A young girl finds herself in a reform school after therapy since she was blamed for the death of a young boy. At the school she finds herself drawn to a fellow student, unaware that he is an angel, and has loved her for thousands of years.
“Fallen,” based on a book by Lauren Kate, is a cheesy teenage movie. Everyone in the cast looks like their actual age, mid-twenties, instead of the teenagers they are masquerading as for the lofty presentation. The ambitious film tries too hard to make an ornate spectacle to appeal to young adults (just the girls, no guy would watch this film and rightly so). Flashes of foggy forests, abandoned gardens, cloudy skies. An out of focus library, bedroom, a pitcher on a sink. Add in a Mad Lib plot, all the blanks filled in with clichés; now you have the recipe for a sub-par film ready to make you say, “What did I just watch?”
Luce had visions of steam or smoke and managed to burn her first boyfriend to death. Now her visions mark her as a person a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket. She has been sent to a bizarre reform school. A school meant for troubled children that has no real supervision, a fencing class, a religion class, and a swimming pool for the depressed angsty teenagers to drown themselves in. Enter the clique. A bunch of secretive teenagers dressed in all black with longing in their eyes. Every so subtly…cough…similar to the Cullen clique from “Twilight.”
As the new girl, Luce is sought out by everyone, except the leader of the pack, Daniel, who stares whenever possible but is a jerk when confronted by Luce in person. Does this sound familiar? Luce does manage to make one friend, Penn, an awkward girl who has few friends of her own. All is great in the unconventional school until Penn gets a boyfriend to steal her time from Luce who is trying to fend off her own guy, Cam, the boy with the motorcycle and the leather jacket. Yawn.
Follow the “Twilight” plot. Eventually, Luce finds out Daniel’s secret, their fated love. Now a tiny bit of originality. This couple is fated not to be together because their past life reunions have always lead till death do us part for Luce. Nope. Not walking down the aisle. Of course, Luce manages to start another fire believing she is the cause of all the disquiet in her life. Then more secrets come out, not veggie loving vampires but angels. Finally, something to love about this movie. The wings are amazing! And that is where the amazing ends. Ugh. I wouldn’t have even fallen for this movie as a thirteen-year-old girl desperate for true love against all odds and other frivolous ideas teens cling too. There had to be a thirteen-year-old behind this film somewhere, directing, guiding the camera, or something.
The wings are the only reason I am giving this movie any stars at all. As I said, they were amazing. Kind of electric, capable of disappearing, and of course, flying. Beyond those glorious appendages, every other aspect failed. Now, that is not to say the plot does not have potential. As you can tell, I have a minor affinity for angels, and with so many movies angel-free, a re-write could help replicate something worthy of theater space and fulfill my desire to have an angelic presence on screen. I have not read the book “Fallen” but have to assume the paper version is better, as the book usually is, I am sure this film is not what the author envisioned.
In theaters Friday, September 8th