Hello young folks! We, at TheYoungFolks.com, have decided to start writing columns or opinion pieces of topics that we find important or interesting to discuss. Our first column has to do with the little-known vampire movie out this weekend, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1. Twenty four hours ago, I was a cynic. I was not looking forward to the new Twilight movie. I kept hearing people and critics reiterate how terrible this new installment of the Twilight saga. I had also become resentful of Twilight for several reasons, that I didn’t think it was something I could appreciate anymore.
I was sixteen years old when I picked up the first Twilight book. It had just been published, and I kept skirting around it on the bookshelf, trying to find a more interesting book. I didn’t like vampires or anything supernatural. But every time I went to the bookstore, I would see it, teasing me in a way that I finally grabbed it and walked to café to read a chapter. I wasn’t immediately intrigued with it, so I left the store without purchasing. A week later, I came back, desperate to read anything new and finally bought Twilight. I loved Twilight. It was filled with all the dreamy things that my sixteen year old self wanted. It wasn’t a thought-provoking book and I didn’t dig deep into its meanings. It was just a love story that I greatly enjoyed. Thinking it was a standalone book, a year later, I was surprised to see New Moon on bookshelves. “Oh my God! Twilight has a sequel!” I thought. I instantly bought it and jumped right in. Again, I didn’t think too much of it, besides that it was fun to read.
After New Moon’s book release was when I started to take part in the Twilight fandom, or as much as I could. At the time, there weren’t many Twilight fans. There was maybe one fan site, and of course, Stephenie Meyer’s website, where I read the outtakes she posted. I remember counting down the days until Eclipse’s release, and that’s when I began realizing the growing presence of Twilight fans online. It was also around the same time that the movie was announced and in pre-production. When Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were cast, I remember vehemently defending them to other fans.
With the movie happening, I became very involved. I joined a Facebook group called “Because I read Twilight, I have unrealistic expectations in men.” I joined it at first because I thought the name was funny, but within it found a community of other Twilight fans that I could discuss the new movie and next book with. This is when things started to get gritty. My love for Twilight became an obsession. I got all my close friends hooked, and we spent the summer of 2008 obsessing over Edward Cullen. We were the ones that screamed when the trailer played before a movie. We actually used to warn the people around us to not worry if we started freaking out during the Twilight trailer. We spent a hilarious night filming a parody of it. Only the bloopers have seen the light of day (and it will stay that way.) We went to the midnight book release of Breaking Dawn. We spent the next days holed up at home reading it, texting each other things like “OMG! WTF IS GOING ON?” For the record, I was disappointed with the last book.
All the while, I was becoming way more involved with the fandom online than my friends were. I would visit that Facebook group several times a day, checking if new pictures or news was posted or discussing characters and plotlines with other fans. I did my best to keep this as secret as possible. While everyone knew I loved Twilight, I didn’t want to let them know how obsessed I had become. I felt I would be teased or they would’ve just not understood. It went on like this for about two years. During that time, I actually made lasting friendships with some of the members of that group. In fact, I met LucianaVee, the other co-founder of TYF, on that Facebook group. We became friends on LiveJournal, then friends on Twitter, and then finally friends in real life. I finally met her in person last year in New York City, where we attended the midnight release of Eclipse with other friends we met on the group.
So how did I get to that point yesterday where I was feeling resentful of Twilight? Well, it was something that had gradually happened. It started after film release of New Moon. The Twilight Saga had become this HUGE thing. It was overwhelming. Overwhelming with all the intense, screaming fans, and also overwhelming with the vitriol people would spew about it. It got to the point where I was being judged for liking Twilight. That I was a dumb girl with no sense of female empowerment because I liked sparkly vampires. Even if I said that it was only a guilty pleasure, I would be judged for that. It was, like, here was a something that I love and you’re making me hate myself for loving it. The thing I can’t stand the most is not being taken seriously. I didn’t want to get dismissed for being a Twilight fan. In a world where it’s all about who you know, impressions matter. And that’s when I started to reject being a Twilight fan. I started looking at other Twilight fans in disdain. I thought they were ridiculous. When I won tickets to a Twilight convention last year, I thought I was better than everyone else there. “God, these people are too obsessed. What is wrong with them?” It’s insane the things I put in my head, because you know why? I ended up winning two rounds of the trivia contest. I beat all these diehard fans, I WAS AT A TWILIGHT CONVENTION, and yet I still refused to acknowledge that I fucking loved Twilight.
From that point on, I kept my interest mild on anything Twilight. I went to Comic Con and had a pretty snarky attitude throughout the Breaking Dawn panel. To be honest, I did find it boring. It also didn’t help that I really did dislike the book. I was even more annoyed that they split the book into two movies. “God, I need to deal with this for a year longer than necessary.” These past few days, I’ve read the reviews on Breaking Dawn Part 1. I took a great pleasure in the very negative reviews. The harder and meaner it was bashed, the better. This all led up until yesterday.
I tried so hard to not like it anymore. Last night, I went to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn, with (false) resignation (I actually was the one who planned the outing). I sat there expecting an awful movie, and more reasons to make me not like it anymore. The opposite happened. I realized how stupid I’ve been. Like incredibly and utterly stupid. I make Bella Swan look like rocket scientist. Seriously.
I loved the hell out of Breaking Dawn: Part 1. Yes, I love Bella, Edward and Jacob. Yes, I agree they aren’t the most dynamic characters. Yes, I agree that the storyline in Breaking Dawn is outrageously bad. Yes, I agree that the films aren’t the best in cinema. Yes, I agree that the acting and dialogue can be cringe-worthy. Yes, I agree that the book didn’t need to be split into 2 films and that Summit is all out for our money. Yes, despite all that, I still love that insane movie.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 takes places a couple months after Eclipse. It’s the eve of Edward and Bella’s wedding day. The movie takes us through the wedding to their honeymoon off the coast of Brazil to Bella’s unexpected and disturbing pregnancy.
Honestly, at this point, these movies are made for the fans. The story is very faithful to the book, hardly any deviations from the original plot. That’s where the movie somewhat fails. Frankly, the plot isn’t good. I was hoping that screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg would take some liberties with the script. Because she didn’t, that’s precisely why this movie will be enjoyed the most by book fans.
Despite the plot, Breaking Dawn was watchable and a tremendous amount of thanks is in order for director Bill Condon. Condon is such an excellent filmmaker. This movie was so beautiful. It was lush, exquisite, and spectacular. The imagery was just amazing, a pure sight for the eyes. The editing was close to perfect. Breaking Dawn was the best directed film of the franchise. Condon made the most of what he had. He stopped this movie from becoming a disaster. And I owe it all to Bill Condon for making me realize how much I love Twilight.
The performances have slightly improved. There were still lots of brooding on the part of Edward and Jacob. Taylor Lautner seems to act better in his scenes with Kristen Stewart. The two have a real friendly chemistry between them. Robert Pattinson showed some great emotional range when he yells “You have given me no choice!” Kristen Stewart seems really comfortable with playing Bella now.
The Twilight Saga isn’t for everybody. Breaking Dawn is definitely not for everybody. For what it was, Breaking Dawn Part 1 was way better than the book. Most fans will rejoice over that fact. Most non-fans will just be incredibly perplexed. Regardless, Bill Condon is brilliant. He saved this movie, and because of him, I anxiously await the final movie next year.
I don’t think back about my life in the Twilight fandom very often. But now, I resolved to do so more often. Because if it wasn’t for Twilight, I wouldn’t be as close as I am with my friends now. I would’ve never met Lucy, and this site wouldn’t have existed. I wouldn’t have met another friend, Arianny, and have her to geek out on film with. I wouldn’t have some of the opportunities I’ve had. You know, I’ve read lists and lists about how Twilight is bad for people. It’s a terrible influence, teaches girls the wrong things, etc. Well, we’re not all Bella Swan. We are each our own person. I don’t agree with everything the Twilight Saga represents, and even at sixteen years old, I knew that too. Therefore, I think it’s time that critics and haters start to give us, Twilight fans, a lot more credit.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is now playing in theaters.