Watching Oprah on Wednesday, I don’t know whether to feel good or bad. There were Bella, Edward Cullen and Jacob on my television screen, really the actors Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Of the three, Kristen Stewart seems most like the part she plays in the Twilight films, adapted from the mega-selling books, which Oprah called a phenomenon. It’s really more like a movement.
My little Yorkshire Terrier was named Isabelle, “Bella” for short, so I was already into the name. The character of Bella, which means beautiful in Italian, is young, awkard and experiencing the throes of first love…that ache, that longing that we can all relate to. But she’s also strong, true to herself, which is probably what attracts Edward Cullen who’s been alive for hundreds of years and wise to the ways of the world. Let’s get this straight, I’m on the Edward team…all the way. But the actor is British with an accent and a laugh that is nothing like Edward at all. Engaging, charming, yes, but the manner of his speaking in the movie is what turns me on. Pattinson said in an interview in Entertainment Weekly that his hair was 75% of his performance and that and his make-up made pale face helps, but he is dashing, romantic and mysterious, oh yes and a vampire. Don’t get me wrong, Jacob is wonderful, too, and if Bella were my age she would know that sometimes it’s the friend who makes for the most satisfying long term relationship. But it’s hard to know that then when you ache for someone and you truly understand and have said, that you miss the smell of something, it’s so organic, so titillating. But the highs are so high and the lows so low…which Bella also understands of those “love at first sight” kinds of relationships.
I admit I was a major hold out. I didn’t read the books or see any of the films until earlier this year. I love True Blood on HBO, an entirely different take on vampires. And long ago in a different galaxy I loved Dark Shadows, too with Barnabus Collins who slept in a coffin. I liked the film Dracula starring Gary Oldman, which had a much more erotic and even kinky bent.
But Twilight was on Showtime and I watched it and I was immediately hooked. I then read Twilight and New Moon, each in a day and as much a liked Melissa Rosenberg’s adaptation, the books did give much more back story and layers.
The best part of the first film is their getting to know each other…and all the scenes in school and at her house. I’m not as into the vampire fighting stuff so wasn’t nearly as involved in New Moon, either. And I know enough in Eclipse that Edward and Jacob unite to save Bella from more vampires. No, it’s definitely the aspects of first love that have me hooked and I love the actor who plays Bella’s father….he is so great!!!
I’m not going to admit how many times I watched the film and still watch now that it’s playing on TMC. And hearing what middle-aged women said today on Oprah about why they are as into it as their young teenage daughters, I get it..it does make you feel like you’re that age and brings back all those memories of a time when every thing seemed possible…opportunities at every turn and. . .and boys/men, too. And it is that longing for a connection, real romance…and that anticipation of sex…too. It’s obvious that Bella and Edward will be compatible in the sack. Above all, though, their romance is fantasy. Edward will never age and is kind of like James Dean, he won’t change physically or become less attractive and that fits right into our youth obsessed culture. And Bella will probably not have that feeling that us real people do of wandering into a guy you were obsessed with in high school at a reunion and wonder what in the hell you were thinking back then…
I haven’t read Eclipse because I want to watch the movie first, like I did with the first two and then read the book. Generally I do just the opposite but this combination has provided good results so far so I’ll stay with the plan. And wait to see who she chooses. Both of these men have the power to hurt her, but for different reasons. But I hope it’s Edward.
Love as even us cynics know is the answer and opening yourself up to it is very hard, especially after heartbreak and divorce. Back then, I did stop eating after a breakup, and even in my late 20’s and early 30’s, when I experienced major heart-break, I also. Now, I eat when I’m upset and stressed. And with a few exceptions I haven’t felt those butterflies in my stomach or the urge to drive by someone’s house or apartment for the fifth time that day…believe me, I never felt like a stalker back then at all.
Twilight does tap into primal forces. And for this third film in the trilogy I plan to be one of the crazed fans who see it when it arrives in theaters on June 30…if not before.