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Belated Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

When Jamie and I were regularly podcasting, I joked that I should do a segment called “Krista’s Ridiculously Outdated Movie Reviews.” Many moms can identify with being unable to go to the movie theater to see new releases, and I’m no exception to this. Only on vacation, when we have grandparents around to watch our boys (for free!), are we able to get to the movies. Or, you know, when I’m anxiously awaiting a huge release and attend a premiere party with friends.

Beautiful Creatures reviewSo anyway, I was able to sneak away after work yesterday, on my husband’s day off, and see a movie by myself. It was a once in a blue moon opportunity — a movie I wanted to see, of a book I just finished, someone to watch the boys, and time to do it. All of that AND Tuesdays are $1 days at this particular theater. Score! (Do people still say “Score!” like that? Probably not. Oh well, deal with it.)

The movie I went to see was “Beautiful Creatures,” a screen adaptation of the book Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I really enjoyed the book, after getting off to a slow start, and really wanted to see the movie before it leaves theaters for good (since it came out on February 14th of this year). I’m way behind on this whole series, I realize, so yeah I’m totally a Johnny Come Lately. Better late than never, right? I love all these YA fantasy books and while it took me awhile to adjust to it being told from the male perspective, it’s a great story.

Here’s the official movie description:

A supernatural love story set in the South which tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan, a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena, a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. The film is based on the first novel in the best-selling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

And my thoughts on the movie, in bullet points (Caution, minor spoilers ahead!):

  • Ethan (played by Alden Ehrenreich) is so much more charming in the book than I imagined him from the book. You can’t help but smile at him as he delivers his lines.
  • I loved the visual effects, especially the Harvest celebration scene at Ravenwood. Simply gorgeous.
  • I missed so much of the high school stuff from the book. I was looking forward to the Winter Formal scene!
  • Lena (played by Alice Englert) isn’t as “dark” as I imagined, I pictured her being much weirder. And for some reason, I pictured her charm necklace as being GIGANTIC.
  • Jeremy Irons is PERFECT as Macon Ravenwood. Perfect. I pretty much loved all of the casting.
  • Amma is totally different from how I pictured her. I pictured her being a large woman and moving really slow. This Amma is fit and not the apron-wearing nurturer that I expected.
  • There are so many missing characters!
  • Toward the end, I was all “Whaaaaaat?! What is happening right now?!” To read more about the major differences between the book and the movie, see this article at TheDailyBeast.com, 14 Notable Differences from the Book to the Screen (Warning:  Contains MAJOR SPOILERS)

Overall, I loved both the book and the movie, just differently. As with The Hunger Games or any other book to screen adaptation, you have to see them as separate entities that have different audiences and the story has to be told differently. I understand WHY they made the decisions they did when changing major aspects of the story and I think they still serve the larger picture even with the changes.

For another review of Beautiful Creatures, check out Yes/No Films’ take!

Did you read the book and/or see the movie? What did you think?

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.

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