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  • In keeping with my tendency for jumping on bandwagons once the fad is well past the station

  • I watched Twilight this weekend. There are a few reasons but mostly it comes down to

  • I was curious. Twilight has become a bit of a pop culture legend. I've never met anyone

  • who had watched the movies or read the books and was indifferent to them. Oddly, both the

  • books and the movies seem to be held up by a lot of people as a precedent of BADNESS.

  • So horrible in fact that the Twilight spectre seems to linger over most Tween entertainment,

  • and reduce that particular term to a pejorative. I had been resisting tween stuff in most forms

  • but I finally watched the Hunger games not too long ago and found it not bad. Derivative

  • but certainly well executed and entertaining.

  • I sat down and watched it this week and...man...I LOVE it. The movie is just a symphony of awkward

  • dialogue spoken by terrible and unbelievable characters. I say this without hyperbole:

  • I haven't laughed this hard at a movie all year. It is a failure but I'm fascinated

  • by WHY it fails. Lets run through it.

  • Bella moves to a small town in Washington to live with her Dad. She's a girl who struggles

  • mightily to assemble complete sentences

  • and yet for the sake of exposition shorthand, is instantly adopted by a gaggle of teenage

  • archetypes, including Anna Kendrick. The friends, I forgot their names instantly, exposition

  • Bella through the school including the student Cullen's.

  • Bella discovers she and Edward Cullen have a class together. Edward struggles through

  • the entire class as though he's just gotten his first erection and isn't sure what to

  • make of it. Through a massive coincidence Bella catches him trying to transfer out and

  • he makes no attempt to avoid her hearing how it'll be a struggle to sit next to her.

  • That night, on the phone with her mother, Bella gets all bent out of shape when her

  • mother asks if the students are being nice, despite the fact that half the school adopted

  • this uncooked piece of tofu on her first day for absolutely no reason. She ignores her

  • friends and decides to confront handsome McMeanypants about that one time he wasn't nice to her.

  • They make very awkward conversation and that afternoon he saves her from being crushed

  • in a parking lot.

  • At the hospital the two of them exchange the most bizarre conversation as Bella tries to

  • wrap her mind around what she just saw.

  • Who talks like this? Was this script written in an African click language and then run

  • through Google Translate? Probably actually...Google is in this movie a lot. That night Bella wakes

  • up and finds Edward in her bedroom. OR DID SHE? She finds herself

  • dreaming of Edward more often and ignoring her friends who actually treat her well.

  • Edward tells her if she's smart she'll stay away from him.

  • Let's say for argument sake I'm not smart.”

  • Oh I don't think we need to agree on that purely for the sake of argument. Smart people

  • can see that that's a squeeze bottle.

  • Edward suggests he may be the bad guy of the story.

  • Really? Because to me so far he reminds me of multiple Miggs, Hannibal Lecter's neighboring

  • cellmate in the Silence of the Lambs.

  • “I can smell your cunt.”

  • Bella and her charming group of friends head to the beach and run into Jacob. Jacob shares

  • a legend in which his people, descended from Wolves made a treaty with the Cullen's who

  • showed up on their land a 100 years ago. Bella Google's more information about it and decides

  • to go shopping at a Native American bookstore. Afterwards she gets cornered by 4 small town

  • rapists.

  • Edward thunders up in...his...Volvo and scares the rapists by growling out them.

  • Yeah Edward you monster. SAFETY FIRST. So Edward takes Bella to dinner and he explains

  • he feels protective of her and that he can read minds.

  • Hmm...weird.

  • One of Bella's father's friends has been killed by an animal (it was vampires.) This

  • spurs in her a realization. She goes home and Google's more stuff, discovering the

  • ancient history of vampires. In montage she finally understands what Edward is.

  • I just want to point out, we're 45 minutes into the movie at this point aaaaand….nothing

  • has really happened. Edward saved Bella aaaaaand….that's it. The rest has JUST been exposition. People

  • sitting around talking awkwardly. THAT'S IT. There really is no PLOT to speak of. For

  • reference sake,

  • At 45 minutes in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Joel has discovered Clementine has had

  • her memory of him erased and is well along the process of having his memory of her erased.

  • He's about to figure out that he doesn't want to.

  • 45 minutes into Shakespeare in Love, Shakespeare has begun production of Romeo and Ethel the

  • Pirates daughter, and fallen in love with Viola, the woman playing Romeo who has just

  • been bought by a fat Colin Firth. *you are allowed to show your pleasure.*

  • 45 minutes into Lost in Translation we've established that Scarlett Johanssen and Bill

  • Murray are having identity crises. Scarletts husband might be cheating on him with Cameron

  • Diaz and she and Bill Murray have set out on a bonding quest through the city. And THAT

  • movie is slow as balls.

  • Sure Bella has been trying to figure out what Edward is but we the audience saw the trailer

  • for the movie. We already know. I imagine, 'Edward is a Vampire' was sentence 3 on

  • the back of the dust jacket. So if the dialogue weren't just so joyfully terrible there

  • would be nothing to keep us interested. Just pretty people standing around. It's like

  • watching a 45 minute animated Gif of Tiger beat. It's not enough to put two pretty

  • people in orbit of each other and call it a night.

  • After her shocking revelation, at school the next day Bella walks off campus into the woods

  • for NO reason and Edward follows her. She's just found out he's a historical murdering

  • monster so obviously the best choice of action is to be alone in a vast wood with him. She

  • tells him she's figured out what he is while a drunk camera guy swings through the forest...because

  • moody.

  • Edward drags Bella up the mountain out of the cloud bank and into the sunlight.

  • He throws her on his back and super runs up the hill. Oh God. This movie is awesome. Edward

  • stands in a shaft of light and sparkles.

  • Why did she have to see this Glitter vamp? Is it because chicks dig bling? So, revealed

  • in all his sparky sparkleness Edward goes on about how he's a killer, has killed before,

  • and wants to kill her.

  • “I trust you.”

  • WHY? WHY DO YOU TRUST HIM? WHY? Because he saved you from the rapists? Maybe he doesn't

  • like other people stealing his French fries.

  • Bella and Edward eventually just confess their love for each other, and how dumb they are for

  • being that way. They share a romantic stare-a-thon in a meadow and come out as a couple at school

  • the next day.

  • An hour in and still more exposition. Edward takes Bella to his house so she can stand

  • around and have an awkward conversation with his family.

  • He shows Bella a wall of graduation gowns, and explains that he's been in high school

  • for many many years.

  • No joke. 108 year old who has nothing better to do than relive high school over over and

  • over again. Edward shows Bella his room and the two of them go Tarzaning through washington

  • forests. I just want to point out again, there is no plot being moved forward. No question

  • the main characters are struggling to figure out. We're watching two pretty people climb

  • a tree and hover hand each other. There's a b-story involving a murder with her Dad

  • that we know nothing about and has nothing to do with our main characters.

  • Edward pops into Bella's bedroom while she's on the phone, ignoring any privacy or personal

  • space. Again she doesn't care. He tells her don't move and then kisses her. Then

  • tells her to stop it and she apologizes? And instead of doing the naughty they sit around

  • all night and talk.

  • And then the least scary vampires in the history movies invite Bella to play to baseball...which

  • they have to play in a thunderstorm because the sound of their bats hitting the ball is

  • so loud it would draw attention otherwise. I'm not making this up. Sparkle vampires,

  • who love to play baseball in the rain because of their mighty cracks. Its AMAZING

  • In come the actual vampire murderers. They have a stare down standoff and the meany-vampires

  • ask to play.

  • One of the mean-pires gets a whiff of Bella and the game is off. Edward has one of his

  • manic freakouts and they go four wheeling away. He explains he read the ponytails mind

  • and discovered the ponytail won't ever stop tracking her. Hey look! A plot kind kind of.

  • We're an hour and twenty minutes in friends.

  • Bella decides the only way to keep her Dad safe is to emotionally injure the only likable

  • character in the movie. She tells her Dad she has to leave because he's not a good

  • enough father, all for the benefit of the ponytail that is overhearing everything. As

  • Bella and Edward drive away she happens to spy all her friends having fun and laughing

  • together as she passes them in the night. I think we're SUPPOSED to feel bad for her

  • as her great life is torn from her but I really I felt like Bella was being forced to consider

  • the tragic consequences of her own TERRIBLE decisions made throughout the movie.

  • Edward and Bella flee to Phoenix followed by the pony tail. Pony tail tells Bella come

  • see him alone or he'll kill her mother. Bella monologues on the way over:

  • “I can't really regret my decisions that made me come face to face with death.”

  • Really? Cause you made a lot of bad decisions. Enh. I guess I can understand why. (Ketchup

  • bottle) Ponytail tortures Bella. Edward shows up to save her but Bella gets bit. In order

  • to save her from becoming a vampire he has to suck the vampire venom out of her arm.

  • Bella wakes up in the hospital her Mom expositions her unconscious time, along with the lies

  • the Cullen's made up for the benefit of her parents. Edward and she go to prom together

  • and Bella asks Edward to change her. He refuses. Movie ends. I'm not entirely sure WHY he

  • refuses to turn her though. In this universe, there seems to be VERY few consequences to

  • being a vampire. You get super strength. Super speed. Super jumpiness. You get to be all

  • blinged out in the sun.

  • Seems like the worst consequence is vampire vegetarianism.

  • Edwards description of his interest in Bella is very informing as to the nature of these

  • kind of relationship dying star teenage implosion movies. There are great lines in the history

  • of romances:

  • This obsessive, I want to curl up in your arms and die kind of love story is not limited

  • to teenage entertainment but it certainly seems much more common to it and they're

  • easily prone to becoming tedious because the characters often have no lives but each other.

  • Let's look at a love story vastly superior to Twilight, the first 10 minutes of 'Up.'

  • Spoilers if you haven't seen Pixar's Up.

  • Carl and Ellie meet as children and Ellie shows her adventure book expressing her desire

  • to someday see South America. A musical montage shows Carl and Ellie eventually getting married

  • and moving into the old house where they first met. Their marriage is blissful and they get

  • jobs as a balloon salesman and zookeeper. When they discover that Ellie is unable to

  • have children, they make a pact to save money to travel to travel to South America. However,

  • as the years pass, they are forced to dig into their Falls fund for other obligations.

  • One day, an elderly Carl realizes that, despite living happily together, they never fulfilled

  • their old dream, Carl decides to surprise Ellie on a picnic with tickets to South America.

  • However, Ellie's declining health puts her in the hospital and she eventually passes

  • away, leaving Carl alone.

  • THAT is a love story, and a tragic one. Though there isn't any dialogue Carl and Ellie

  • have far more personality than Bella and Edward because they have dreams, careers, and aspirations

  • as individuals. And those things drive the story of their relationship together.

  • I've heard Kristen Stewart take a lot of flack for her performance as Bella but I'm

  • not sure that's fair. Yes, her entire performance is made up of manic ticks and droopy mouth

  • fly catching. Bella is intended to be as relatable as possible, though her relatedness is a cheap

  • device, not a thoughtful conception. Her only traits are insecurity and awkwardness so that

  • she can be as completely relatable as possible to anyone going through puberty. Sure Kristen