Yesterday I watched Practical Magic (1998) again, which was about love and witches, and today Ooops, I did it again, but this one is more about coming of age, escape from small town, and first puppy (or bitchy?) love.
Another teen supernatural romance novel is on which this film bases. Since I didn’t know, but left the theater satisfied, I guess without knowing or reading the book prior doesn’t really matter.
What works, for me, is Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Ethan Wate; I believe him ( He reminds me of Jesse Bradford). Emily Asher (Zoey Deutch), a christian girl, basically throws herself at Ethan, yet he goes after the outcast, Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert). Link (Thomas Mann) is Ethan’s best bud. They go to the same high school.
The story takes place in Gatlin, South Carolina: swampy, mystical, and christian! Big old mansion houses Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), and his niece, Lena,with splendid living and dining room. Emma Thompson plays Sarafine, Lena’s mother, and Mrs. Lincoln, Link’s mom. Ridley Duchannes(Emmy Rossum) was Lena’s cousin and best friend, until she turned 16. See at 16, a caster (witch) either goes dark or turns light, her nature picks the one, and there is no choice. Lena is turning 16 at the winter solstice: Dec 21, and she is cursed from a spell her great-great-great-grandma made to save her love at the battlefield during the civil war.
The big question is whether Ethan can break the curse, and gets his girl, Lena, despite being merely a mortal? An even bigger question is whether Lena is fated to turn dark like her mom, cousin, and uncle? At the end there is never any love in darkness!
For some reasons, this film is quite captivating, even though you know it is one of those love stories, yet you want to find out how it ends. Shall I say that it is just not over the top! and the ending is, in fact, quite sweet: not sappy, but just right.
P.S. It can’t be that bad if Jeremy Iron and Emma Thompson are in it… something for mom and dad too!