Welcome to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss
a Harlequin romance manga romance manga romance, just, like, in general. Today we’re discussing the (surprisingly) pro-union 90s romance blockbuster The Beautician and the Beast, where we’re dragging #franculture into the mainstream where it belongs.
Rachel: i’m so glad that we watched this movie
Jenny: lol v same
CC: me too what a feel-good film
Ashley: it was extremely fun
CC: a balm to my soul
I Love Fran
Rachel: she’s sO GREAT
Jenny: she’s my hero
Ashley: she is a goddess among women
Rachel: the whole movie i kept turning to my partner and being like “i can’t believe how hot the nanny is”
CC: she’s such a babe
Jenny: exhibit a:
Ashley: THAT DREEEEESSSSSS
also can i just say i love a gal who rocks a widow’s peak
Ashley: mad respect
Rachel: it gives her such morticia addam’s fun sister vibes
Jenny: eddie munster whomst?
Ashley: CHARISMA CHECK: PASSED WITH FLYING NEON COLORS
Rachel: LOL she is the face of an adventuring party if i ever saw one
CC: oh yeah so should we summarize this movie real quick?
Rachel: yes yes
Jenny: hero teacher brings world peace
Ashley: young, working class Jewish New Yorker is searching for the perfect fit in both career and life, and finds it in a gig teaching the children of a mysterious ruler of an Eastern European country with an utterly incomprehensible form of government
Ashley: manages to find true love and lead the workers’ revolution along the way ????
CC: hashtag goals
so like, ok, one thing to note in our summary
our gal here is posing as a “real teacher” when she is in fact “just” a beauty school teacher but
CC: this is a lie, she IS a real teacher
and a good teacher!!!!
such a good teacher
Jenny: the best teacher!!
CC: this is legit a better lesson plan than almost any actual curriculum I had about this play
Ashley: HAHA yes
they wanted her to expose the children to her culture! and she did!
CC: and! how!!!
look all I’m saying is she is an AMAZING teacher and frankly I would have learned more in her class than in just about any actual class I have taken
she really commits to the bit!
she is using what she knows and really going for it!!!
Ashley: i mean, the science project of getting hair gel out of aloe plants???? that’s NEXT LEVEL okay
my AP Bio teacher could NEVER
Jenny: and frankly who needs to know the stuff she doesn’t know?
Ashley: HAHAHA i loved that bit
Jenny: who gives a shit about this asshole
Ashley: not important
Jenny: love to see that everyone hated newt always
Ashley: this is valuable anthropological information for future humans
Rachel: honestly i loved the level of disrespect she brought to all figures of authority
CC: hard same
Ashley: okay but also
that scene where Timothy Dalton is giving a speech to a large crowd of peasants, and you can see her getting visibly hornt….
Ashley: i love that her moral compass is like, well, autocratic rule is honestly fine as long as the populace are secure and well cared-for
for the record, let it me known that jenny named that screenshot “insert pegging joke here.png”
CC: also, to your point ashley:
CC: (jk jk not endorsing)
(in this year of hell, let me be clear, I am not endorsing an autocratic government with or without good intentions L O L)
Ashley: notably, he does not make war! and though he imprisons a dissident, it is CLEARLY more indicative of his struggle with his daughter’s sexuality
(and he does eventually free him)
CC: yeah that is a good point!
Ashley: fran drescher being an excellent sexual health educator in this moment
truly we have no choice but to stan
Jenny: no choice but to fran
Ashley: YES MA’AM
Ashley: honestly, replacing stan culture with fran culture would be SO HEALTHY for us as a society
CC: 100% endorse fran culture
where do i sign this petition
Jenny: just another of our fran-given rights
Ashley: jenny, god you are so good with the screenshots
you are the fran drescher of timely screenshots
all i’ve ever wanted
CC: ok but while we’re on the subject of continually relevant content from this movie
CC: too real
CC: big oof energy
Jenny: oh man yeah
t i m e l y
and here i thought the harshest truth was going to be
Rachel: i thought this was about to be a tokyo tarareba movie
and punch me right in my 32 year old gut
CC: but also, can you really settle for someone who owns their own stationary store?
look man what a beautiful dream
Jenny: sounds like she’s the reacher there
Ashley: as we know from the original Shop Around The Corner that is the ideal male form, like it or not
Jenny: but truly what a great dad, fran’s dad
Jenny: and what a solidly hilarious mom
Jenny: just get her girl
Ashley: okay but she’s also saying that right in front of the framed cover story of fran saving the animals from the beauty school fire!
we rib with SO MUCH LOVE in this house!!
Jenny: it’s true!! a v loving household!!
CC: speaking of wall art
CC: hell yeah
CC: (would) love 2 have an oil painting of my dog
Jenny: just a matter of time tbh
Ashley: this is before you could commission pet portraits on the internet! twitter did not exist!
CC: where did she find this artist??????
Ashley: probably down at the Carvel
Jenny: how did anyone get anything done before the internet, frankly?
maybe put out an ad – pet portraitist wanted, submit portfolio
truly i have no clue
Rachel: i bet her husband used those stationary connections
Jenny: that sounds real and i trust it
Ashley: on the other hand, fran could not have googled the small country she was offered a job in, and therefore was completely within societal norms to hop a plane there that very day
CC: paris, 50 years ago
Jenny: truly how did anyone not get murdered in the past
Ashley: omg omg
may i take this opportunity to analyze the history and political structure of this fictional country??? y’all know i’m chomping at the bit
Jenny: go off
Ashley: i have to use this czech studies background for SOMETHING
CC: hell yeah
Ashley: and in this case, okay… Slovetzia, despite being located distinctly to the east of modern-day Czechia, uses Czech as its language and is therefore in concept lightly based on it
HOWEVER, this is very peculiar, as what was formerly known as the Czech Republic had the least “violent” split from the Soviet Bloc in the 90s in what was known as the “Velvet Revolution”
while Slovetzia in the film combines incongruent stereotypes of autocratic “communist” rule with features of neoliberalization (hostility to workers’ unions)
Slovetzia is clearly intended as a former Soviet Bloc state (supported by references to Fidel and other socialist leaders staying in the bedroom given to Fran)
and yet, the movie’s canon also states that Pochenko inherited leadership from his father, and before that his grandfather, implying a former state of monarchy?
in short, it makes no sense, is extremely 90s post-Cold War mumbo jumbo, but is nonetheless very amusing and enjoyable to watch
CC: we are Learning learning here on pome dash mag dot com!!!!
CC: let me help u with that big brain
Ashley: omg thank you, heavy is the head that wears 4 years of absolutely useless scholarship
CC: I gotta say, it is really hard to figure out the goal for these political ideologies
Jenny: if only fran could come fix the neoliberalism that runs rampant today
just a matter of
Jenny: and a dash of
Jenny: and then we should be all set
Ashley: FRAN, THE HERO WE NEED!!!
CC: working class icon
Ashley: the only person on the planet who could pull off heeled booties in white boot-cut jeans WHILE organizing the factory
CC: so, this is a bit of a change of subject and is much less big brain
what did yall think about Them
CC: (spoiler alert: she did the thing)
Jenny: agree — did not want to be as into it as i was
Ashley: omg yes exactly jenny
their chemistry was SPICY af
Rachel: at first my feeling was SHE’S TOO GOOD FOR YOU
but then he turned out to be a tough-on-the-outside-full-of-feelings-on-the-inside kind of dictator
Jenny: a real nougat centered kind of dictator
CC: yeah by the end was kinda as “sure, yeah, I can accept you trying your whole life to be a good enough man for fran”
Jenny: and honestly that’s the take-home message!
we all need to try our whole lives to be good enough for fran
but also def their chemistry was v good
Rachel: honestly love a woman who can easily convince a man to shave his gross moustache
but i am prejudiced against moustaches
Jenny: idk i think timothy dalton isn’t timothy dalton w/o it
i’m into it
Ashley: and also EXPERTLY execute it super old-fashioned style?
fran has STUDIED THE BLADE
CC: she literally has!!!
she is literally a certified practitioner of the blade!!!
stylists are so powerful…
Ashley: honestly i think dalton looks great without the mustache, though slightly less hot, and also absolutely HORRENDOUS in that fat-tie broad lapel suit at the very end
Rachel: oh yes with the turtleneck
Ashley: nah, that’s the YSL, that one is okay
i’m talking about the blue suit with the gold tie that makes him look like a Dick Tracy character
Jenny: i mean, tbh that was the only scene where his hair looked good
the rest of the time it was just
Jenny: like gelled…out??
Rachel: he’s like a hotter aliens guy
Rachel: honestly the 90s were terrible to everyone from an aesthetic perspective except for Fran and also Marsha, the second oldest daughter who made her own clothes
CC: early 90s Looks were like, designed for Fran
Jenny: all looks were designed for fran
Ashley: yeah like, basically everyone was trying to look like Fran and simply could not cut it
she IS the blueprint
Rachel: accept no substitutions!!
CC: the rest of the world was just trying to buy couture looks from the fashion bug
I should know, my mom used to work at several different fashion bugs in the mid to late 90s
it was Rainbow for me
CC: so real quick
I just wanna talk about this
CC: love when a writer writes the trope just for you
i am a fan and i am being served
Ashley: the most regal updo of all time!!!!!
Jenny: marie antoinette could never
CC: love the pointy tiara
this gold gown
Jenny: head to toe
r e g a l
CC: god even the sorta plum, sorta nude lipstick which was v of the time
Ashley: yes, i was frankly in awe of her extremely difficult lipstick choices
it shouldn’t work BUT IT DOES
CC: what a palette
Jenny: i mean–she has STUDIED THE SHADE
Ashley: ** shock jock airhorn noises **
Ashley: nailed it
CC: y’all ready to get into final thoughts? I know there is just so much gold in this movie worth talking about LOL
Jenny: i’m down
Ashley: let’s do it
Rachel: yes please
mind if i go first??
CC: yeah go ahead!
Rachel: that CARTOON AT THE BEGINNING
Jenny: stomping away from prince charming
Rachel: SHE’S NOT SETTLING FOR THIS NERD
CC: and also what bootleg don bluth studio did this tho
v good disney hot takes
CC: just far enough away to avoid a lawsuit
Jenny: very 9 to 5, very Xandau
Rachel: i just wish i could have been in the room when they were like “ok here’s the pitch for this movie, oh and also, it opens with a cartoon”
“people are going to go wild for it”
Jenny: it was a different time
CC: wasn’t the nanny’s like,
idk what it’s actually called but
like, the opening song
wasn’t that a cartoon too???
Rachel: YEAH THE OPENING
omg maybe it’s a Fran thing
MAYBE FRAN LOVES CARTOONS
IT’S IN ALL HER CONTRACTS
CC: ok well my final thought is
Actual Picture Of Me:
CC: me, for several consecutive months earlier this year
this is the Too Real content in the movie for me
CC: me: emotionally smothering my dog
also me: WHAT’S WRONG
Jenny: v real v real
my final thought is: this is how you perfectly deliver an astonishing punchline
Ashley: “this embryo belongs to satan” AMEN
Jenny: didn’t they do this on Sabrina?
CC: probably not as well let’s be honest
Ashley: ** solemn nod **
Jenny: lolololol v real
but fran would do anything better than RAS
Rachel: so true
Jenny: better than anyone, really
Rachel: the truest
Jenny: and that’s my final thought
Jenny: she’s fab
Ashley: the TAILORING, i die
Join us next time for even more love story shouting in our next Romance Roundtable! In the meantime, check out our Patreon for just a few bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable, as a treat.