Summer is coming, my dears! This means that there will be plenty of time to watch films and read books. I figured it was time to finally catch up on all the YA films made, Some are good, and some are bad. To be fair, there might be some that are somewhere in between. Anyway, YA films are the best way to spend time without having to think too much. There is action. There is romance. Basically all you need. So in the next few weeks, I will be watching a YA film and write about it. This week, it’s Beautiful Creatures.
What is it about?
RottenTomatoes says the following:
A supernatural love story set in the South, “Beautiful Creatures” tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
The film is based on the novel of the same name. While I haven’t read the book, I heard that a lot of liberties were taken with the story. Basically, it is your everyday gothic romance. The film was released after Twilight, because let’s be fair, every studio wanted to cash in on the supernatural romance. Unfortunately, that did not go quite as planned.
A Box-Office Disaster
Beautiful Creatures managed to make a poor $19,4 million at the US box office. Worldwide, the film managed to bring in around $60,1m, which is not much against a budget of $60m. Before I watched the film, I was warned that it was pretty bad. After watching it, I have to say that while it wasn’t particularly good, it wasn’t that dramatic either. It wasn’t any worse than the Twilight series. So I don’t think that’s the reason why it flopped.
The cast is great, but it might be the creative liberties the makers took with the story that might have alienated the book’s fanbase. And that is a definite no-go. Never chase away your core audience, because they can make a film successful and help attract other audiences.
What also didn’t help was Warner Brother’s attempt to market it as the next Twilight. I don’t know if Twilight fans are still as hardcore as they were back then. But back then, you did not compare anything to the vampire love story. That was blasphemy. So, that’s how another potential audience was alienated, which did not do the film any favours.
Why should you watch Beautiful Creatures?
Listen, this is not a deep film. You don’t have to think too much as the story is a tale as old as time. Instead of a mortal girl, it’s the boy who is mortal this time. The one thing that Lena, this film’s Bella, has over her vampire counterpart is that she is sassy and doesn’t need a man. Yes, we do have a serious case of insta-love. But at least she’s independent and doesn’t need a man in her life to fix her. Kind of. Sort of.
Anyway, the cast is also excellent. If you want to see Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons in all their extravagant glory, this is the film to watch. Alden Ehrenreich is super adorable as Ethan. Alice Englert does a great job as the sassy caster. Emmy Rossum is also excellent in her role. The cast is definitely not the problem here. In fact, I found them all a joy to watch. Perhaps the material they worked with wasn’t that great. Still they managed to do the best they could which resulted in an entertaining, yet not very original film. Then again, as I mentioned before, it is not any worse than Twilight.
Why should you skip it?
So in the first fifteen minutes of the film, I almost had a bingo on my YA tropes – bingo card. We had a serious case of insta-love. A girl who was not like other girls. A family who is not like other families. A boy who loves the girl regardless of what others thought. Let’s not forget a snobby chick who is in love with the boy. A forbidden love, of course. I could go on forever. I don’t know about the books of course, but the film will not win any prizes, definitely not on originality. The CGI was also pretty bad. This film was released in 2013, so there is really no excuse for the thunder to look like your baby brother trying out After Effects for the first time.
The dialogue is a bit cheesy at times, but let’s be honest, it’s not as bad as Twilight. There is nothing Ethan says that sounds stalkerish taken out of context. Or even in context. Edward, take notes please. Anyway, I think the whole concept is interest but the way it’s been executed could have been better.
Beautiful Creatures is not a great film, but it is entertaining nonetheless. It’s great for days when you just want to turn off your brain and enjoy a mindless teenage romance. It’s not as terrible as everybody says it is. Plus, how can you resist this smile? I thought so.
Which YA film should I watch next? Let me know!