Vampire Romance Enters the’Twilight’ Zone

Ani Khashadoorian

Caution: Spoilers

Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with?
They probably spurned your natural emotions (check), made you feel like dirt (check) and if you presumably start a commotion, you’ll run the risk of losing them (check).

As the Buzzcocks very well described how it felt to be in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with, one wonders why the famous song was not included on the “Twilight” soundtrack, since the entire movie deals with a forbidden romance between an immortal teen vampire and a human girl.

The latest cultural phenomenon known as “Twilight” is directly driven from the book saga of the same name. Director Catherine Hardwicke is best known for her work on “Thirteen” and “Lords of Dogtown.” Fans have described her style of filming as being documentary like, which “Twilight” does feel like at times – but it works splendidly.

“Twilight” focuses on the relationship between sexy vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and stunningly beautiful, but not aware of it, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).
Bella has just moved to Forks, Washington to live with her father Charlie (Billy Burke) since her mother Renee (Sarah Clarke) is now trekking across the country with her new husband.

Although Bella has been to Forks before, she stopped visiting years ago and has arrived smack dab in the middle of the semester. The local boys swoon over her, but one mysterious student (Pattinson) catches Bella’s eye.

As she is given run over details by a gossipy friend at the lunch table, she notices a family of inhumanely beautiful people walking in. This is the Cullen family, comprised of Rosalie (Nikki Reed), Alice (Ashley Greene), Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz). Then, in dramatic fashion, comes in Edward. Bella locks eyes with him.and she is smitten.
Later on, it turns out Bella and Edward have biology class together, but Edward’s behavior is painful to watch. It seems like he’s restraining himself from being near Bella, as if he is repulsed by her. Bella’s feelings are hurt and the two avoid each other until a wild series of events pit them both together and they admit they’ve fallen in love.

The kicker?

Bella is in love with him due to his beauty and Edward is in love with her due to the smell of her blood; Edward was once a normal vampire, who fed on humans, but has now adopted an animal-only diet; however, Bella’s blood sings to him and causes a near demonic blood lust. Although this could turn really sexy, the movie keeps to a chaste level.

Bella and Edward spend every waking moment together until a trio of vampire baddies start killing people in Forks, and one of them wants Bella for dinner.

The movie is carried by the minor characters, providing comedic relief. Stewart’s performance shines in some scenes and is extremely lackluster in other. Pattinson has a good thing going, although it sometimes appears like he’s trying to teach the audience “Brooding 101.”

Nonetheless, it’s the small gags here and there that make the movie tolerable.
The cinematography is lush in showing the landscapes and panoramas of the muddy, wet state that is Washington.

Music is well-placed throughout the movie, although a piano sequence garnered lots of unintended laughs.

The movie stays true to the book series, and “Team Edward” fans will not be disappointed. If you can get hordes of middle-aged women and their 12-year-old daughters into the movie theater without arguing, you’ve made a smooth transition; however, those who haven’t read the books probably wouldn’t understand what was going on since much of the back story isn’t given.
One of the glaringly obvious problems in the movie is the fact that Edward’s behavior is somewhat disturbing but Bella feeds into it.

From watching Bella sleeping at night (by breaking in through her second story window) to following her around when she’s out with friends shopping, Edward is best described when the teen girl a few rows ahead of me yelled out, “Creep!”

We normally associate behavior like Edward’s with sociopath stalkers, but in “Twilight,” everything is a-okay since the “lion fell in love with the lamb.”

Also in the mix are Edward’s violent and quick gestures, like when he drags Bella by the arm further into the forest to prove he is a monster. The viewer is left wondering how this could be considered romantic at any rate, since jerking someone’s hand isn’t normally something you’d do when trying to woo them.

In what I assumed was supposed to be a really pivotal scene, where Edward shows Bella what he looks like under the sun (he glitters instead of dying), the dialogue went something like this:

Edward screams, “This is the skin of a killer!”, while the horrible special effects make it appear like his face is covered in shimmering acne.

Bella responds by saying, “You’re beautiful.”
The entire audience started laughing at this point.

Am I supposed to take this seriously?

“Twilight” may be classified as a dramatic romance, but it has fallen into the category of unintentional comedy and it sure does bite.

“Twilight” runs at 122 minutes and is rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality.

My rating: 2 and a half stars out of five.