Monday, February 25, 2013

Movie / Beautiful Creatures 2013

I loved this movie, which seems to be solidly written, directed, acted, produced, and shot, with a great cast. It's a teen romantic comedy in which the girl is a like member of the "Addams Family" (the 'Caster clan), and the boy is your normal red blooded American kid -- the reverse of the Twilight series, in which the boy is the vampire.

In a small Southern town, the boy (Ethan) longs to escape to the big city, and his deceased mother has instilled in him a love of Beat literature, giving him some intellectual depth. A new girl (Lena) shows up at school, with a troubled past. She's a niece of old man Ravenwood, who lives in a decrepit mansion, and is reputed to be in league with the Devil. The Bible-belting Christians are fervently praying to be saved from him, and want her kicked out of school. Ethan has been dreaming of her, and makes a huge effort to befriend her, leading him into a supernatural romance and numerous weird encounters with her magical family.

Her 16th birthday is coming up in 79 days, on 12-21-12 (coincidentally the End of the Mayan Calendar, although this is never mentioned), at which point her soul will be claimed by either the Light or the Dark. And this is an even bigger deal because her shift will supposedly set the trend for the "New Age" to come.

A bunch of plot lines ensue, involving numerous Southern motifs, a Civil War battle reenactment [of a Confederate victory], supposed events around the battle, an ancestral curse, Voodoo, alligator filled lagoons, nutty Christians, the secret lineage of her magical family, and numerous attempts by its Dark and Light members to influence her decision. All of which the boy Ethan is dragged through.

Yet it retains its teen comedy flavor throughout. It's rated PG-13 for "violence, scary images and some sexual material." However it's mostly just smooching, and the young woman is never exploited. The end sets up a potential sequel, if anyone gets motivated to write one.

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