The entire Twilight franchise revolves around a helpless young girl who literally sacrifices her life to be with the one she loves. Bella Swan’s a horrible role model for young girls who aspire to do more than get knocked up by a vampire before their 21st birthday.
Beautiful Creatures introduces us to Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), a young woman who’s a complete outsider in society because she’s a caster. A caster? That’s the polite term for a witch in modern society. Also the first sign that this movie will be nothing like Hocus Pocus. In the beginning of the movie we find out that she’s mere months away from being labeled as a good caster or an evil caster. And it’s not up to her which way she goes. Her innate goodness or evilness will determine her path. Except twist, she comes from a cursed caster family that basically turns all the ladies into evil witches when they turn 16.
Except ANOTHER twist, Lena doesn’t want to be an evil caster — so she spends the movie working hard to find an antidote to the curse. Yes, she’s fighting against her fate because she wants to be a good person! She wants it to so bad!
You know who also wants her to be a good person? Her mortal boyfriend, Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich). You know how I know they both want it? Because they’re GOOD actors. While no one’s going to be throwing Academy Awards at their heads any time soon, they’re capable of showing emotion on screen. All kinds of emotion. We see happiness and sadness and horniness. Almost enough that I can try to forget that Ethan Wate accepts Lena’s “I’m actually not a human being but a caster capable of casting powerful spells” confession a little too easily.
Seriously, this is a side note, but wouldn’t you freak out a little bit. Like take a night or two or ten to think about this. I wish Ethan hadn’t been all like, “whhhaaattt, that’s crazy girl, but I love you and I’m actually totally cool with it!” I just don’t think that’s super realistic. I mean, I know girls who freak out when their boyfriend tells them he’s going to have to work late on Valentine’s Day. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone to take a moment to really think about what it means to date a caster. Especially a caster who tells you that she will probably turn into a totally evil witch on her 16th birthday.
I think the fact that the two leads are actually good actors with good chemistry instantly makes this movie better than Twilight. And the fact that it’s a female-driven story make it’s a little more palatable for women like me who fear for the Taylor-Swift generation of teenagers who believe that their destiny is to play a victim. We live in a day and age when it’s okay to tell women to rescue themselves from disaster. You don’t need to wait around for a guy to help you out. Because sometimes it turns out, you’re a lot more resourceful and lot more powerful than the men in your life. I mean that figuratively for real life women and literally for caster women.
Because Lena Duchannes shows that you can change your destiny. It take a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights in the Caster library run by Viola Davis and a lot of support from friends and family — but you can do it!
Girl power! Spice Girls! Zig-a-zag-ah! Go see this movie, it’s surprisingly entertaining and surprisingly full of fun messages for the kids of today.