Dark Southern love

Often times, the most extraordinary people we meet in life are not searched for but stumbled upon. Like a blue rock in the vast sands of a beach. These people exude a sort of majestic aura and stain the once blank canvas we call life. For Ethan, a small-town Southern boy, that blue rock is a mysterious newcomer to the seemingly bland town named Lena.

Taking place in New Orleans, “Beautiful Creatures” is the Southern tale of two young lovers, whose romance becomes threatened by the dark supernatural powers of Lena’s family who are a family of dark “casters”. (And you thought you had scary in-laws) What Ethan comes to find out is that Lena, herself, is a caster –although not a dark one –and on her sixteenth birthday she’ll undergo the “Claiming”, a ceremony that will leave Lena forever Light or Dark.

I got the privilege of joining an interview with the film’s main cast of “Beautiful Creatures”. The actors were quite familiar with their characters. Actress Alice Englert, who plays Lena, confessed to dealing with the “hello and goodbye that follows so quickly” as a teen who relocated a lot. While Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Ethan, is all too familiar with his character’s mundane life. “[In High School], I certainly had this kind of restlessness and this desire for something more…”

What’s expected to be even more authentic than the characters in this film, are the sets, of which only 10% were enhanced with visual effects. “The dining room set was built on a turntable…the chandelier would swing back and forth” said Eglert, with a child-like excitement in her voice, “And the whole thing went up and down!” “That was really wow…that was like being on a ride at Disneyland!” Ehrenreich added. “Our director recommended that we take Dramamine, which is for sea sickness,” says Eglert’s co-star Emmy Rossum.

But the characters, sets, and plot only scratch the surface of the story here. “I think that’s important…to empower young women” says Emmy Rossum of the film’s purpose. Supporting Actress Zoey Duetch, adds that the film is “about the girl who has the power…I think that is one of the reasons that it’s very much set apart from perhaps other franchises”. Duetch alludes to the comparison the supernatural-romance is getting to the “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” series. But there’s one comparison the actors could not deny. “It’s a Romeo and Juliet,” says supporting Actor Thomas Mann.

“Beautiful Creatures” will be in theaters Thursday, February 14, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This film may prove to be the magic touch your Valentine’s Day evening needs.

Running Time: 2 hr. 12 min.

MPAA Rating: PG-13