Harry Potter meets Twilight in Beautiful Creatures, a supernatural romance in the South

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A scene from the movie Beautiful Creatures, directed by Richard LaGravenese.
courtesy of warner bros. entertainment


Beautiful Creatures

Directed by Richard LaGravenese

Rated PG-13

Now playing

Beautiful Creatures is the story of two teenagers, one supernatural and one mortal, whose destinies are intertwined. They dream of each other months before actually meeting, and fall in love at first sight. But they must fight a battle and learn about each other’s family histories before their relationship can succeed.

Mysterious and mischievous, the supernatural Lena is the new girl in a close-knit, Bible-belt town in South Carolina. She lives with her “uncle” in a gorgeous, run-down, Gothic mansion that is genuinely haunted. Mortal Ethan is an adorable high school track star who occasionally wears hipster glasses. From the start of the film, you can tell he is not a run-of-the-mill jock: he has wacko dreams about a lovely, yet scary, dark-haired girl (Lena), takes nightly runs to the graveyard to visit his mother’s grave, and very ungracefully dumps the prettiest girl in high school (not Lena) at the start of the film.

Ethan may not be a run-of-the-mill jock, but his soon-to-be sweetheart, Lena, is not even a run-of-the-mill human. She reveals to him almost immediately that she has special powers, including being able to blow windows out of classrooms, light up a room with poetry, and change the weather with her mind. This doesn’t deter Ethan, who is head-over-heels in love with her, no matter what she says or does.

Sitting on a lush grassy hill on a sunny day, Lena confides to Ethan her terrible predicament. When she turns sixteen (which would be happening in just a few short weeks), her powers will be claimed for either good or evil. The worst part of the predicament is that Lena has no say in the matter. In addition, she’s an especially powerful witch because her birthday falls on a solstice.

But that’s not all! When Ethan and Lena touch an antique locket at the same time, something happens ... and Lena learns that her grandmother accidentally cursed her lineage. She freaks out upon realizing this, but Ethan is there for comfort. He puts his arm around her and takes her to the library, where they discover a secret vault with a book describing how Lena can break the curse.

At this point, a Cliff Notes would be handy. The relationships between people become confusing, but the trite plot continues to develop rather predictably.