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Beautiful Creatures

PARANORMAL ROMANCE ALERT

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Twilight, but with witches. Such is the carefully crafted premise of Beautiful Creatures, the latest young adult paranormal romance. Teenager Lena comes from a long line of “casters,” and on her sixteenth birthday her powers will be claimed by either good or evil. Which poses a problem for the cute town heartthrob she's in love with. Newcomers Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich have charming chemistry, and the two enjoy stepping away from magic for “normal, awkward teenage dates.” Annoyingly, all that flirting is bogged down by a literal library full of governing spell regulations and other magical hokum. Supporting players Emmy Rossum and Emma Thompson deliciously chew scenes as a pair of evil witches, while Jeremy Irons dresses dandily and continually preaches about “claiming yourself” (it's fun to pretend he's talking about masturbation). Maybe we're ready as a society for love stories not involving monsters?

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