Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight (no spoilers... I think)

Hey, all! I went to the movies with Mari last night to see Twilight, based on the book by Stephanie Meyer. Subsequent movies will be made from the other books in the series. I've not read the last book in the series yet, but I plan to and I already know the biggest plot points.

I have to say, I hadn't read the last book yet because, frankly... Well, I couldn't stand Bella and Edward in the books. She's so whiny, wimpy, cranky and, to me, oscillates between her all consuming co-dependence on Edward and her need to assert herself by lashing out. In short, she's immature. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with that. Alot of 17 year old girls are, so the character is well written enough that I actually took a personal interest and found that if I were to meet Bella as I read her, I would not like her.

Edward, on the other hand starts out very likable and interesting to me, but as the series wound on, I found him to be forced more and more into some mold of perfection. While many readers love this Romeo and Juliet idea of doomed love and the idea of someone being so enraptured by you that they simply cannot keep away even at the risk of EATING YOU, I find it silly. Again, though, I am not the target audience of young women readers and this is not something I strive for in my own relationships. I'm older, married, and I hope a bit more savvy than I was at 17. So, Edward being idealized more and more throughout the books turned him into some sort of one dimensional, holy martyr who could do no wrong and became Bella's concious. Again, I'm not big on co-dependence.

The characters I loved are Charlie (Bella's dad), Alice (Edward's "sister") and Jacob (friend-turned-love-interest-turned-yet-another-supernatural-being). Charlie is stalwart and awkward with Bella. He is so convincingly drawn that when Bella hurts him, I hated her for it and my heart broke for him. He's protective and loving, but at the same time simply does not know what to do with the raging ball of emotion and clumsy elbows that is the daughter that suddenly decides to live with him. It's clear that he loves her dearly and can't fully express the depth of that love for her, that he's afraid of driving her away so he tends to stand back. In short, Charlie is a great dad trying to deal with a difficult situation and a woman-child he feels out of his depth with.

Alice is clever, confident, and sweet. She's that sassy girl you knew in high school who dressed well, but didn't tear others apart for not doing so. She'd give you a makeover in a minute, and just KNOWS you would love one, right? She is loyal from the moment she gives you that loyalty and when she makes a decision, she moves forward with it confidently and little wavering. With Alice, you have no questions about how she feels about you, because she has the wherewithall to be frank in her relationships. And, she always wants to help, while seeing how much fun she can have at the same time. Alice came into her own when she joined the Cullen clan and has shed many of the demons that plagued her in her previous life, only to turn those very demons into the angels on her shoulder that guide her in a most uncanny way. I like Alice because her previous handicaps didn't defeat her; she now uses them to her best advantage. She came from an awful situation yet she is cheerful and fiery; her joy and love of adventure is infectious.

I also really like Jacob. Jacob is the main character that is most fully formed, in my opinion. He just feels like a real person, flawed and fallible but trying his best. Naturally, because this series is all about Bella (some would argue it's about Bella and Edward, but I disagree), Jacob falls for her big time. She doesn't deserve him and I wish with all my heart he would find someone who truly does. Jacob is warm, friendly, helpful... but he's also angry at times and violent. He has prejudices that go further back than his life, and at times, he is completely unwilling to let them go. He is a friend to Bella before he tried to be anything else. He never pushes her, either to be close to or away from him. He lets her find her own way and is there to help her if she needs it. Through her friendship with Jacob, Bella begins to find her strength and voice. While with Edward, she is weak, obsessed, desperate and petty. Edward treats her like she is made of glass; Jacob teaches her that she's made of steel.

While I feel that Jacob deserved to "win" Bella if anyone did, I'm glad to know that he doesn't in the end. He deserves someone better than Bella. She wants to be who she is with Edward, not who she could be with Jacob, so let her go.

Ok, those are the opinions I went into the movie with. I wanted to go more to have a good time with my friend than anything else, so for me, even if the movie sucked, I'd already gotten everything I wanted out of it. We sat down about twenty minutes before the movie began and it was like a party in there. People were wandering around, talking to friends, lots of giggling and laughing, eatting munchies and just generally having a great time. There was that air of anticipation I've come to expect only at Star Trek premiers. The crowd was giddy! It made it fun to be there, through the millions of previews and commercials. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't just teenaged girls in the seats, either; there were men and women of all ages waiting to view Twilight.

The lights dimmed down, the screen went dark and... a squeal went through the crowd! A squeal! lol I loved it! I love true fans and how absorbed they can become in a story. I love that books touched the lives of all the people sitting there in that theater, even if it just meant taking their girlfriend out to see a movie.

I'm not going to go into a scene-by-scene review of the movie, because none of us really want that. ;) In fact, I'll end it for today and finish the movie review tomorrow.

See you then!


Anonymous said...
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Finklee said...

I just watch twilight last night it was AMAZING, sum parts gave me the chills, sum parts made me laugh hysterically.

Donna said...

I've read all the books even though the target audience is probably about 30 years younger than me! I enjoyed the books for what they are--fluff.

Charlie and Alice are two characters I like. Charlie I can relate to because I am the parent of a kid about Bella's age. Alice is just cool and smart, and that's the type person I like and choose for my friends.

Bella is immature, but hey, being the mom of a girl that age, I can tell you she was certainly written true to life.

I don't like Jacob. He's too broody for my taste. Edward, I liked just fine. He's wise beyond his years, IMO, but I don't like how he had to be Bella's guiding force. Of course, immature teenage girl, so enough said!

We've not seen the movie yet. I may wait for it to come out on DVD. I'm not really anxious to share a movie theater with a bunch of giddy teenagers! I get enough of that at home. ;)

mari said...

Thanks for going with me :)

Michelle said...

I haven't read the Twilight series yet. One of my friends did tell me about it when I was complaining about Anne Rice not doing anymore of the Vampire Chronicles. (I did read she's got 1 more to do, though!) AND, I tagged you from my blog!

simply patti said...

I couldn't even get halfway through the first book... that's okay... like you mentioned; I'm not part of the target audience. I am really into Phillipia Gregor at the moment.

But the movie squeel? I totally get that! I am a huge Tolkien/LOTR fan and we Ringers understand excitement, anticipation and devotion :)

Jeannie said...

Patti! I am right there with you! LOTR were some of the few movies I went to see at the thater, and I went the first day, in eager anticipation. I don't go see the Harry Potter movies because I'm a mom now and time and money are allocated to other things, but if I could, I would definitely be a squealer. ;)