No. Sadly it is just too slow and too clumsy to be considered "good." However, for an indie film project it isn't a complete waste. It has some positive aspects and the film is beautifully shot. Some more experience and better actors would have made this a much more well rounded film. 5/10
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Painful Acting Meets Unimaginative Writing
Amanda Navarro9 September 2013
While the plot of Beauty and the Least (Ben Banks...)is generally interesting, if unimaginative, the movie itself is incredibly flawed. From the whiny, cliché "indie mood music" that courses throughout, to the over-abundant extreme face close-ups, the vast majority of the movie feels like an imitation of a traditional coming-of-age indie film. Indeed, a few tweaks, and it could almost become a parody of the genre. The script feels terribly overworked and unoriginal--- the last line is cringe-inducing. While watching this movie, I had almost constant deja vu; as if I was re-watching the awkward senior film project my roommate had directed in college. The most glaring issue with the film, however, is hands-down the acting. Mischa Barton is unbelievable at best. Ben Banks... well, he seems like a moderately sexy stoner who was given a script an hour prior to filming. He acting is painfully awkward at times. There is some comic relief in the form of some Reno 911-style side characters--- maybe they remind me of something funny or maybe I was just so happy to be slightly entertained, but they felt hilarious compared to the plodding pace of the rest of the movie. Ultimately the movie was slow, trite, and though reasonably pretty to look at, completely forgettable.
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