Come on, 'fess up. Are you a Twilight hater?
The latest installment of the series, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, was released over the weekend, and raked in more than $283.5 million worldwide ($139.5 million in the United States alone, that's the fifth-best opening weekend ever).
Surely a sparkly movie that made $283.5 million in a weekend can't be wrong, but if you talked to a Twilight hater (including many professional film critics - Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune said that watching Twilight made it seem like "time itself begins to crawl backward"), you'd be surprised at the virulence of their contempt.
But why all that hate? Erika Christakis of TIME Magazine thinks it's all about hating the female fantasy:
Why is it that female fantasies are such a source of derision and fear? The male species is allowed all manner of violent, creepy, ludicrous and degrading movie tropes, and while we may not embrace them as high art, no one questions them seriously as entertainment, even when sometimes we probably should. (Violent imagery is, after all, associated with violent behavior.) You want to saw someone in half or put their head in a vice? Showcase naked strippers as a fake plot device? Pair a beautiful and successful career woman with a slovenly, unemployed man? Pretend you are Wolverine? Go right ahead. We know you can’t really be serious. But watch a tender wedding night between a virginal, undead superhero and his teenage, human bride, and the scolds come out in force. Are parents worried that their teenage daughter actually wants to be impregnated by a 100-year-old vampire who can crush a headboard with his hands (and perform an emergency C-section with his teeth)?
Maybe part of the reason critics deplore these movies is not only because they are so unfamiliar with kooky heterosexual female fantasies but also because they don’t really like what these fantasies say about men.
Link | See also The 7 Harshest Critics' Jabs at Breaking Dawn
That said, I've felt I could relate to the female character and the direction of the films. I don't look at the movie as being a "role model movie." I see Bella as insecure and obsessive. Isn't that a unique description that sets her apart from all you strong ladies? She comes from a broken home and her mother clearly revolves around her husband. Again, don't you have a friend with a mom like that, perhaps who turned out like her mom?
For my part, I can relate with getting dumped, being melancholy, and deciding between what's good for me and what's dangerous. It's a classic choice many women make. Having chosen my own Jacob to marry, I look back at that time when I had that passion, the lust, the confusion in my life. Tweens? Hah, I wish. I call it my 20's, and these movies bring back that energy. A true escape and one that you want to experience. That time in my life was so exciting.
The movies are also well done. The acting is good, the soundtracks are good, the cinematography is decent. The dialogue, which could incite laughter in its silliness, I can forgive in the same way I forgive George Lucas when I watch Star Wars. It's all in good fun.
And finally, if you're really concerned that Bella isn't a good role model, you can always explain to your daughter that Bella could end up damned, with a vampire-made c-section, unable to enjoy life as she is now walking dead. :)
Here's a suggestion... if you don't like it... DON'T READ IT — if you hate the story.... DON'T BLOODY WELL GO AND SEE THE MOVIE, leave it to those who do like it. Perhaps all you haters need to find something to do with all the spare time you seem to have — instead of obsessing over the Twilight books and movies perhaps a little charity work is in order. Come on all jokes aside, it's all being taken way too seriously!! Olga from Sydney Australia
The story is filled with juvenile wish-fulfillment, selfish manipulation and ruthless self-aggrandizement, all wrapped up in a package delivered by a cypher clearly intended to make the reader or viewer take on that persona for the duration of the fantasy.
It's a terrible lesson for adolescent girls (hook up with the stalker monster and let him do all the work rather than making something of yourself), and the writing and acting is mostly abysmal.
There are plenty more romances out there that have substance and female protagonists with agency that are much more satisfying. That's why this woman loathes Twilight.
I hate Twilight because it has bipolar and conflicting themes and characterizations, dialogue is terrible and sometimes repeats narrative that already happened, thus watering down any mystery for readers to find.
Bella is 1-dimensionally infatuated-yet-remarkably-emotionless vehicle into which female readers can insert their psyche, a complete Mary Sue, pursues her relationship with an inconsistent lover to the detriment of everything else in her life but doesn't suffer a pints worth of guilt or consequence unless it directly involves Edward or werewolf Calvin Klein jeans model.
The only thing I will praise Meyers for is getting more young girls to pick up reading. It's her franchises only redeeming contribution to our culture. At least these youth will pick up better literature eventually for taking an interest.