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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 25, 2023



‘BEAUTIFUL DISASTER’ is a romantic drama based on a novel by Jamie McGuire, first published on the website Wattpad in 2011. 

It was a hit and had sequels like “Walking Disaster” and “The Maddox Brothers”.

The lead male character is Travis Maddox and he’s played by Dylan Sprouse, who started his career with his twin brother, Cole, as child stars in the hit sitcom “Grace Under Fire”. 

He did other shows with his brother, like “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” on the Disney Channel.  

They later went on their solo careers. Dylan was last seen in the romcom “My Fake Boyfriend” and in the hit “After We Collided”, where he is directed by Roger Kumble, now also his director in “Beautiful Disaster”. In turn, Cole became part of the hit series “Riverdale”.  

In “Beautiful Disaster”, Dylan plays Mad Dog Travis, who is full of tattoos, drives a bike and spends his nights fighting in underground boxing matches to earn a living while studying in college at Eastern University. 

His character is flawed, intense, full of angst.

Abby Abernathy (Virginia Gardner, best known for “Marvel’s Runaways”) from Las Vegas goes to college in Sacramento. 

Abby’s friend, America (Libe Barer), has a boyfriend Shepley (Austin North), who happens to be Travis’ cousin. 

America and Shepley take Abby to an underground fight and that’s where she first meets Travis.

Travis tries his best to charm Abby but she ignores his hunky appeal that is irresistible to other girls. 

She just doesn’t want anything to do with him. As such, he is all the more intrigued by her indifferent attitude towards him. 

He wants her so badly that in his efforts to win her, he then offers her a simple bet: if he’d lose in his upcoming fight, he will abstain from any sexual activity for three months. 

But if he’d win, then she must live with him in his own apartment for also a month. 

As may be expected in this kind of romantic vehicle, he wins the bet and Abby is forced to stay with him. 

At first, she is resistant to him but we all know where this is going. 

First, they become friends, then the friendship inevitably develops into love.

Travis introduces Abby to his dad and brothers. He becomes quite obsessive of her and gets jealous over a guy named Mick he sees texting her on her phone. 

It turns out Mick is Abby’s dad. Abby was a child prodigy in poker games and her dad exploited this for his own nefarious dealings.

Mick’s return to her life makes Abby’s life very complicated, turning up the heat and the drama quite a notch. 

The push and pull between the lead characters become quite intense. There’s some depth in the way the characters are developed and the movie explores it quite well. 

Travis may appear violent but he is never really cruel to Abby or his friends. 

He is just the kind of guy who will fight for the people he is close to and Dylan Sprouse captures the nuances of his role pretty well. 

For his role as an underground fighter, Dylan obviously spent lots of time in the gym to become more buff.  

In “After We Collided”, he was quite thin, has no tattoos and looks so harmless, the opposite of his role here. 

In turn, Virginia also portrays Abby quite well, a young woman running from a past she’d rather forget. 

She is basically a good girl who is focused on building a new life, but her obnoxious dad just won’t leave her alone. 

Looks like Abby and Travis bring out the best and the worst from each other. 

Their love affair is not at all perfect, that’s why the film is titled “Beautiful Disaster”. 

Eventually, you’d feel that they are good for each other as they eventually become better versions of themselves. We they have no chemistry, but we end up rooting for them all the way.

“Beautiful Disaster” is a very light confection that most critics would consider as nonsense or trash, but less demanding viewers like us would see it as a good kind of luxury garbage. 

It will start showing in local theaters on April 26.  The film must be doing well abroad as they have already made its sequel, “Beautiful Wedding”, as shown at the end credits, with the same cast and made by the same author and director.