There are probably spoilers in this review. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Okay, so, this movie is going to stir up a lot of mixed emotions for the fans of these books. Me? I absolutely loved it. But it's not hard for me to separate movies from books. When I'm sitting in a dark theater with a big bag of popcorn, I'm not constantly thinking about what I read in the book. I'm absorbed in the story on the screen. And to be completely honest with you, the Beautiful Creatures story (mostly the second half) on the screen was way different from the story in the book. The only plots that it really carries from the book are Lena's claiming and her relationship with Ethan.
Other than that, this was all new to me.
But before you get all huffy and click off the page and swear to not see the movie - wait! I'm not saying that any of these differences are a bad thing. There are many things missing from this movie that I would have loved to see; characters, action sequences ... so much. And while I would have preferred for it to follow more closely, I'm not disappointed with it. It was different, sure, but it fit the same world that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl created. It makes sense. It's entertaining. It's interesting. The more I think about it, the more I realize how logical this change was. Beautiful Creatures is over 500 pages long and there are so, so many details to the book's plot. If they were to execute that, I have no doubt that it'd be over three hours long. And while I'm sure that the majority of us wouldn't mind sitting in a theater for that amount of time, I assume it's something movie companies stray from unless it's some gigantic production like Harry Potter or The Hobbit. So my thought is that they switched up the story to better fit the length of a film.
And I happen to think they did a pretty damn good job at it.
This is turning into a rant but I just want to stress to everyone to keep an open mind when you see this movie. Don't sit there and constantly go over the book in your head to count the differences. You'll miss the magic of the movie if you do that.
Speaking of the movie ... I'm gonna break down some of my favorite things and not-so-favorite things.
1. Alden Ehrenreich. He was so adorable and hilarious. I want to marry him.
2. The special effects. The makers of this movie went out of their way to make everything look so real and it really paid off. The Lena/Ridley dinner showdown scene was SO EPIC.
3. The setting. It's exactly how I pictured Gatlin in my head while reading the books.
4. The humor. The movie is so charming and funny when I expected it to be heavy on magic and drama.
5. The flashbacks. They were executed SO awesomely.
6. Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum as Macon and Ridley. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
1. Amma's lack of presence in the Wate household. The movie depicts their close relationship, yes, but I expected her to be more to them than she was in the film. It's one of my favorite things about the books so I was sad to see it so downplayed.
2. Not enough Link. Not only is he my favorite character in the Caster Chronicles but it's no secret that I love me some Thomas Mann so I was disappointed when he didn't get that much screen time. Where was Who Shot Lincoln? And I'm still undecided at how they worked him into the ending.
3. Where was Ethan's father? Where?
Overall, I really loved this adaption. I'll be completely honest with you - I'm a bit worried about how they're going to do the next movie (if there is one) because I'm not seeing how this film opened any doors for Beautiful Darkness. But I have faith in the writers and producers and director. They turned this story into something else and I still fell in love with it (something that I might not have been so forgiving of had it been a different book) so I'll keep my hopes high.
Also? Thomas Mann, if you're reading this, please call up Taylor Lautner and take notes on how he completely transformed himself for Jacob in New Moon. I want you as Linkubus but you gotta buff up, man!