Guilty Pleasures – Beautiful Creatures

Did I say I was going to stop watching movies?  Oh c’mon guys, you know me better than that! 

So when wednesday rolled around, and it was date night…

I convinced my guy to go see Beautiful Creatures!

The film is based off the book series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  Incredibly well webbed, Creatures tells the story of Lena Ducannes (played by New Zealand actress Alice Englert), just returned to the small, judgmental town of Gatlin, LA.  There, she meets Ethan Wate (played by Steven Spielberg discovered Alden Ehrenreich), a boy who is counting the days until graduation and his subsequent escape from Gatlin.

Rounding out the spectacular cast of the movie, we see Viola Davis (The Help) as Amma, a Seer, Emmy Rossum (Phantom of the Opera) as Ridley, Lena’s wicked cousin, Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Nanny McPhee) as the Church zealot Mrs. Lincoln, and one of my man crushes, Jeremy Irons (Man in the Iron Mask, Voice of Scar in The Lion King) as the patriarch of Lena’s family, Macon Ravenwood.

Early on we learn that Lena and her family are different from the other townspeople.  In fact, they’re witches, or “Casters” as they prefer.  As Lena and Ethan become closer, their family histories will become more and more entwined than they can imagine.

What I loved about the movie, and it has to be said that my guy liked it to, so if you’re guy is saying he doesn’t want to go, he’ll probably like it!

…Where was I?…

Oh yes!  What I loved about the movie is that it’s the story of good vs. evil, but with depth.  There really aren’t any characters that seemed one-sided.  Even though they all stand for one side, their emotions, their dreams, and most crucially their families are intertwined.

I was really impressed with newcomer Alden Ehrenreich who plays Ethan.  As a fan of accents (and someone who tries to pick them constantly) I loved his portrayal of southern boy charm.  Within minutes of the opening scene, my honey commented, “I like this guy.”  That’s saying something!

The plot line for those are obsessed with paranormal YA books may be predictable, but I still loved how every bit of tension possible was maximized and  yet believable.  The ongoing tension of the first film is Lena’s upcoming claiming.  On her 16th birthday, she will be claimed for either the light or the dark and her fate will be sealed.  There was a variety of elements at play though.  Yes, destiny has its spotlight, but there’s also a family curse, a forbidden love, and the conviction of your own beliefs.

Nothing was easy, but it was very entertaining.

If I can compare Beautiful Creatures to any movie, I’d say Twilight, which I do like.  But Creatures is done much better all around!  Guess here’s another series for me to be addicted to!

Have you seen Beautiful Creatures yet?  Have you read the book?  What did you think?  

If you haven’t seen it, do you want to?  What are your favorite YA films or books out there?

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15 responses

  1. I want to see this!! I love “casting.” But your comparison to the Twilight movies scared me… I’ve watched them, but I’m not a huge fan. I’m glad to know you felt this was better all around.

    1. Oh for sure! It’s much better. But it is another YA paranormal love series. I think you’ll love it. It’s a lot like the CW. How’s that sound?

  2. Haven’t seen it and don’t know much about it. But if you’re looking for a really good read by a YA author that features a paranormal element, I recommend Lisa Nowak’s “Dead Heat.” This is my blogging friend from Portland but, unlike many people I know who claim they can write, she really can – her book is thoughtful, engaging, sad, and joyful, all at once. I highly recommend it.

    1. Thanks tor the recommendation Mark! I’ll check her out!

  3. I’ve heard of Beautiful Creatures but haven’t seen it yet. Wonder if my 14 yo daughter would like it?

    1. She’d probably love it! And it’s very appropriate for that age. Go have a mother/daughter date!

  4. My 12 year daughter has asked about going and wants to read the books.. Was worried it might be too mature. Trailer looks good.

    1. From what I remember it’s pretty clean. I think you could take her for sure! I’d be fine with my 10 year old niece watching it because she reads stuff way beyond her grade level. There’s no heavy makeout scenes or overly violent fights. Most the tension is in the plot. In defining your own story while being knowledgeable about where you come from.

      1. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll let her know we can have a mom/daughter date. She’ll be thrilled! 🙂

  5. I had JUST finished the book the day I took my 13yo daughter to see it (she convinced me to read the book before taking her). It was SO different than the book, I had a hard time getting past it. But I did love the casting. And I think I would have liked it better without reading the book.

    1. Well Tia, you’ve hit on my Golden Rule. See the movie before reading the book! I mean it. That way you can enjoy the movie and be entertained, while the book is still surprising when you read it second. The changes are more exciting rather than disappointing.

      1. I think you are onto something. Truly. I’m going to try that with The Host as an experiment. I’m always afraid I won’t read the book if I’ve already seen the movie, but you have an excellent point about still getting surprised (since the movies OFTEN stray from the book anyway). Yes, realizations such as this make me happy. 😉

        1. Another notch in my club of converting people over to the dark side! 😉

  6. Tantalizing trailer, Jess, but truly, all a director need do is toss Emma Thompson in the cast and I. Am. There.

    1. You know her Southern accent wasn’t all that bad!

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