Beautiful Creatures, with Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons & Emma Thompson. Director, Richard LaGravenese. Just when I’d given up on youngish fiction, thinking it an abject failure in quality & entertainment in its attempt to target twenty-somethings & teens; this thing turns up. It’s astonishing that a genre that has been polluted by drivel, i.e., Twilight films, etc., could come up with a re-vamped Romeo & Juliet themed motion picture that an adult could watch, without getting bored or ill.
I’ve always maintained, that when dealing with youngsters, it’s best to keep it simple. They’re not complicated & when one puts a silk jacket on a piglet, in the end all you have is the sow’s mistake, boastfully squealing, ignorant of its eventual fate. The director stuck to the basics, letting the two young actors portray young people falling in love despite extenuating circumstances. My hat is off to the writer, of course.
Ehrenreich seems to be an engaging man in his twenties, thoroughly charming with a natural talent born of that kind of southern California cynicism that many hate to encounter. I could feel it oozing out of him as his character charms & courts the young lady. The only reason I looked up his statistics is because his southern drawl was so authentic it was difficult to believe that he is a product of the American West. He isn’t Southern. Obviously, he has some talent! At least, to the point that he caught my attention. He stands out from a crowd, you can’t miss it.
As mentioned above, the story is basic; it’s set in the Deep South & is decorated with all the appropriate swamps & damp decay. For a fantasy, it’s a winner with sleek sets & predictable special effects. I’m trying not to say, that it’s about children saving the world, but fail in that regard. Yes, they save the world.
Englert plays the character central to the story’s proceedings. I detected no talent, beyond adequacy. Bad casting, in my opinion, of a charisma-less child; is an unacceptable mistake. Especially when Irons & Thompson are in the wings ready to outshine this young female headliner. Which they did indeed. No one is proud of an economy car, when their neighbor is floating by in a luxury ride. I describe Englert as sluggish.
Aside from this ill-conceived hire, I do recommend the film for viewing. I can’t be alone in a periodic enjoyment of young love. It’s refreshing & wipes the sarcasm from the corners of the mouth.