Monday, February 11th 2013
It’s been over a week now since I sat down and talked to the director of the movie. I had fifteen minutes to interview him, but I didn’t have anything to ask him. There was just so much that I wanted to tell him. I wish I had recorded that conversation, because it wrote my review for me. But I didn’t, so I will do my best to tell you how much I love this movie.
I spend a lot of my time reading and running websites on book to movie adaptations. Beautiful Creatures just happens to be a book that I know inside and out. I can remember how I devoured the book in 4.5 hours (seriously, that’s how long it took me to read it). And I can remember the way I felt as I closed the book on the last page, and quite frankly I was going to be mad if I didn’t feel that way again.
It was in December when I went to Warner Bros. Studios to sit and watch a screening of the movie. I was nervous and scared. Why? Because if this movie was not done properly, I don’t hold back. I would have told Richard LaGravenese that I didn’t like it and this is where he went wrong. But, I sat down with my best friend and we looked over at each other. We were in for a ride, and I was a little intimidated because one of the authors sat behind me.
We all know the story as it exists in the book. I, like some of you, am somewhat of a purist. I want movies to be as close to the books as possible. I want to be able to feel what I felt when I read the words as I watch it dance across the screen. What happened next was not what I was prepared for.
I fell “in love” all over again.
Now, here’s the thing… Beautiful Creatures is a great adaptation, but you should go into it knowing that the book and the movie are not exactly the same. But that isn’t a bad thing. I have read the book about 20 times, and I truly believe that LaGravenese did an amazing interpretation of the book. Beautiful Creatures is a wildly romantic ride, that leaves you on the edge of your seat.
I have gone through the same emotions that you all have. Combine Amma and Marian? No. Emmy Rossum as Ridley? That doesn’t make sense. Alden Ehrenreich? Who is he? You name the question, I have asked it. You name the complaint, and I can guarantee you someone at Warner Bros. or Alcon Entertainment has probably heard it from me.
For all of you that aren’t familiar with the book, here’s the story…
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I am here to tell you that I was wrong to ever second guess any decision made in the adaptation of Beautiful Creatures.
I could give you quite a few reasons why, but I am going to narrow it down to what I think are the five main reasons that you need to go and see ‘Beautiful Creatures’ as soon as possible.
(1) Alden Ehrenreich. If you don’t know the name, become very familiar with it, because it will be a name that sticks around for a long time. I feel like kind of a cougar writing this, but as my mother crushed on James Dean, I will be crushing on Alden for a long time to come. The boy oozes charisma, appeal, and if I was 13 I would hang him on my wall. He steals this movie away from veteran actors, and draws you so deep into Gatlin that you don’t want to leave.
(2) Zoey Deutch. I had only ever seen her on ‘Ringer’ and didn’t know about her famous pedigree. But for someone who doesn’t have a ton of screen time, she draws you into every second that she is there. Her whit and sass, had me laughing at points that I used stomach muscles that are basically nonexistent.
(3) Emmy Rossum. Ok, I admit it. I was worried about Ridley not being blonde and not being a teenager. But I was wrong. Emmy does Ridley justice in ways that I can’t describe. She makes you forget about the lollipops and the pink hair streak, and cheer for the bad girl.
(4) It’s funny. I mean it’s really funny. From the beginning until the end, there are so many things that happen, that you just can’t stop laughing. When you see the titanic scene or the rain on me scene or when Ethan first visits Ravenwood… you can’t stop laughing.
(5) It’s a love story. It’s a wildly romantic ride. You root for Ethan and Lena, your heart breaks for them, and you find yourself hoping that you can have a love that deep and strong in your life. You want to love them, cheer for them, and find yourself falling in love with them.
Beautiful Creatures does not disappoint. It pulls you in from the beginning to the end. I walked out in tears, aching for the next installment. I went and picked the book back up and read it again.
Let me know what you think. Will you be spending your Valentine’s Day with Beautiful Creatures? I will.