Another one off the shelves of the L.A. Library.
Okay, I finally watched this movie. And you know what -- I didn’t hate it.
I can absolutely understand why its demographic – mostly ‘tween girls – would go all swoony over it. It’s the classic Romeo and Juliet forbidden love story, except you have a normal human girl and a guy from way the other side of the tracks, as in an aristocratic vampire dude.
The author of the novel, Stephanie Meyer, played fast and loose with traditional vampire lore, but who the heck doesn’t these days. These vamps don’t shun the sunlight because it will fry ‘em up Cajun style; instead they stick to the shadows because direct sunlight causes them to go, as Jar Jar Binks might say, “all asparkley,” as if their skin were imbedded with tiny diamonds (or maybe cubic zirconium). But their thirst for blood remains, which is a bad thing for Bella Swan (the very serious Kristen Stewart), because she and her blood is intoxicating to them, especially the brooding, massively-maned Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).
I am a big fan of Joss Whedon’s phenomenal TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Early in that first season, Buffy, all of 16 years old, falls in love with the brooding, perfectly maned (is there a THEME here?) vampire Angel. They had all the typical dating/relationship problems: should she bring a stake on their first date; if they stayed out too late, would he burn up; where do you eat if she’s a vegetarian and he drinks blood; what does she tell her friends and more importantly her Mom? And when Buffy and Angel finally took the big step and slept together, Angel turns into the ULTIMATE creep - not only does he not call her the next day, but he attacks those closet to her and murders one of her friends.
I bring this up because I thought Twilight might be traveling down this same road. But whereas Buffy was a much more mature take on this story and these themes, Twilight is firmly entrenched in its Young Adult readership (now viewership) demographic. There are a lot of dialogue exchanges between Bella and Edward of this variety: “I’d rather die, than stay away from you.” I dream about being with you forever.” “You are my life now.” Are you swooning yet?
I wasn't swooning but I can understand why this movie's target audience would be all palpitating and such. But I can't understand the hate some people have for this film. It's like damning oranges for not being able to give you apple juice. It is what it is, and it's certainly not hiding that fact. If you want to take a chaste, romantic trip down young lovers lane, then scope out Twilight. If you are in the mood for a very good, very adult take a young vampire meets human story watch Let The Right One In.