I’ve been doing this movie project, which began January 1, 2010 but up until very recently, not a single one of the movies I’ve watched has been viewed in a theater. Weird, huh? So which movie has the dubious honor of being my first movie theater flick of 2010?
Eclipse. Yes, one of those Twilight Saga movies.
There’s a story behind this, of course. Even if there weren’t, I’d find a way to make one because I’d try to squeeze a story out of a stone. A few years back, I somehow heard about this series of books that the kids were reading these days. It was called “The Twilight Saga” and right there it had me. I mean, SAGA? Is there any word that better encapsulates what I love in a guilty-pleasure read? I love the overwrought. I love the Victorian yearning. I love the unrequited or impossible love story. In short: I am ridiculous. Welcome to my blog!
The last time I’d heard about a series of books the kids were going gaga for and took a chance reading said books I was rewarded with the incomparable gift of the Harry Potter series. Man, I love those books. So. Much. So I guess when I heard that all the young people adored these offbeat vampire books I thought: another treasure to discover.
What I found instead can be best described by sharing an analogy provided by a dear and similarly-positioned (age-and-kid-wise) friend of mine from church: “Reading The Twilight Saga is like eating an entire box of Twinkies in one sitting. You can’t stop yourself, and yet you don’t feel good when it’s done.” Let that be a warning to those of you who are uninitiated.
But if you, like me, could not get enough of Edith Wharton as a teenager; if Jane Eyre is your idea of the most romantic novel of all-time; if you thoroughly enjoy forays into poorly-constructed chick-lit “beach reads”…then maybe give The Twilight Saga a gander (if you’re one of the half-dozen who hasn’t already done so.) It’s got the gloomy Gothic feeling of Jane Eyre, mixed with the buttoned-up yearning of Wharton, all wrapped up in a trying-so-hard-but-still-poorly-written package ala Chick Lit. Get all four of the tomes and prepare yourself for a week in bed. Maybe bring a box or two of Twinkies.
There. Now that my secret is out I feel so much better. But surely you’re asking yourself: if you already felt badly after gorging on the novels, why would you belly up to the movie buffet?
Here’s your answer:
Okay, maybe this is a slight exaggeration, since I had no idea about the hotness of Taylor Lautner before I went to see the first movie. I guess I wound up in the theater that first time because my main problem with the books was in how they told the story. The story itself I liked. So I thought maybe in a different medium it could be fantastic. Which might have been the case were the acting not so utterly atrocious. But the second time I went, it was for Taylor. That felt dirty, since he was still a minor at the time, and I a world-weary mother of three. Happily married. But still not blind, damn it! To reiterate:
Maybe you don’t quite understand:
So hopefully this isn’t an embarrassment, but I have to give a shout-out to my friend Brad here. Somehow I convinced him to go see that awful first movie with me, the one with all the yearning and the staring at one another and the spinning of cameras. He was horrified. I fell all over myself apologizing. When the second movie came out I immediately called him and begged him to accompany me, citing “hot naked werewolves” as an incentive for attendance, but he wisely would not bite (ha!) “No. I’m not seeing that movie,” he said. But THEN! Then I found out he got dragged to that very movie a few weeks later by this club of movie-going gays who all wanted to see New Moon. When I found out he’d gone with other people I was incensed! How COULD he?!? He swore he’d go along with me when Eclipse, this third movie, was released. You might think it was because of friendship and love that he made me this promise. I say he was thoroughly converted by the hot naked werewolves. And this time ’round, we could feel a little less dirty about the Taylor Lautner lovin’, as he is now totally legal! Woohoo!
Brad and I both agreed that the latest installment of the movies was light-years ahead of the earlier counterparts. For one, some of the actors appear to have been to some kind of lessons or training to teach them to, you know, act. It has the benefit of the best story from the saga as well: Eclipse was by far my favorite of the novels. Lastly, there was a lot of action. Whenever you have actors of questionable talent, throw in a lot of action! Cuts down the stinkiness by a factor of 10.
So, would I recommend this movie? Only if you like attractive barely-legal guys and overwrought, chaste, Mormon-penned romance. Which, as it so happens, appears to be my lot in life.