Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Twilight: Please Explain the Appeal

There are plenty of popular things that I’m not into, but I can at least see why they might appeal to someone else. Graphic novels. The Kindle. Sports. But when it comes to the rabid popularity of Twilight, I’m honestly at a loss. After years of wondering what all the hype was about, I bit the bullet and watched the first Twilight movie when it showed up on Showtime. And it was quite honestly one of the worst things I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a LOT of crap). So can anyone explain its appeal to me?

Bella is a horrible role model. I shudder to think of the number of teenage girls who want to model themselves after swoony, breathless Bella. She has zero personality, no apparent hobbies or passions of her own, and is completely willing to sacrifice herself for the first guy she falls for…at the ripe old age of 17. That girl needs to get her own life, get the hell out of Forks, and discover what the world has to offer.

It is not a “chaste” love story. Apparently one of the primary reasons parents are so willing to let their preteens, tweens, and teens get swept up in the Twilight madness is because there is no sex going on in the stories. Hell, vampires can’t even kiss a human without major complications. But the movie is still chock full of tortured longing, sexual tension, heavy panting, overly emotional declarations, and all the other crap that teens go through. And it’s perfectly clear that if Bella and Edward were able to bone without problems, they totally would. So if parents are using Twilight as a way to teach their kids about waiting to have sex, they’d be better off, you know, actually talking to their kids about sex.

These guys are not sexy. I may be a bit biased since I was young during the last vampire craze, way back in the yesteryears of the 1990s when Anne Rice novels were hugely popular, and everyone saw Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Interview with the Vampire. Those vampires were sexy AND dangerous, which just helped to add to their sexiness. The Twilight vampires are whiny, emo, and…sparkly? And don’t even get me started on how creepy it is that there are “Twilight moms” who lust after them. If a middle-aged guy was drooling over a teenage girl, he’d be labeled a pervert and a pedophile, but if a middle-aged woman has her knickers in a knot over a teenage boy, everyone’s OK with it? That’s taking a double standard to an insanely creepy new level.

These are just my main issues with Twilight, as I don’t have the energy or the interest to get into the horrible acting, major plot holes, and plodding pacing. Are the novels much better than the movie? I know I’ve been disappointed with the Harry Potter movies after loving the books, so is this a similar issue of the movie not living up to its source material? Or is it simply a case of someone, somewhere decided Twilight was the new “it” thing, and everyone else just drank the Kool-Aid? Because on artistic merit alone, I can’t even justify it as a guilty pleasure, as guilty pleasures are supposed to have something pleasurable about them.

1 comment:

  1. I've read a bit of "Twilight" (don't probe for reasons), and it's teen romance novel fare written with a creepy obsessive tone. I was obsessed with sex as a teenager, too, but I had other interests. Music, reading, movies. These characters don't. It's all about the moment of copulation, the idea of it, the concentration on how it will completely turn the world inside out.

    Don't know if you've read this, but here's a look at the signs that Bella is in an abusive relationship: