So tonight I went out and saw the new film Beautiful Creatures starring Alden Enhrenreich as Ethan Wate and Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes. The film also boasts big names such as Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravonwood, the wonderful Viola Davis as Amma, Emmy Rossum as Ridley Duchannes and one of my other favorites Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lincoln, so you would think that the film makers would do an awesome job with such a great cast but unfortunately the film fell flat. While the cast was great and the on-screen chemistry between the two leads was definitely there and you could understand the love between them the screenplay was horrendous.
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of the Beautiful Creatures books. I fell in love with them recently to be honest and was so hoping that the movie would do the book justice. I am not one of those book fans that expects everything that happens in the book to happen in the film, I get it you can't possibly put everything into a film that is in the book (there are just some things that you can't capture or some things that really aren't that important) so going into this movie I expected something like the books but still different and what I got what a completely different experience. The movie starts off with Ethan having a dream that he constantly has but can never see the girls face in it and then he does a voiceover talking about living in Gaitlin and wanting to get out as soon as possible, nice start because that is how the book began. The first major offense was after the voiceover when Amma is introduced and she is absolutely NOTHING like the character she is portrayed in the book. Amma is the book is a tough, little woman who is a seer and comes from a long line of seer's...oh and she also lives at Wate's Landing with Ethan and his father (Ethan's mother was killed in a car accident which is touched on gently) but the Amma we got was a forgettable character which is a shame considering we had the fabulous Viola Davis is in the role and I think that had the character been written correctly, she could have brought her to life like no other character. Don't even get me started on the lack of the "Greats" not being in the film and "The Sisters" who actually help Ethan out throughout the book.
Moving on they replaced the English teacher (Mrs. English) with a male and actually just made him the History teacher that has a bad eye (anyone that has read the books knows that Mrs. English plays an important part in the 3rd book). We get to English class and Lena is introduced and feel this is where the film gets choppy. We skip over Lena and Ethan actually getting to know each other and becoming friends and then becoming boyfriend/girlfriend which I understand because of time constraints but it was way too rushed. So Lena and Ethan get together but according to Macon mortals and casters cannot be together and he tries his hardest to keep them apart when in fact it is Ethan that is keeping her safe which again the movie never touched on that like the book does. I feel like they relegated the character of Ethan as just being there and not really helping Lena when in the books he did everything in his power to protect her and keep her from being claimed as a dark caster. We got some sweet moments between them but I don't feel as though the film captured the true story.
Regarding that ending, which no I won't spoil until further down for those that are not wanting to be spoiled, it was honestly a slap in the face to the people that read the books as well as the people going into the film without reading the book. The ending of the film is wildly different from the ending of the book....I mean completely and utterly different so for those that have read the book, I do warn you that you will probably be disappointed in the ending because I certainly was. I was also disappointed in the ending for the fact that I know that there will not be a sequel, with the film only making $10 million, it doesn't look like a sequel will be made and honestly it makes me a bit sad. Why you ask because you can only hope that the screenwriter/director would learn from the mistakes of the first film and rectify the things that they did. Honestly I feel as though they read all four books, tried to put them all together and had no plans to do a sequel but they left it rather wide opened.
So I will hope with all my heart that people do actually give it a chance because I was to see something more, I want to see more heart put into the script and more detail put into the film. I also blame Warner Brothers for the lack of marketing that went into the film, it was atrocious and then to release the film along with the sappy chick flick Safe Haven (that we all knew was going to make money thanks to Valentines day) and the guy flick Die Hard (which again, we all knew was going to make money) it was a rotten move on Warner Brothers and a part of me feels as though they gave up on the film and decided to just take the lose and move on without looking back which is a shame because honestly these books are great and they would make great films (and NO THEY ARE NOT LIKE TWILIGHT). I will still recommend this movie to people because frankly I root for the underdog and seeing it without reading the books, I think it would have been better for me. I will still lost in the world but just feel as though the missed so many important points.
I am going to list a couple spoilers for those that have read the books and are expecting certain scenes, so please turn back if you don't want to be spoiled:
*Marian is not in the book, they merged the character of Marian with the character of Amma which makes no sense at all. Plus we don't really get to see much of the Caster Library.
*The Greats/The Sisters are not in the books but Uncle Abner is mentioned but that is it. Amma doesn't have any special charms that she makes, no one eyed menance, no cooking, no pies etc..
*No dance, it is mentioned but Ethan never takes her to the dance thus the things that are done to her there don't influence her.
*Ridley and Link are hardly in the film, Link has barely any lines and isn't in a band nor does he have any scenes with Lena.
*No Boo Radley. Oh and it is never mentioned that Macon is an incubus. Speaking of others not in the film, Reece/Ryan/Del's Husband (can't remember his name for the life of me right now) are not in the film and Larkin is not evil.
*Ethan isn't even part of the ending because of what happens (yes you will hate it if you read the book).
*They make Genevieve completely evil, like no redemption type of evil. Oh and speaking of Genevieve, the locket is found in the beginning of the movie without Lena being there. Ethan finds it.
*No sixteen moons/shadow song. Oh and Lena's birthday is now December 21st which, as readers know, is the birthday of John Breed.
*Lena drives a doesn't drive a hearse and doesn't have green eyes WHICH honestly I am ok with that. As much emphasis that is put on the color of the eyes, I really had not issue with this or the car.
*No Hunting, Macon's brother, in the film.
So that is just a few of the things that were changed and while I understand some of them, others I just cannot ignore. I do hope, in spite of my negativity, that there is a second book that fixes the mistakes of the first film. It was a mistake to have the director to write the screenplay and I feel like the authors should have fought a little harder for their vision (something I respect about Stephanie Meyers and the only Twilight comparision I will make, she fought for her vision kinda sucked she still stuck to it).
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