Follow along with the adventures of Bella and Edward, fictionally idealized tweens with poetic names defending their puppy romance from disapproving parents, peer pressure and meany-pants vampires. He’s undead, she’s uninteresting. Their forbidden romance can only lead to trouble.[Message: By the end you will either write a poem or burn your diary.]
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke
Interview with a Vampire (1994) meets Romeo and Juliet
On Bella’s first day of school Edward gets a good whiff of her and has to hold back from blowing chunks all over his lab table.
Edward takes Bella on a piggyback ride to the top of the world to reveal his true nature—ooo! Sparkly. On the way up they look hilariously like the mountain climber game from The Price is Right.
I have no intention of reading the source material but I’m curious. What exactly is Twilight about?
It’s a contrived fantasy romance about a bratty seventeen-year-old girl and a ninety-year-old broody vampire
Dispatched by her trophy wife mother to live with her estranged father-slash-town-sheriff, our protagonist, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart)–transplanted from the exciting “big city” sprawl of sun-filled Arizona–awkwardly arrives in the sopping, bleak foliage of small-town Forks, Washington to play the proverbial not-from-around-here kid. Suddenly, vampires.
Ah, that old story. So Bella’s the town stranger? It’s going to be really hard for her to fit in.
Not really. She used to live in Forks when she was little so she comes in as a bit of a celebrity. Not to mention she’s supposed be stupid hot. If walking around the town with either a vacant, confused stare or a resting bitch-face is something people in Forks find attractive, then Bella really nails it.
Sounds like a big fish in a small pond. How does she meet this Edward character?
Somehow Bella picks up some quirky lunchroom pals who give her the who’s who in her new high school. I guess when a writer needs to quickly introduce a bunch of preconceived character archetypes the best way to handle it is to have them parade by in slow motion while C-level ancillary characters regale the viewer with townie gossip. Edward is emphasized right at the end and they kind of eye each other from opposite tables. She’s put off by his creeper glare and he’s trying to read her mind.
Wait. Read her mind?
Yes. Apparently vampires get some sort of bonus ability based on their character traits–or a roll from a mystical hundred-sided die–depending on what genus of nerd one comes from. Edward‘s is the ability to read minds. He can’t read Bella‘s mind though and it makes him confused and curious. And so the plot thickens.
You mean there’s more? But it’s already so interesting.
Besides the townie v. city babe thing, broken family thing, boy meets girl thing, American Indian werewolf thing, and the vampire prom kids thing, there are evil vampires.
Wow! We get to see werewolves?
Not to worry, they’re coming. But hey, evil vampires. We know they’re evil because of their alternative style. Oh, and their stage-blood red eyes.
Um, what color eyes do good vampires have?
Photoshop amber. And again, the good ones are decked out in preppy angelic white. It’s obvious who the scary bad vampires are. Just keep in mind that a good vampire in dark clothing is conflicted, so probably should give that one some space.
How the heck can a vampire be a “good guy”? They drink people’s blood, usually all of it.
They’re vegevampitarians-they eat woodland creatures. Just like you and me, except they drink all the blood rather than throw the carcass over a campfire.
Come on! If they can live off of the same food sources as humans do, why kill people? Humans don’t use much animal blood. They could share and live in harmony together.
That’s not your only problem with this vampire lore, is it?
Nope. Basically Stephanie Meyer’s version of vampire lore keeps all the advantages of vampirism without any of its traditional weaknesses; essentially immortality and superpowers without consequence. I don’t really see any reason not to turn every brilliant minded person in the world into a vampire, and then eat the rest. They’re immortal, don’t need to sleep, they shimmer in sunlight, and are near impossible to kill. There would be no reason for money, war, religion, or even procreation. Maybe keep a colony of humans around in case we want to replace a person or two. Boredom would be the new Cancer. Doesn’t that sound horrible?
Hey! I’ll ask the questions. Back to Bella. What’s her attraction to Edward if he’s a bit of a creeper?
Honestly, I think it’s because he avoids and ignores her while every single extra in the movie watches her like she’s in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Well that and the fact that Edward is forced to save her life about fifty times throughout the movie because Bella‘s a bit of a twit–always stepping into the path of danger like a baby fawn on a winding dark road.
And how does Edward feel about Bella?
He wants to eat her. But also make out with her.
That’s like me kissing a pig while thinking about a B.L.T. How is this romantic?
It’s not. Between the plodding storyline and paint-by-numbers characters it’s not really high romance, or even middling vampire fiction. But, for an underwhelming fan film Twilight still manages to do exactly what it is meant to, which is convince millions of screaming teenage girls and their moms that the only good ones out there are married, broken, or mythical creatures. The fact that I found Twilight to be a marginally entertaining, albeit forgettable flick doesn’t really matter. What does matter is what its fans think. And so far they like it.
Does it at least have a some action or a little skin? You know, for the boys?
Yeah, there’s a bit of action. One of the baddie vamps catches Bella‘s scent and wants to gobble her up. But Edward‘s goodie vamp coven sort of takes to her and gives her a hand. There’s some chasing, a little fighty-fighty, a couple of guys are vampire food (not shown), some damsel in distress moments, a head ripped off, and a body burning (not shown directly).
Skin-wise there’s the usual Kristen Stewart panty shot.
What did you learn while watching Twilight?
- Don’t have sex before marriage, especially with your food.
- Vampires enjoy a good old fashioned game of baseball from time to time.
- It’s possible to hit a baseball so hard it makes a thunderclap and have both bat and ball remain intact.
- Some vampires consider themselves vegetarians if they only feed on helpless wild animals; likely not members of PETA.
- Vampires don’t turn to dust in direct sunlight, they glisten like diamonds—and it scares the shtako out of them.
- The best way to get the new girl in school to go to the prom you is to get violently ill the first time you lay eyes on her.
Nice. So, would you recommend this movie?
If you’re expecting From Dusk Till Dawn you might want to skip the whole ordeal. But, if you like Barbie movies or things about rainbow ponies this probably is your flick.[Editor’s Note: The embedded video below is the only tolerable way to enjoy (and make fun of) TWILIGHT. Enjoy!]