I love young adult books. If I want to read some fun and mindless, I’ll grab a YA book to read over the weekend. I read the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and enjoyed the tale of teenage angst, southern gothic settings and fantastical characters. The movie was unrecognizable from the source novel. The names remain the same but the personalities of the characters were left behind.
The trouble with adapting literary works is that tough choices have to be made in editing the plot to fit a two hour movie. The choices the screenwriters made left a muddled incoherent tale that bored the hell out of me. Main characters from the book were either eliminate or reduced to insignificant support characters. All of the complex relationships between Amma, Ethan and Marion and between Ethan and Link were flatten into nothing. There is no character development so the viewer isn’t invested in the outcome of Lena and Ethan. If one hasn’t read the books, the more plot makes absolutely no sense. The magic, the mystical and the fantastic that form the core of the book were absent from the movie.
The only bright spot in the movie is Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan. He is charming and engaging but given little to work with. So many wonderful actors such as Voila Davis, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons are given absolutely nothing to do with the flimsy material.
What’s the point of adapting books if you leave out of the movies what made those books special in the first place.
Next up Moral Instruments City of Bones.