I watched this movie recently on Blu-ray disc, not because I expected to be that good, but because sometimes it’s important to watch what’s popular so you can better understand the popular culture. Twilight met my expectations; it wasn’t that good.
There are spoilers ahead, but I don’t think that knowing the plot in advance is going to hurt your appreciation of the movie; it might actually help.
Bella, a high-school girl who looks eerily like Juno (remember Juno?), leaves Phoenix to live with her blue collar policeman dad in a hick town in the state of Washington. According to IMDB, Kristen Stewart who plays Bella just turned 19 this month, so she was age appropriate for her role.
The first day at her new school, a nerdy Asian guy hits on her, but of course she’s not interested. But who is that hunky guy with strange eyes that change color, unnaturally pale skin, super-human strength, slightly pointy ears, cold skin, who never comes to school when the sun is shining? It’s pretty obvious to the viewer that he’s a vampire, but Bella is pretty dense. The real Juno, supposedly “whip-smart,” would surely have figured it out by now.
Finally, after a month of never talking to each other, Edward the young-looking vampire, takes Bella to the woods where he demonstrates his super-powers and says “I am a killer and I want to suck your blood out.” And Bella says “I love you!” And Edward says “I love you!” And Bella says “I love you more!” Not much of an exaggeration from the actual screenplay. But maybe, this is what teen love is about. If a guy looks good, and has super powers, that's all he needs to get a girl to say “I love you!” Talking and romance isn’t necessary.
But here’s the rub. Edward is not high-school aged, he’s over one hundred years old. Vampires, you see, don’t age once they are turned into a vampire. So isn’t this relationship like child molestation or statutory rape or something? Isn’t this why Roman Polanski is exiled to France? And Polanski doesn’t even have any super powers. I think it would have been a much more interesting movie if a high school girl falls in love with, let’s say, an octogenarian who looks like an octogenarian. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Edward and Bella don’t actually have sex, because sex would awaken Edward’s vampire blood lust, and he’d kill her. Bella seems to like it that way anyway. She gets to cuddle with him without the gross and disgusting exchange of bodily fluids that girls usually have to put up with.
Edward says, “let me introduce you to my family.” Edward comes from a family of SWPL vampires. They call themselves vegetarians. But they’re not really vegetarians, they subsist on animal blood. The movie never shows Edward killing a deer and sucking its blood out—maybe that would ruin the romance or something? But anyway, Edward’s “dad” is a doctor, and the vampire “family” lives in an architecturally stunning house with a SWPL kitchen and they listen to classical music (Edward likes Debussy).
But there are also some bad vampires in town. These vampires drink human blood, and they dress and act like trailer-park trash. Now, it would have been more interesting if the preppy-SWPL vampires turned out to be the bad vampires, and the trailer-trash vampires turned out to be the good vampires, but this is a movie not interested in making any interesting statements like that.
One of the trailer-trash vampires decides he wants to kill Bella and drink her blood as some sort of sport, so the SWPL vampires have to protect her. Good SWPL vampires win. Bella and Edward live happily ever after. The end.
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"Whiskey" has a detailed criticism of Twilight.
I haven't read the book, but the early-twenties actor who played Edward the vampire thought the book was junk. He is quoted:
“When you read the book,” says Pattinson, looking appropriately pallid and interesting even without makeup, “it’s like, ‘Edward Cullen was so beautiful I creamed myself.’ I mean every line is like that. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything. I think a lot of actors tried to play that aspect. I just couldn’t to that.”