Release Date: February 14 2013
Length: 124 minutes
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Based On: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I so wanted to like this movie. I loved the book and the previews really made it seem like they had captured its essence, even with the character changes they made. However, unfortunately, aside from some pretty visuals, I don’t have many good things to say about it. It was so bad it was almost laughable.
The movie is a poor interpretation of the book. Unnecessary changes were made; these changes were beyond the usual needed to convert a book to a movie. They were gratuitous and, unlike others where the changes improve the story, they made it discordant, confusing, and generic. They even went so far as changing the ending to the point that it changed the entire theme and message of the story. In my opinion, that is one of the most egregious errors that can be made when turning a book into a movie. If you change the basic message, especially in a negative way, you destroy the essence of that story.
The problems with the movie went beyond the simply poor translation, however. The accents were atrocious. I found myself laughing at how incredibly bad they actually were. Much of the dialogue given to Ethan would have been more appropriate for a 40 year old rather than a 16 year old. The time jumped forward so quickly it was difficult to find the connection between Lena and Ethan believable, especially since they weren’t shown to be as close or reliant on each other as in the book. The story was very choppy and hard to follow, at times. Events occurred that really made no sense in the context in which they were presented.
I did, however, like the casting. I felt that they did an excellent job finding actors that really fit the characters they were portraying. It’s just unfortunate that they were given such little to work with.
All in all, it really wasn’t worth seeing in the theater. I’m not sure it’s even worth paying the $1 at Redbox. Save your money and see something else.