It’s rare, no, let’s be honest, it’s UNHEARD of, for a movie to do a book justice, let alone out-do it. Yet, somehow, Beautiful Creatures
has managed to do that.I was excited to read the book because it had every element needed to be amazing. Like reading a recipe full of ingredients you love: Cheese? Yes, please. Pasta? Oh yeah. Meat? Now we’re talking. How can you go wrong with a witch tale told in the south with dark witches running amok, boys with country accents and saying “ma’am” all the time, and the South’s very convincing group of Mean Girls? Real simple: You forget to add seasoning.Now, I watch Food Network for a few hours a day – it’s an obsession of mine. And the nail in any dish’s coffin is: It needed some salt. That’s what Beautiful Creatures
needed – a healthy pinch of salt. It was too sweet and I was looking for some savory. Hell, I was looking for some spice. These are southern witches, people. They should’ve knocked me on my ass. Unfortunately, they knocked me out. As in asleep. Within a few pages. Not good.
Perhaps the fatal flaw was that the book was told in the remarkably believable voice of a 16-year-old boy. By nature, most 16-year-old boys aren’t all that spicy, and this boy was no exception. Maybe if it was told in Lena’s point of view – ya know, the one all this stuff was actually HAPPENING to – it’d have come across better on the written page. As it was, no such luck. But thankfully, some brilliant screenwriter saw the potential here and brought it to life on the big screen.
Let’s be straight here: I am not looking for the next Shawshank Redemption. I am simply here for a teen paranormal romance with some flash and some magic and some sweet teenage cliches. And this movie hits on every mark. It is not going to win an Oscar, but it is everything it should be.
Ethan is sweet, unassuming, handsome without being intimidating. Lena is pretty and quirky, engaging and loveable. And let’s not forget the talents of Mr. Jeremy Irons, the impeccable Emma Thompson, and the irresistible Emme Rossum. The sets and scenery are deliciously lavish. The writing was impeccable for this genre, and the performances were quite stellar. The movie could have used some Tim Burton-esque flair, but it had its own type of charming darkness that I genuinely enjoyed. The soundtrack was less than perfect and there was some cheese sprinkled in here and there, but overall, it was lovely.
It deviated quite a bit from the book, but that’s what I liked about it. The pace was better than in the book, the characters more vivid and the storyline more interesting. The book was good enough on its own, nothing I’d recommend, but nothing I’d discourage. Though with this thoroughly satisfying film adaptation of it, I shall be picking up the sequel. And hoping for another movie.
So is this the next Harry Potter? Oh no, not by a very, very, very long shot. It’s not even the next Twilight (*cough*Thank God*cough*). But it is most definitely worth the two hours I spent watching it. And the next two hours I will spend when I watch it again. I give it 3.5 quills out of 5.