For the “Twilight” crowd with worse CGI, unknown leads, wittier dialogue, and the girls having all the fun and action
Campy and vampy, “Beautiful Creatures” is based on a book published 5 years after “Twilight” so yeah, sloppy seconds. And like “Twilight,” more books followed so this, too, could become a franchise.
The story centers on a 16 year old caster (what we used to call a witch) who falls in love with a mortal senior in high school who can’t wait to escape his small Southern town. The offbeat loner, Lena, is perfectly played by newcomer Alice Englert, the daughter of Jane Campion (the Oscar-nominated director of “The Piano”). Unfortunately, Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan looks too old to be a high schooler, though as a couple, they do have intense chemistry.
Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and especially Emmy Rossum have fun as members of this bewitched Southern family. But the story gets silly as it gets campy. It’s at its best doing the teen angst thing, which is played out early on in the set-up. Subtle, this one ain’t. And at two hours, it’s a half hour too long.