Ah, star-crossed love, favourite of doe-eyed teenage girls all over the land. This year sees the release of Upside Down, a classic posh-bird-falls-for-common-scamp tale, the extra romantic hurdle being EXISTING ON SEPARATE GRAVITATIONAL PLANES. As someone unwilling to date anyone more than three tube stops away (because ugh, effort), I can’t help but admire their tenacity. And that, with several other reasons, is why my life never formed the basis of a rom-com. Here are some folks who tried harder.
Neil Jordan’s newest offering is a blood-soaked, barmy tour de force, anchored firmly by its two leads, Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan. There are definite strains of Jordan’s previous foray into the genre present here, but where Interview with A Vampire was all about male power play, Byzantium is concerned with the struggle of women in a world where men will constantly seek to drag them down. Beautifully filmed, and bolstered by its generally strong cast and a couple of suitably flamboyant touches, Byzantium is – despite belonging to a seriously over saturated genre – a vampire film that you can actually sink your teeth into.
In honour of the release of not-actually-dreadful supernatural romance Beautiful Creatures, we’re going to spend our Friday night submerged in the murky pool of Hollywood’s latest obsession, the supernatural romance. If you start feeling funny at the sight of non-standard dentition, or you’ve ever wanted to marry someone whose hands need combing at the end of the month, you’ve come to the right place.
Sugar coated as “the new Twilight” (a preposterous decision by its PR team), Beautiful Creatures successfully manages to come out a hundred times better. I may be its key demographic (geeky girl seeks escapist fantasy) but I went in, fellow Twilight h8er, expecting the worst. I was turned. Combining likeable characters with a refusal to take itself too seriously, Beautiful Creatures is this year’s perfect Valentine’s day guilty pleasure.