Synopsis: Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
Based on a novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
My Review: I was very wary about going to see this movie because I have been burned by my experience of watching the Twilight series on the silver screen, not to say that the Twilight books were the height of fine literature.
What I WAS worried about was sitting through a movie that consisted of 30% plot and 70% smoldering looks.
I have read Beautiful Creatures and I liked the novel but it did lag in certain places and it was mostly because it was establishing the mythos of the world that the authors had created.
With that said, the screenwriter and editor squished 500+ pages into two great watchable hours of movie.
Yet, I must give it to cast of the movie for making it so enjoyable. Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Waite was utterly charming and witty. His delivery was spot on and his chemistry with Alice Englert who portrayed Lena Duchannes was endearing and palpable. When these two were on the screen, it was hard to tear your eyes away from the screen. Happily, there was not one lingering or smoldering stare between these two.
The supporting cast was also superb and rightly so as they are Oscar caliber. As a result they gave this movie much needed gravitas, because in all honesty these parts could have been given to a less seasoned cast and the characters of Sarafine, Riley, Amma and Macon could have come across as back wood and comedic.
There were numerous scenes that I could highlight, but my favorite revolved around Lena making a sacrifice that would enable her to protect Ethan and when Amma, the mother figure to Ethan, realizes what Lena has done and she stares off into the distance aching for what these kids are going through. This ties into a sermon that Amma and Ethan sit through and well, it was just nicely done. I even got a little weepy.
Should you see this movie, if you HAVE read the book? Yes. It hits all the key moments and makes you feel like you are not missing anything.
Should you see this movie, if you HAVE NOT read the book? Yes and do not bother reading the book, just get the second book.
Overall, I and my husband liked this movie and we think it would be a great movie for a date night. Actually, my husband said this movie was far better than Warm Bodies. That should tell you something.
P.S. – Sandy Kenyon reviewed this movie for a local station in NYC and he butchered it. I suggest that if you read these types of books and are anticipating the movie adaptations… do not listen to network reviews. These movies are not meant for Oscars, they are just escapist, romantic fun.