Reasons To Be Pretty, by Neil LaBute
I have only read a couple of Neil LaBute’s plays, but I have hitherto been impressed with his gumption and his writing. Reasons To Be Pretty, though, left me a little disappointed. In this play, LaBute explores the human fascination with physical beauty. As with many of LaBute’s plays, there are only four characters: Greg, his girlfriend Steph, Steph’s bestfriend Carly, and Carly’s husband Kent.
After Greg comments on a coworker’s pretty face and Steph’s lack of a pretty face, his world is turned upside down. Carly and Kent’s relationship struggles too, and they all must determine what “pretty” is worth.
I general, I thought this play was a hard read. The characters argue a lot, with overlapping lines, which is hard to follow on the page. Also, the characters just didn’t speak to me. I’m not sure if there was enough development. The writing was okay, but I didn’t feel like the ostensible theme of physical attributes was sufficiently established as the motivation for the characters actions.
Even though I had some reservations after reading this play, a lot of my complaints probably stem from the fact that a play is meant to be seen not read. I would recommend seeing this play, rather than reading it.
Reasons To Be Pretty, by Neil LaBute [rating:2]