They Suck at School.
Wow. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve done a movie review? …Neither do I. Forever, at least. But I couldn’t pass up reviewing this, when it’s one of my favorite book series.
Basic plot: Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir are BFFs, but it’s more than that. Rose and Lissa have a bond that allows Rose to actually be inside Lissa’s head and feel her emotions. It’s definitely helpful, since Rose is one day going to be Lissa’s guardian (or bodyguard, in human terms). But after having gotten into serious trouble for running away from school, it’s tough to reintegrate into high school without everyone spreading rumors about you. And Rose has a lot of catching up to do to get back into tip-top physical shape, which means loads of extra hours with her new mentor, Dimitri, a guardian god. When someone begins to target Lissa, Rose is going to do everything she can to neutralize the threat.
I don’t totally feel like I did that justice, but like I said, this is one of my favorite stories. So I’m seeing like, 20 plot points in my head and wanting to point out who Christian is, etc. etc.
Look, I know this movie got panned. It flunked the box office like it was a middle schooler taking college calc. But honestly, I thought it was actually kind of adorable.
Were the actors and actresses exactly like I pictured? God no. But they rocked it anyway. They fit the role, if not all of the physical characteristics I thought they should have had. Zoey Deutch does a great job bringing sarcasm, wit, and attitude to Rose, which was all I truly asked for. Lucy Fry slowly grew on me, partly because she was the furthest from what I pictured of the main characters. It took some time, but we got there. But seriously, Danila Kozlovsky. My God. Who would have thought Russians could be so hot? (Then again, I was already crazy in love with Dimitri, so…)
The movie does stay fairly true to the book. There are a few deviations, but I usually attribute those to the time constraints of the movie. It happens every time. But everything else was pretty close, a fact that I appreciated.
But I will say that this is one of those books that may be hard for someone unfamiliar with the book to fully understand. I can’t be objective enough to really judge that, though. There were just some places where I knew that I knew more than the movie was telling.
So then why did it do so badly at the box office? Here’s my theory: I think it wasn’t marketed right. Even looking at the movie poster, it’s using all these neon colors and talks about how awful high school is, etc. The trailer also seems a bit…off to me, and I know the story backwards and forwards. Even though I love this story, I never went to see it in theatres. It just didn’t look like it was going to be like the story I knew. And that is what I think went wrong. Fans of the book may have avoided it thinking it wasn’t going to be faithful and the normal moviegoer probably didn’t quite know if it was a romance, an action movie, or just all about vampires.
In the end? I liked it a lot. It was really awesome to see the story come to life. I’m a little disappointed that there won’t be more movies (Shadow Kissed would be a killer movie), but I’m also ok with keeping this series with me the way it currently is.