Movie Review–Beautiful Creatures (Book to Movie)

movie poster links to IMDB

Beautiful Creatures

Movie Summary (from IMDB): Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

Movie Review:  Last week, I went to see Beautiful Creatures. I read the book over the summer. Here’s my Book Review - Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

I knew from my book club that the movie would be different than the book in many ways because some members went to an early showing of the movie. I’ve been watching trailers for months now and I have to admit, my expectations were quite low. I didn’t like the cast in any of the movie trailers and it was one of those things where I was super excited to see the movie because I read the book, it’s just that I thought it would be terrible.

My book club was right: the movie is a lot different than the book. Book characters were omitted or combined with other characters in the movie. I felt like everything was basically different, but with the same overall gist of the book. Because I knew this going in, I wasn’t disappointed by it. Rather, I was watching eagerly to see how it was different and if I enjoyed the overall story presented. And you know, I actually liked the movie a lot!

Before the movie began, I cringed inside because I expected to hate Ethan. Except I loved him!
Immediately. I have never had such a complete change of heart. Before the movie, I thought the actor wasn’t very good looking or Ethan-like, but he proved me wrong on both counts and blew me away. The same exact thing happened to me with Lena, who also proved me wrong. She was great and the chemistry between Ethan and Lena was perfect! I have never loved two people in a movie together so much, I think. Especially after thinking they would both be all wrong. I cannot gush enough about these two.

The movie was a little over the top with the cheesy southern small town stereotypes and the accents and the southern bigotry, but it was presented humorously, which I enjoyed. The whole theater (which I’ll admit was only like 6 people since we went in the middle of the day) laughed for most of the beginning of the movie, which was great because I think every one of us in there could relate or knew someone who was over the top religious or hateful and the humor of the movie really spoke to us. After all, I do live in Georgia! I could really appreciate what the movie did in regards to this. I’d go see it a handful more times just to see the beginning.

I’m kind of conflicted about Beautiful Creatures because I loved the movie, even though the book was so much better (like a million times better). For some reason, I have separated the two in my mind because they were so different. If I was judging the movie only based on it as an adaptation of the book, I’d probably hate it. But I cannot judge it that way because I couldn’t get over how much I loved Ethan and Lena and the way their relationship was portrayed. I believed their relationship so much that even though the events were a lot different in the books, I still enjoyed every minute of the movie. I couldn't get enough!

Of course, the things they left out, changed, omitted, summarized… I hated that all of that was missing. I wanted it to have all of the missing components. Which is why the book is a million times better. The chemistry between Ethan and Lena was the redeeming quality of the movie and the only reason I can say I truly enjoyed it. The movie was sweet, a little heart wrenching, and I loved the setting so much!
And the end. Oh, the end. How I love and hate it at the same time. That is all I’ll say to avoid spoilers.

Bottom line: Basically, Beautiful Creatures was a surprisingly good movie. Still, definitely read the books because it’s certainly not a flawless adaptation and so much was different. Watch the movie, but don't skip the books. And don't expect the movie to capture everything that the books did. It doesn't. But it's still good.