Warning: SPOILERS for Beauty and the Beast are ahead!
When the Enchantress cast her curse during Beauty and the Beast's prologue, it wasn't just the Prince and his staff who were affected. Towards the end of the movie, it was also revealed that the villagers who lived nearby had their memories erased of the castle and all of its inhabitants, and it was only when Belle professed her love for The Beast and said inhabitants reverted to their human forms that those memories were restored. However, one Beauty and the Beast viewer believes that the citizens of Villeneuve suffered from the curse in another way: being stuck in a time loop.
This theory, posited on Reddit by user Hainted, draws off numerous points of evidence to strengthen their claim that the village in Beauty and the Beast hasn't been advancing forward in time ever since the Enchantress worked her magic. To start off, it's stated at the beginning of the movie that this curse has been active for years, yet when the curse is finally broken, none of the castle inhabitants had aged when they were humans again. For instance, Chip was a child when he was turned into a tea cup, and he remained a child when he was turned back to normal. If time had progressed normally for the villagers, they would have grown older, but as seen when Mr. Potts reunited with his wife and son, they look just as they did when they were first separated.
From there, Redditor Hainted points out how Belle is able to go about her morning routine without looking up because she knows exactly what everyone in the village is up to that time of day. Remember that line in the song "Belle" about the baker selling the same tray of goods every day? Okay, that doesn't hold quite as much weight given how routine in a village that small can be easy enough even when time is flowing normally, but it's an intriguing thought. Speaking of Belle, the Redditor also speculates that another reason Belle and her father are considered odd by the other villagers in Beauty and the Beast is because since they moved to the village after the curse took effect, they've been aging normally, and because the villagers can't remember too far back, they make up reasons for their oddness, like how they have the gall to invent weird things and read books! The remaining points supporting this theory include not believing that the weirdness of the Gaston and Maurice montage taking five days, as well as how the Enchantress has been disguising herself as a spinster so she can maintain her magic on the villagers.
The Redditor also clarifies that they don't believe this is a daily time loop (similar to Groundhog Day), but rather something that resets itself every week or month. It's an interesting take that certainly fills in a few gaps in Beauty and the Beast's story. However, until a member of the movie's cast and crew address if there's any validity to if such temporal magic is at work on these villagers, it will have to remain speculation. If you have your own thoughts about this "time loop" theory, please share them in the comments below.
Beauty and the Beast is currently playing in theaters, and has cemented itself as one of Disney's big 2017 successes, collecting over $700 million worldwide and earning numerous positive reviews.