Friday, July 02, 2010

Not Bitten or Smitten

I've never read the "Twilight" books. I might have read them if I hadn't seen the reaction to them of other women I know. These women I know are in love with their husbands, but they have a crush on this teenage vampire. One of them had a "Twilight" party where they discussed the merits of "Team Edward", or "Team Jacob", and drank red punch that resembled blood. Most of them leave gushy facebook messages about how wonderful Edward is. They collect Edward memorabilia. The other day I decided I needed to see what all the hype was about, so I watched the first two movies. Last night I went with my daughter to see the new one.

I thought the movies were entertaining, and they were romantic, but I didn't come away dreaming of either of the heros. There are a lot of pretty faces in Hollywood, so one more didn't send me over the moon. I think I must have needed to read the books to become infatuated. But frankly that's why I chose not to read them.

I have several problems with the whole "Twilight" fever. First of all, none of it is based in reality. Even if vampires did exist, there are no men in the world who look at you as the sole meaning of their existence. If you find a guy who can't bear to be separated from you for even a short time, RUN! He is probably codependent and a mama's boy who needs hand holding. There are no men who swoon, and practically faint just being next to you.

The books and movies show a highly romanticized situation that does not mirror real life. In this story, the main characters always have turmoil and separation that makes them pine for each other. Real life usually does not contain that much drama. The story also doesn't show normal day to day life. They don't show Edward leaving his socks on the floor, or passing gas. In fact, one of the most common scenes in the movie is of Edward and Bella sitting in a field of flowers. I half expected them to do the cliche scene where they run across the field in slow motion towards each other.

There is something I do like about the story though. Edward is actually 117 years old, having been turned in to a vampire many years ago. So he has old fashioned ideas about love, sex, and marriage; ideals I share. There was one classic moment in the movie where Bella tries to get him to have sex with her. He declines and tells her that he doesn't have hope for his own soul, but he is concerned about hers, so wants to wait for marriage. As I was whispering out loud these words, I heard a nearby woman saying the exact same thing in tandem with me: "Good boy!". The whole audience laughed at her. :) The books were written by an LDS author, so that is probably the main reason that sex isn't part of their relationship. In fact, as part of the story line, Edward can't even kiss Bella very much out of fear of losing control of his vampire self. Now THAT is the one part that DOES mirror real life!

People debate whether or not to be "Team Edward", or "Team Jacob". That's an easy one for me. The actor who plays Jacob has an ugly nose. (This picture doesn't really show it.) He does have a good build, in fact I would say he is totally ripped. But I can't get past the nose.

Overall I would say the movies are entertaining, and they are definitely romantic. I'm glad I went to the movie last night so I could find out what happens in the story. But I doubt I will be watching any of the DVD's again any time soon. Let's just say, I wasn't bitten.


Inklings said...

I did read all the books, and can take them or leave them. I wasn't bitten, either. I haven't watched any of the movies, but think one of these days I might.
I don't think I could stand in line for a movie nor a book, nor do I want to go to a Twilight party and drink red punch.
I'm a little turned off by the vampire theme and the gory scenes in the book.
But if I'm voting, Team Edward. :0)

Nene said...

First of all, I don't think you can give a real opinion unless you have read the books. Imagine if you had only seen the Harry Potter movies. With that said, I have read the books and I have seen all the movies, but not the new one yet. I thought it was an interesting read, and I liked watching the movies just to see how they presented it, but I promise you I am not gushing over these books either. I can understand the teenage girls reaction to these books and movies, but grown-up married women? My friend and I discussed why this LDS author would choose to write a vampire book. I've never read any interviews about her, or why she wrote these, but we wondered if it was a way to portray someone who might have a characteristic that other people might find offensive, and how someone can love them anyway. Maybe that's a stretch, but it was interesting to think about. I didn't love the books enough to go read any other books (besides the Twilight series) that she's written. Oh, and just because I have read the books, I'm Team Edward, which doesn't mean I think Edward is more handsome than Jacob, it just means that I think Bella should marry Edward instead of Jacob, mainly because reading all the books helped me understand that she really loved Edward the most. And that's my opinion. :0)

Lindsay Logic said...

I read the books, and liked them, but I'm not a die-hard fan. I love Harry Potter books, too, and I'm not a die-hard fan of them either. I think the movies are a little cheesier than I read it in my mind, but I still have to see them, since I've read the books. (I like to see movies if I've read the book- I'm weird like that.) That being said, just like Harry Potter Movies are just a titch darker than I pictured them. Even though they are EXACTLY they're described- I didn't get the dark feeling as I do watching the movies. Same goes for Twilight. I'm not as into it as most girls, but I did enjoy the read.

I'm Team Jacob for the movies- I guess because I now understand this whole "cougar" business. ;)

Team Edward in the books, because I pictured Edward so much differently than the actor. (Plus for the same reason as Inklings said- it's her true love)

Mr. Giggles said...

I'm neither team Edward NOR team Jacob. I'm team Anti-Bella! I have read the books and seen all bu the latest movie. The books were well-written IF you want a teen romance novel. Stephanie Meyer was brilliant in her choice of genre. Many teens (esp. gothic and emo) are into vampires and teen girls are more likely to rush to the book store or stand all nigh/day in a line waiting for a release. The movies have much more action than the books, making them more exciting, if you can get through all the brooding without vomiting! BTW, I have also read The Host, and other than the characters, it was very much like the Twilight books. Still very well written, but also still geared to teen girls.

Stick said...

I read the first three books, and then stopped. I coulden't stand anymore. BITE HER AND GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY! :o) Just kidding. I thought the books were okay, but not good enough to read again, and I have yet to see even one of the movies, even though my house has all of them out, and has seen every one of them at midnight showings.
I agree with Lindsay, the HP movies are much darker than the books, so if these movies are as well, that is just one more reason I probably won't watch them.

Anonymous said...

Your comments about how unrealistic and unidealistic Edward and Bella's romance is strings a chord with me. It reminds me of my favorite quote by Kahil Gibran -

"Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. "