You will recall that although I usually have exceptionally good taste in film, if I say so myself, I very much enjoyed the previous Twilight installment on the silver screen. I stand by this review today. It made me giggle with pleasure. I just got back from Part Two, my favorite of the two books I've read, and no surprise, I clapped my hands with glee at from the over-the-top opening titles to the JOKE of an ending. Pure pulpy saccharine delight. Good times, I tell you.
For full disclosure's sake, I have read the first two books all the way through, and a while ago I also skimmed through my roommate's copy of Book 4 and read the sex parts. They were boring.
Here is my beef about Twilight. Well, besides the fact that it perpetuates confusing ideas about sexuality to impressionable teen girls (especially potentially naive Mormon ones) and that they (well, the first two books at least) read like Sweet Valley Twins/Fear Street fanfic. But my central problem with this franchise is that the main love interest is just plain not likable.
One of the main conflicts of the entire books is supposed to be that Bella, who sees herself as boring and klutzy and awkward, cannot understand what Edward, he of the marble chest and topaz eyes, can possibly see in her. Truth be told, we don't get much additional info about why he loves her except that she smells like chocolate-covered lust. Bella also finds herself so attracted to him that being separated from him is physically painful.
And that's pretty much it. Edward is difficult, manipulative, overly mercurial, and far too possessive. Bella spends much of her time with him either trying to figure out why he is upset or whining about something. Or they sleep together slash stare into each other's eyes, the Mormon Girl Porn version of making out, although they do that sometimes too. From the get-go, Edward starts making decisions for Bella without consulting her. He watches her sleep before they even become friends. Additionally, he runs a consistently cold temperature, and in the film he always looks either constipated or nauseous. Ew.
On the other hand, though, Bella's best friend Jacob is not only warmer, he is kind and considerate. I may be going out on a limb here, but if your best friend is a dude and you're dating someone else, you're an idiot.* In the books, at least the way I read them, Jacob supplies Bella with all the things a relationship should have: good conversation, trust, company, laughter, acts of service, and a non-pasty, non-pale shirtless self.
Remember when Edward takes off his shirt and it's supposed to be this big romantic climax, but really it's all gross?
The lesson of Twilight is this: If a boy acts like he owns you, and you feel physically weak in the knees when you hang out a few times, DON"T BOTHER TRYING TO FIGHT IT HE IS YOUR DESTINY. Dumb, dumb, dumb. This is why teen girls should read books like Little Women. Ella Enchanted. A Ring of Endless Light. And other books where the heroine falls for a man who is her equal in every way and makes her feel more alive, not suicidal when he (inevitably) leaves. Take it from me, it's better to date someone who smiles.
I mean, WOOOO TEAM JACOB LA LA LA.
One more thing. Well, two more things. One, I am SO SO CURIOUS about what kind of marriage Ms. Meyer must have to have produced a work of fiction like this. Have you noticed that even her non-Twilight books still focus on the idea of a woman being unable to escape from a man who equal parts loves her and wants to kill her? Does this worry anyone else?
Two, someday I want to run through some crowded street in broad daylight with such passionate purpose and intensity, and a look of such fear and passion on my face, that I begin to run in slow motion. I wonder how those around me would react? I'm pretty sure I NEED to find out.
And when I do, I'll be sure to blog about it.
*Unless he's gay. Or you're gay. Then I'd dare say you've got bigger problems.
Love that hair, right?