Friday, February 15, 2013
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES WAS ROAD KILL by Pamela Powell
If you're looking for the next "Harry Potter" series of movies in "Beautiful Creatures," keep looking. I gave this one a shot because of Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, and Jeremy Irons. Shame on all three of you for duping me into thinking this movie had potential. You are all officially off my Christmas Wine Giving List!
"Beautiful Creatures" takes place in a small, backward South Carolina town. Young Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) wants nothing more than to escape, go off to college, and stay as far away from Gatlin as he can. That is until he is bewitched by a newcomer to his high school, Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert). Lena has some family secrets that could have quite a high price to pay when she turns 16 in just a few months. Lena and Ethan learn secrets and solve puzzles together as their love grows. However, true love can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse in "Beautiful Creatures." The story intertwines in predictable ways, spoon-feeding us each and every aspect of the film. Viola Davis plays the role of "fill-in" mom to Ethan as his mother was killed in a car accident. I loved Ms. Davis in "The Help" and "Doubt." What a sincere actress, but even she couldn't give this film the jolt of lightning that it needed to keep it alive. Emma Thompson had a double role; one of true good and one of true evil. While she probably had fun with this role (Who doesn't like playing out of character?), I couldn't help but feel slightly embarrassed for her. The same was true of Jeremy Irons who played the well-educated, elegantly attired uncle of Lena's. (He generally does look quite dapper!) Oh, and he was a Caster (aka Witch/Warlock). Dear, dear, dear. What have these actors done? While both Ehrenreich and Englert were fine in their roles, they truly made the geeky, awkward years of high school look even more ridiculous. I should know. I have a 17 year old daughter. My expertise is now authenticated.
The film continued on until I thought it must truly be close to dinner-time. (I saw the 10:30 am matinee.) The film needed to end. When I wish that everyone would just die or the Earth would just explode, I really can't recommend seeing the film. 124 minutes plus the requisite 15 minutes of previews was too much time to be spoon-fed. When I'm in the nursing home, then you can spoon feed me, but until then, please provide smarter movies! If you're 15-18 and female, you might like the love story aspect of it, but really, just go see "Warm Bodies" instead.