A laughable love

Elizabeth Golden

When will teen films writers learn that love does not happen overnight? Well maybe “love” does happen overnight to those involved while everyone on the outside sits and laughs at their stupidity. “Beautiful Creatures” tell of an instantaneous love between a witch and a mortal and proves to be just that: laughable and stupid.
Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl moves to town and begins a 72-day struggle of good over evil. Soon after entering the town, she runs into Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), who only dreams of some day being able to escape the prison of a small town in which they live. Within a week, they’re dating, in love, being stupid and showing off their annoying personalities.
After an hour into the film, the true plot is revealed. On the eve of her 16th birthday, Lena must find a spell to erase the certain evil protruding on her life. When a witch turns 16, her true nature will decide whether she will be good or evil for the rest of eternity. Lena only dreams of being good, but feels her soul is evil at heart.
Ethan discovers Lena’s unlikely powers early on and continues to help her unlock the secrets to her past and in the process they both discover their connected family history.
The best part of the film is Lena’s personality and the chemistry between the characters. Despite the awful storyline and sad attempts at cinematography, the chemistry and character traits manage to shine through. Lena is brutally honest and hilariously sarcastic with a necessary element of quirkiness. Ethan is boring, predictable and relatively annoying, but together the characters come across as sweet and funny.
Their affection is obvious besides the unrealistic fantasy aspect. Yes, this is a teen fantasy film, but once again, that does not make love happen within a couple days of meeting.
Maybe those who are romantics will enjoy this, but it’s hard to get to the substance of a film when the premise is so unrealistic and cheesy.
The film is clearly playing up to the “Twilight” crowd, however it fails miserably. As horrible as “Twilight” was, it did get viewers emotionally involved in the characters. People felt the drama and wanted more. There’s a fine line between cute and cheesy, and “Beautiful Creatures” fell on the extreme cheesy side of the line.
There is potential here. The supernatural theme is extremely popular and could be interesting, but the filmmakers did not capture the most interesting dynamics in the story. The film is based on a book, so who knows what the book focused on? But there were very interesting story lines and character dimensions that the film did not even touch on. This is most likely a writing problem since the directing proved to be 100 percent average.
However, the film was entertaining, though a tad bit long. It’s easy to lose interest halfway through. The acting was solid. The directing was decent. The special effects were overplayed, but tolerable. Nothing made this film stand out, but then nothing made it unwatchable.
Overall, this film is not worth the price of theatre admission, but wouldn’t be a waste of a dollar at RedBox.
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