At the world premiere of part one of the final Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn, fans went crazy for the two leads. They screamed while shoving each other for a glimpse of the faces of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.
They were mostly female and had the look of hunger on their faces – and rightly so. They’d been waiting for this for awhile.
Though most films at Empire Theatres had four showings on Saturday, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 had 14.
Dominique Sossee and Dejon Moomena waited in line for an hour-and-a half for one of those showings Saturday.
“I read the books and I know what’s going to happen. I just want to see it on film,” Sossee said.
But why were they so eager?
“It’s a cute story,” Moomena said. “People are good looking and there’s so much drama behind it.”
I’m not completely sure the exact definition of a modern epic. Though the hype surrounding this franchise is pretty astounding, I would argue, for several reasons, that Twilight is a phenomenon. It is not an epic—not even close.
A phenomenon because of what it’s done. Monsters are everywhere. There are The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead and countless other undead spin-offs. It’s like every day is Halloween for the North American teenager.
But Twilight isn’t comparable to stories like The Lord of the Rings, which still make me teary. Or Harry Potter, which needs no explanation.
A couple years ago, after being told I would love Twilight, I picked up the first book. I cracked the spine and began a journey into a character riddled with insecurities; one that had an unhealthy obsession with her boyfriend.
I’ll admit, I kept reading. I read the second and couldn’t believe Edward left Bella like that, in the middle of a forest. The plot thickened as Jacob transformed into his true self and his relationship with Bella blossomed. I read the third book, although I can’t remember what happened—more intense conversations over who loves Bella more, no doubt. Then, I bought the fourth.
I had invested so much already I was determined to finish.
Edward and Bella got married; they went on their honeymoon and crossed borders no vampire-human relationship ever had. Edward knocked-up Bella and a baby vamp ripped out of her stomach just a couple of weeks later. They all survived and called the baby Renesmee. I stopped reading.
It was just too much.
At its most basic, an epic story needs a point—something the Twilight series is lacking.
In Twilight, the end is the means: love. But Bella and Edward have a relationship in which it is a constant struggle for him to not hurt her—resistance of domestic violence at its tween best (but really, pretty messed up).
So what does that say about us?
That thousands of Twihards line up to see a poorly crafted plot with awful protagonists and single life as the antagonist. That girls wear T-shirts saying “Team Jacob” or “Team Edward.” And that time, money, and countless kilojoules of energy are, yes, I’ll say it, wasted on, well, nothing.
It’s forced us to come face-to-face with death, but instead of the inevitable, we walk away with the possibility of youth and beauty.
Instead of the unknown, death means super powers and tons of sex. It feeds the American fallacy that happiness comes down to beauty and money and youth.
We like to be entertained, I guess, whatever the cost. To feel a love that in all probability doesn’t exist, at least not between humans. Maybe that’s
why Edward is a vampire and Jacob, a werewolf.
It’s a story that propels every desire of the teenage female psyche, and really the cheapest human psyche. It’s all encompassing, bone-crushing, spirit-depriving love, easy to write and easy to get consumed by. Stephanie Meyer deals with big issues flippantly and we’ve sucked it dry.
Now, will someone please put a stake in it?