Sunday, June 28, 2009

Twilight: An Obsession

Have I talked with you about Twilight before? I have a feminist rant all worked up but I haven't had breakfast yet so I'm going to start with Twilight.

I first read the Twilight books at a very fragile time in my life. During periods of unemployment I find that I am increasingly susceptible to celebrity crushes, general infatuations, and media obsessions. Escapism, right?

Anyways, the books ultimately disappoint. The first one is fraught with tension and adolescent longing and I fell headlong into a world of gorgeous vampires and very light petting. Of course, every book after that gets a little worse until the end of book 4 where you're left with an unsavory (and Mormon-tinged) flavour in your mouth. Of course the problem is, once you've been sucked into a story (or fallen in love with a character) you have to keep going. And no matter how many times you tell someone to stop a book series or tv series at X time, they never do. "How bad can it be?" they think. Or "Who the hell does she think she is? Cornering me at the video store and prying Heroes Season 2 out of my hands?"

Anyways, that's the books, and I'm here to talk to you about my obsession with the movie Twilight. No excuses this time as I was gainfully employed when this one came out.

I actually went to this movie in the theatre with lovely Meg. We proceeded to mock it mercilessly because, believe me, it is entirely mockable. It goes so far over the line several times it can be hard to take it seriously. And, Robert Pattinson? Cedric Diggory? Please! Edward is supposed to be gorgeous.

And yet, I watched again last night. Admittedly it helps to be in a certain state while watching it. Lowered expectations, generally more relaxed, etc. Ultimately, I like Twilight the movie because it reminds me of my first love. It's got a whole Romeo and Juliet quality to it where they figure out, as Shakespeare did, that the only believable way to portray a consuming love is to have teenage characters. (Though there's also a bit of magic about it in Twilight as well, which you know if you have read the books)

Those loves you had as teens really stick with you. They were emotional roller coasters. Because you had about 20 pounds of hormones racing through your body.

My first love was a boy named Tyler. I was 13. He was tall and gawky and adorably geeky. He was smart (almost as smart as me) and he played several sports. We wrote notes back and forth in class. He was a nice, Christian boy who didn't actually fully hit puberty until the next year. I have a vivid memory of being in class where we were doing presentations or something, for some reason we weren't sitting at our desks but scattered about the room on the floor. We sat very close to each other for a very electric 30 minutes, inconspicuously holding hands behind the cover of a backpack. I believe I floated home on a cloud that day.

Holding hands. And that is why I love Twilight (or the first book and the first movie anyways). It is all about possibility and anticipation. The calm before the storm. The breathless pause before the first kiss.

Ah, first loves.

Edward! Swoon!


Sterling Lynch said...

I totally missed the Twilight phenomenon. Thankfully. :)

Lady Rose said...

Um...the phenomenon is still going on. Don't worry, you still have time to join in. I can help!

Who was your first love Sterling?

Meg said...

I think reading the Twilight books during a period of vulnerability really altered the way I approached them, as pure escapist smut.

I groan every time I see ads, magazine covers, and movie trailers for the series. I want to go back in time and prevent the film from ever happening- part to prevent annoying teen squealy phenomenon, part to avoid further shame for having eagerly devoured such trash, and part to keep edward secret for myself.


Sterling Lynch said...

The first girl that I can recall "loving" was Joanna Cooper in Grade 4. She sat in front of me in class, underneath the multiplications tables. Blonde I think and one of the smart kids. We actually ended up going to the same high school but, by then, the love had died.