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Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“Beautiful Creatures” is a grindingly mediocre movie about magic users, True Love, and the South.

The narrator is Ethan, a football player who loves poetry and books and is all sensitive and stuff like that. His mom’s dead and his dad is completely absent throughout the movie. His surrogate parent is played by Viola Davis, the small town’s librarian and apparently the only Black person (or at least the only one with a speaking role) in the film. (In the book the movie’s based on her character is a house keeper/nanny instead of a librarian. In both versions she’s essentially The Magic Negro: a Black character alone in a sea of white faces who pops up to provide advice, comfort, and answers and then disappears again. She’s a tool, not a character.) His small town life is shaken up when Lena Duschannes starts at his school. All the girls in his class start spreading rumors that she’s a Satan-worshipper, because they are catty bitches, like pretty much every girl everywhere except for Lena who is totally cool and reads Bukowski and is basically a cool dude with tits. Ethan’s been having recurring dreams about a chick who looks just like Lena, because Fate and True Love and blah blah scriptcakes.

They get together, of course, and Lena reveals that she’s a “caster” (IE a witch but don’t use that word it’s an INSULT U GUIS) and so forbidden to fall in love, so I guess all baby casters are the result of one night stands or something. Also, casters are either totally dark (evil) or light (good) and there’s no way of influencing yourself what you are, and it’s totes cool to be a dark male caster but if you’re a dark female caster it’s really super bad so Lena’s in a bit of a pickle because oh noes what if she’s dark!!!!!! Her mother is a huge evil megabitch dark caster and her sister/cousin (I’m not sure which) is a slutty mcslutterson dark caster and her uncle, who she’s staying with, is a dark caster but he’s acting like a light caster to try and help her be light because even though you can’t chose if you’re dark or light apparently her uncle can make that choice.

As it turns out, Lena’s role as dark caster or light caster will something something affect something or other, which is why her uncle Macon and her super evil mom Serafina are both trying to influence her to be dark or light. For some reason. Macon lives in a creepy gothic-y mansion that inside is decorated like something out of, I don’t know, 1980s California only tackier. Most of the adult women wear costumes apparently inspired by “Hocus Pocus.”

This movie raises a lot of questions. Like, if you honestly think someone’s a Satan-worshipping witch, do you really want to antagonize that person/that person’s incredibly wealthy family? Why would a dark caster who apparently can’t chose if he’s dark or light suddenly be able to act like a light caster and influence a young caster to be a light caster? Is this movie reinforcing sexual stereotypes (women tend to be “dark” casters, which means they are irrational, manipulative, sexual, “bitchy,” have strong emotions) or questioning them? Is there a reason women are pitted against women in this movie (Lena’s evil mom is jealous of her daughter’s youth, beauty, power, and hot boyfriend) other than lazy cliche? Is there a reason Macon is the patriarch of a family made up almost entirely of women, including his mom (who, one would think, would have seniority over him)? Is there a reason every single mother is dead or evil and every single father is entirely absent? Is it really a good idea to teach women that men only scream at and berate women because they care about those women? Can we have a movie that isn’t secretly about white man pain like ever?

I originally rated this movie 1 out of 5 stars, then watched a movie so bad it made me go back and rate other movies higher. So I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars.

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