There's a moment in the new movie 'Beastly' when Lindy, a manic pixie dream girl played by Vanessa Hudgens, describes the appeal of Kyle, a ultradouche classmate played by the eminently fetching Alex Pettyfer, where she hints at the hidden depths of emotion beneath his glossy, gorgeous surface. But she dismisses her thoughts as "catnip for sappy tools," which is sort of curious, since the film itself perfectly fits that description, albeit in an even less flattering way: 'Beastly' is the kind of melodramatic, moralizing tripe that absolutely no one can relate to, because it exploits primitive, one-dimensional archetypes in a story that isn't even smart enough to follow the long-since-hackneyed formulas from which it is stealing.

Dramatically inert and technically incompetent, 'Beastly' manages not to be as awful as the other worst movies of the year because unlike them, there was no hope for anything else; it was never not going to be awful.