I am late. I know. The Twilight Saga has been a phenomenon for what, five years now? I get it. I’m LATE, but in the words of Celie, ‘I’m here! Thank God I’m here!’ And where I am, I’m actually a little pissed. As fan of most things mythical (I loved reading the Chronicles of Narnia, but only really could get into the first film; loved the LOTR triology and it sparked me to reread the The Hobbit (and then the others for the first time); Star Wars? Check! Harry Potter — read all the books pre-film and love the films!), I was strangely unmoved by the whole Twilight hype.
I don’t know if it was just lost on me, but as one who usually is right there in the midst of all things pop culture and teen/tween oriented, I’m usually the FIRST to jump on the bandwagon. That is when I realized this maturity thing was no joke! I just didn’t have time to really dive into understanding why Miley/Hannah was so popular. Or to keep up with a corny little dude named Aubrey Graham, a Nickelodeon star no less, who would become the hottest hip-hop artist in the game! And I certainly didn’t even breathe a sigh of acknowledgment in the direction of Justin Beiber until my 1 year old just burst out with (what was to me) a random chorus of “Baby, Baby, Baby. OWWWWWWW!”
But this Twilight thing just wouldn’t go away. My friends were ribbing me about how they just knew Robert Pattinson had made my cute white boy list. And I was befuddled because I had no idea who the guy was. So I caved and rented the original Twilight film, and I was immediately pissed. As soon as the tortured Edward (who couldn’t hold a candle to Brad’s much more alluringly tortured Louie) stepped into the sun, I turned it off. Bedazzled vamps were the single most ridiculous thing in the world!
I justified my anger by reverting back to my understanding on why I’d shunned the hype in the first place—it clearly was not worth my attention. Then the book showed up at the house. I don’t know where it came from, or why I even picked it up, but I did and I WAS HOOKED! I was impressed with Stephanie Meyers’ prose. Though I blushed at the thought pf preteens and teenagers reading some of it, she takes a very responsible stance on premarital sex in the books. But still, it is beyond passionate, even sans the physical act.
I read all four books in one weekend and then rewatched the first movie (it still pisses me off the he’s all sparkly), but I did enjoy New Moon and can’t wait to catch Eclipse on DVD. I also determined that the real reason that the initial film upset me, was that the truncated screenplay didn’t effectively develop the depth of Edward and Bella’s obsession with one another, so it came across as ridiculous puppy love, and not the crazy illogical, passionate real love cum obsession that slowly unfolds in the book. It’s a film, yes I know, but New Moon did a far better job of developing that connection between Jacob and Bella than both of them together did for she and Edward.
The books did an excellent job of conveying all types of emotions the films didn’t, though I blame that more on the directors and actors more than anything. Only Taylor Lautner seems to fit his role, I just don’t get godlike, Adonis and unnervingly beautiful from Pattinson.
Eclipse is certainly probably my favorite book in the series (Breaking Dawn was…until I got to the anti-climatic end) and so I think will be my favorite movie. I will give the Breaking Dawn films the benefit of the doubt, since the author herself is listed as the producer and Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) is directing, but I’m wary.
This whole ordeal has strengthened my resolve to read the books BEFORE I see the films they inspire. Unless, of course, the movie was just so amazing or emotionally potent that I don’t think it would matter (as was the case with Brokeback Mountain).
Next on the book-to-film reading list: The Help, which is stars Cicely Tyson, Sissy Spacek, Viola Davis and Aunjunae Ellis and starts filming soon.