24 November, 2009

Yeah, so I'm blogging about Twilight. What're you gonna do about it?

Not read this, if all you're planning to do is make fun of me.

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.


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?


Cammie said...

Elisa, you are hilarious. It's official.

Ashley said...

In Edward's defense, he looks terrible in this movie because he hates himself for loving Bella because he knows he's all wrong for her but knows he's too selfish to let her go, and when he does let her go, he hates himself for not being with her.

And the only reason Jacob became her best friend is that Edward left. She never would have given him the time of day if she hadn't desperately needed someone.

And Edward is drawn to her because she's the one person whose mind he can't read, so it's actually interesting for him to have a conversation with her because he doesn't know what she's thinking.

I think Bella is kinda flat...but I am a sucker for this story.

PS> Have you read The Hunger Games? You should. Then blog about it. Or text me about it.

theFinn said...

Even though I haven't read the books, this is precisely why I was so very irritated with the movie. I hated him. I hated her. Their relationship was completely unhealthy and unhappy, and yet we're supposed to root for them. Blech.

L'homme pressé said...
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L'homme pressé said...
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L'homme pressé said...

Um... actually thank you so much for that post. Really i think Twilight and books like it are a big problem that encourages guys to act like assholes to get girls and girls to be interested in those assholes. Also, I don't know who Jacob is, but I hope he somehow beats up that douche Vampire marble chest guy. The real moral of the story? Beautiful people are often so stupid and they only go for other beautiful people and really all they get out of the relationship is someone who is pretty to look at for a little while. Really they should have bought a painting or sculpture. But, if thats where you place your value and thats all you want, then, beautiful people, I suppose you will have a very full life (and by full I mean, your cup is very shallow, so it should be easy to fill it up).

L'homme pressé said...

Okay, one more thing. Did you see The Invention of Lying? That movie has the same problem. Its supposed to be all about how people should fall in love with each other for their substance, not just their physical attractiveness, but then the main female love interest is totally despicable and stupid through the whole movie. Ricky Gervais even goes out of his way and tells her all the reasons he loves her and its is painfully obvious to the audience that none of them are actually true and it seems that while he is begging her to love him even though he is ugly, he really only loves her because she is physically beautiful. Its especially awful when a movie that is supposed to be fighting against those superficial tendencies ends up reinforcing them. Why don't people think a little bit more and not be such idiots?

Paige said...

Funny stuff Elisa.

I love the movies (and books too) because I'm 17 again for a couple of hours. Oh the drama of teenage angst! (Even if KStew doesn't do a good job of showing it.)

But you have to read Midnight Sun on Meyer's website, Twilight from Edward's perspective. Maybe you won't hate him so much. I love Jacob now but I imagine that my high school self might have chosen Edward. I was like that at times. Drama.

And I have to second the comment that you should read Hunger Games. Awesome story and writing and I think you'll find the heroine all that you hope a heroine to be.

Mister Brock said...

I really hate the whole twighlight thing, but I loved this post so much!

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