: A family of sort-of-kind-of witches settle in South Carolina so their teenage girl can transition into "light" or "dark" on her 16th birthday. But a boy comes along and the two fall in love, which is a n0-no in witch land. Their fate is at risk because teenage love and witchcraft don't mix.
: Teen love fantasy flicks are all the rage. From Twilight
to Hunger Games
, these movies pull at the heartstrings of young girls and annoy the eyeballs of everyone else outside of the demographic. That said, the first Twilight
and last year's Hunger Games
were somewhat enjoyable. Twilight
was an accidental phenomenon and Hunger Games
' commentary on media, fame and class was surprisingly interesting. Based on the book by the same name, Beautiful Creatures
clearly wants to be the next teen franchise epic, which makes the Richard LaGravenese
-directed film calculated and terribly predictable.
is not the fault of the actors (although the majority of the southern accents are embarrassing) or the cartoon-like special effects, it's a terrible screenplay that is a toxic mix of Beetlejuice
and Mean Girls
. From the yawnfest build up to laughable one-liners — "Love is a risk for anybody!" — even if you lower your standards to teen-dream melodrama (similar to Twilight
), Beautiful Creatures
is far from spellbinding.
The only saving grace is the female lead, Lena (Alice Englert
), is not the powerless damsel in distress like Bella Swan from Twilight
. She is not giving up her soul for Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich
). The message of independence is a bit more palatable. Unfortunately, the film and the actors' bland chemistry need movie-making magic to create the next Edward and Bella. Of course fans might balk at the Twilight
and Beautiful Creatures
comparisons, but it's impossible to not notice the goal for a cash cow.
Acting giants Jeremy Irons
, Viola Davis
and Emma Thompson
give Beautiful Creatures
some thespian creditability. Nonetheless, even this trio of screen perfection can't save a calculated, snooze-inducing and unoriginal heap of film-making. Don't be surprised if the film doesn't resonate with its target demographic.
is in theaters today.