The Beautician And The Beast

Through a misunderstanding, a New York beautician (Fran Drescher) gets hired by the dictator (Timothy Dalton) of a mythical eastern European country to tutor his four childrenand guess what? She winds up teaching him the joys of love and democracy. As silly and as obvious as it sounds (and is), Ken Kwapis’s rendition of a Todd Graff script reeking of The King and I and The Sound of Music manages to be sweet and likable, largely because Kwapis directs the actors well and treats the sub-Lubitsch material as if he actually believed in it. With Ian McNeice, Lisa Jakub, and Michael Lerner. PG, 105 min. (JR)

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