Dear Catherine Hardwicke, Summit Entertainment, and Whom It May Concern:
You fucking fail me.
I was going to shrug this off as one of them “the book was better” humdingers, but a couple bottles of wine and two days later, I am angry as Hades. That said, I’m gonna go ahead and make the assumption that you have failed every 13-17 year old female Hot Topic-obsessed Twilight fangirl who stayed awake late at night painting the ideal portrait of the book saga into their own fragile minds. Vulnerable, we waited with our “TEAM EDWARD” and “TEAM JACOB” shirts and motionless “Edward loves Bella” computer wallpapers for MONTHS with the hopes that your fancy $37 million budget wouldn’t let us down, but it did. Oh, how it did.
And furthermore, by doing so you not only exploited the living (er –undead) literary magic that lies within the pages of our dog-eared and belovedTwilight paperbacks (do you know that book has replaced the BIBLE on my nightstand?!), but you ever so blatantly sodomized the fact that this movie came with a built-in fanbase. How fucking dare you.
You know who you are? You are the arrogant skinny chick that everyone loves to loathe. The skinny chick who doesn’t EVER pay for her own drinks at the bar. That obnoxious skinny chick who thinks she doesn’t have to work during sex because she’s so hot. What’s obnoxious to me is the American Psycho style of dismemberment you successfully executed in this movie, with that paper-thin, patchwork plot development and one-take, shaky-cheek acting we all suffered through.
The thing is, in no way, shape or form does your studio film measure up to even an ounce of the expectations we had, and your futile attempt falls very, very short of resembling any form of credible entertainment.
I just thought you should know.
P.S. – Stephenie Meyer, I ain’t mad at ya girl.
Twilight journeys us through the love story of two star-crossed teenage lovers mirroring a more sophisticated Romeo and Juliet. The relationship depicted in the film is between a vampire, Edward Cullen (played by the smoldering Robert Pattinson) and a mortal schoolgirl, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). The duo’s dynamic is as tortured and intense as it is rushed, and I was silly to think that the film could ever do justice to Stephenie Meyer’s gorgeous fictional tale. The film itself lacks in thorough character development, making it difficult for even a well-versed fan to keep up, let alone a Twilight virgin. However, I must note that the Cullen family was a superior choice in cast, each family member more than accurately reflecting their physical and emotional depictions in the book. The Cullens genuinely light up the screen and resurrect true life to the film’s undead.
Edward Cullen: Robert Pattinson
Bella Swan: Kristen Stewart
Esme Cullen: Elizabeth Reasor
Dr. Carslile Cullen: Peter Facinelli
Alice Cullen: Ashley Greene
Emmet Cullen: Kellan Lutz
Rosalie Cullen: Nikki Reed
Jasper Cullen: Jackson Rathbone
Charlie Swan: Billy Burke
Jacob Black: Taylor Lautner
James: Cam Gigandet
Victoria: Rachelle LeFevre
The story begins when 17-year old Bella Swan moves to the small town of Forks, Washington mid-semester, with her single father — accompanied by no friends and little social life. She makes instant friends with an old family friend, Jacob Black, a Native-American two years Bella’s junior, who gives her the 411 on the mysterious Edward Cullen. Mid-way through the film Edward Cullen takes an insatiable draw to her, not because of a lighthearted puppy love, but because his vampire senses cannot resist her, for she smells more exquisite to him than anyone in his century-old existence. Their need for each other becomes undeniable, and as the story goes, the “lion fell in love with the lamb” … thus leaving everything in their wake history. The remainder of the story is laced with high school hijinks, werewolf myths, vampire baseball games and antagonist James’ hunt for Bella — providing for a picture-perfect vampire battle in a poetic ballet studio at the end of the film. The audience is left with a metaphorical carrot dangling loosely in the foreground, as we depart while Bella pleads with Edward to make her immortal.
Pattinson carries the film as leader of the Cullen pack, a surrogate family of age-old “vegetarian”(no sacrificing humans, only animals) vampires, with a smirk and a sexy saunter. Previously seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the ill-fated Cedric Diggory, Pattinson delved so into the role of Edward that he was overheard on set proposing to his on-screen lover, Stewart. “I didn’t speak for about two months so I would seem really intense,” he admitted. His intensity translates lucidly on screen, while Stewart as Bella is over-acted and desperate. While the film encapsulates the skeletal story of Bella and Edward, it falls very short at bridging the gaps between character enactment in the book. For example, Bella and Alice Cullen’s sisterly friendship isn’t even lightly touched upon, nor is the full back story of the film’s vampire villains, James and the flame-haired Victoria — both of whom hold a large part of the storyline and motives in New Moon (the second installment of the four-part saga).
The film did excel in cinematography and musical score, as it is shot against the lush backdrop of Portland, OR. The tree and meadow scenes are breathtaking; and they are perfectly paired with the radiance of a vampire’s skin when it is hit by sunlight. The soundtrack is as hipster/indie as a Silverlake dive bar, but the use of numerous Muse tracks not only adds to the energy of the scene, but it also holds an important role to the development of the books as well. Meyer even includes a “thanks” to the band at the end of the Twilight novel and explains that she was able to visualize most of her scenes with the aid of their albums on a continuous loop. I must say, it struck quite a chord to hear the Muse song, Supermassive Blackhole, layered over the forest baseball scene, as I envisioned Meyer blasting the song in her home while furiously scribbling the book to life.
While a shudder occurred when I first heard that New Moon was greenlit, I know I’ll remain loyal to my appreciation for the saga in its entirety. I fucking hate you Hollywood, but there’s no denying my love for the story that had me at first bite.