Movie Review - Beautiful Creatures

Alice Englert (left) and Alden
Ehrenreich in "Beautiful Creatures"
This movie is about a 17 or 18-year-old boy who falls in love with a 15-year-old girl in rural South Carolina and the girl turns out to be a witch. The boy then has to deal with the girl's supernatural family who doesn't want them together. Essentially, it's a teenage version of Bewitched. Elizabeth Montgomery is replaced with Alice Englert who looks like Alexis Bledel and Dick York is replaced not with Dick Sargent but with Alden Ehrenreich who was discovered by Francis Ford Coppola for his film Tetro (2009).

I want to say that Beautiful Creatures is as silly and ridiculous as Bewitched, but it might be sillier and more ridiculous. Alden Ehrenreich plays Ethan Wate who wants nothing more but to get out of Gatlin, South Carolina, go to New York, study at NYU possibly and become a writer. Yet, all that changes when he meets Lena, played by Englert.

A lot of stupid things happen. One of which is not revealing if Ethan actually goes to college or not. Ethan is so smart and loves to read. He has the potential to be a great writer, but learning if this boy ever achieves or decides to pursue his dream is of no real concern to writer-director Richard LaGravenese. Based on the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the only thing of any concern is if Ethan and Lena will end up together, which is an obvious question, even in the face of LaGravenese trying to misdirect you.

Within the first nine minutes, the movie makes two Leonardo DiCaprio references, references to his two biggest films Titantic (1997) and Inception (2010). This might be due to the fact that Ehrenreich has a DiCaprio quality. He perhaps could have a similar career, especially if he continues to work with great directors like Coppola or even Chan-wook Park.

Speaking of which, not only does Englert's character of Lena look like Ehrenreich's co-star in his previous film Stoker, also released this year, but also like Stoker, the movie centers on a conflict or struggle that the female protagonist has with her mother and if by the end the female protagonist will turn evil or not.

Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson play Lena's parents and both are extremely over-the-top. A church scene and a family dinner scene possess a level of craziness that is akin to Beetle Juice (1988). Ehrenreich and Englert have occasional good dialogue, but overall it's nowhere near as fun as the Tim Burton dark comedy. Beautiful Creatures isn't trying to be a dark comedy but it is trying to be cute and funny. In terms of that and things about witches, this movie doesn't come close to something like the TV series Charmed.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images and some sexual material.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 3 mins.


Popular Posts