Beastly movie premiere lovely evening for fans

By Gary Alan Ruse….

Pictured at the Feb. 28 premiere of “Beastly” at The Falls are (l-r) Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, author Alex Flinn and Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner.

The movie may have been Beastly, but the premiere was anything but for area fans and for Palmetto Bay author Alex Flinn, upon whose bestselling young adult novel the film is based.

Great weather favored the Feb. 28 special screening of the movie which hit theaters nationwide on Mar. 4, and the Regal Cinemas at The Falls on SW 136th Street was the ideal community location, with Flinn welcoming more than 285 guests to the premiere arranged by Miami’s Community Newspapers.

Besides the author, her husband Gene Flinn (former Palmetto Bay mayor) and their two daughters, Meredith and Katherine, other VIPs included current Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Councilmember Howard Tendrich from Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, and of course a lot of friends and fans.

“It was a lot of fun seeing everybody there, being able to share it with my friends and neighbors,” Alex Flinn said. “We all really enjoyed it and we’re grateful to the Community Newspapers for arranging it.”

Flinn had seen the film for the first time on Feb. 24 during the Los Angeles premiere attended by a number of the cast members, so there were no surprises for her seeing it at The Falls and she could relax a bit. Overall, she said she was pleased by how well the film interpretation of her book turned out.

“It was a lot of fun,” Flinn said. “I didn’t expect it to be exactly like my book, but it was close enough, especially considering the length. The movie is an hour and a half long, so the script is about 100 pages, and the book is about 300 pages. The novel is very inward, but they did well with that.”

Beastly was produced by CBS Films and stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris and Peter Krause.

One of the fans of the book who attended the movie premiere was Katie Harrington, a sophomore at Coral Reef High School. She said she was impressed with the movie and its positive message.

“My friends and I went and we all thought it was a very funny, sweet, heartfelt movie and learned that you don’t need good looks to fall in love,” Harrington said. “It was nice to see Katherine Flinn there, because she’s in my class in school. That was cool.”

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