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Beauty may be only skin deep, but no one's looking any deeper in this elaborately cinematized but uninvolving fable about a pig-snouted young woman looking for love in a social circle that favors pert but less upturned noses.

Christina Ricci is Penelope, and her inoperable deformity isn't remotely severe enough to justify the farcical horror with which it's greeted by her parents, who lock her away from public view, and then by the young swains they recruit for her. All are sworn to secrecy before she's unveiled, at which point all run screaming from the family manse, some exiting by second-story windows in their haste to get away.

Only a handsome if dissolute lout named Max (James MacAvoy) can see past her proboscis. Alas, he's too proud to marry Penelope for her fortune, even though he's gambled away his own. Will she overcome her shyness? Will he overcome his principles? Will they marry and have porcine-visaged children?

Will any audience member over the age of 7 be remotely interested in the answers?

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.