Thank you all for your sympathies about my sweater yesterday. When I finally sit down to rip, recount, and start over I should only be looking at a day's worth of knitting. But with the way my days are going lately I've gone back to carrying the Pretty in Pink Shawl around in my purse for lunch break and emergency knitting. So maybe I will have some progress to show on that soon.
In the midst of our little snow this weekend, my sister and I went to the movies. This was one of the main reasons she came up for these specific dates. We both share a love of young adult fiction and over the top teen movies, so of course we went to see Beautiful Creatures. And of course we had made one of the classic movie viewing mistakes -- we read the book first.
Now let me be clear, I don't think I would have loved the movie even if I had seen it before reading the book. I would have still been annoyed by the over-simplified view of the South, the audacity of Hollywood to believe reenactments are only staged by sentimentalists with Confederate ancestors (ok, maybe that one is my historian coming out), the antagonistic view of religion, the confused plot, and the hit-you-over-the-head female sexuality metaphors. In fact, now that I see it all written out, that might have kept me from reading the book. And I like the book. On the scale of teen supernatural novels I liked it better than Twilight but not quite as much as Vampire Academy (I really need to reread that one before the movie).
The movie does have its good points. The filmmakers did make some positive simplifications when they combined the characters of Amma and Maggie to create a strong female character that translates better on screen. Don't get me wrong, in the book these characters are both strong in their own right, but it is too easy to see yet another black woman serving as a housekeeper and communing with her ancestors and then look straight past the tenacity and quick wit the character uses to charm and manage the male characters.
The actors work brilliantly with what they are given. My sister and I both loved Alden Ehrenreich (a Supernatural alum) as the lead, Ethan Wate. He was charming and goofy and all the good parts of that teenage boy we all went to high school with but none of us had the good sense to date. The effects were a lot of fun as well, particularly the spinning dinner table and the poetry on the walls of Lena's room. It was the perfect isolated teen girl hideaway.
Overall, though, save your money. If you have not, read the book first. I'm about halfway through book two, Beautiful Darkness, and so far I am still interested. If you have a discounted theater that gets movies late, that would be the time to see this. Otherwise a girls night with a bottle of wine and popcorn would be an ideal setting. Just finish the film before you start yelling about discrepant the way we started to, ok? No matter how empty your theater people still get annoyed.