With the final movie instalment of the Twilight saga premiering in LA today, Emily Bruce explains why she could never get on board with Twi-mania.
As you're probably already aware due to the hilariously bad poster plastered everywhere, the final Twilight movie is released this Friday. Cue mass hysteria from 'Twihards' (cringe) worldwide.
I really, really don't get the fuss about the series – for several reasons, some serious and some not so serious. I had a hard time sitting through the first two movies, and can't bear to try doing so with the rest of them. New Moon especially bored me to tears, mainly because Bella spends the first half of it crying, unable to function because Edward left her. I mean, really? He's not that great – the character is creepy for starters, and also I don't get the fuss about R-Pattz in general. He isn't anything special. Yeah, I said it! Apparently he has poor personal hygiene, which makes him even less attractive. Plus, Jacob (because you either have to be TEAM EDWARD or TEAM JACOB, see – pick a side!) looks about 12, so he's hardly a suitable replacement.
Another thing that annoys me is that Stephanie Meyer decided to change the rules about vampires when writing the books. This simply isn't on – it's like writing a novel about zombies and saying they don't eat human flesh. The most ludicrous of these changes is that her vampires SPARKLE in sunlight instead of dying. I mean, are you kidding me?
On the more serious side, the series depicts an extremely unhealthy relationship. Edward is controlling while Bella is weak, has no personality and gives up everything for him. In fact, Edward and Bella's relationship meets fifteen of the criteria set by the National Domestic Violence Hotline for being in an abusive relationship. How is that a good message to send to the young girls that adore the books and movies? You may well say: “it's all a bit of fun” but, as Stephen King has emphasised, the series is “speaking directly to young people” which is why it's such a big deal. The fact is that girls are growing up with this story. They look up to Bella and wish that they were her and that Edward was their boyfriend. They view their relationship as perfect and healthy, when it is anything but. I really don't see why anyone can deny this is an issue, and the popularity of the series amongst younger generations worries me.
Disney has a lot to answer for as well in this respect. In their defence, many of their films are based on fairy tales written centuries ago, their first movie came out in the 1940s when gender stereotypes were a lot more rigid, and they have at least been challenging them recently. In contrast, the first Twilight novel was written in 2005, so there are no excuses in this case.
If you want a decent tale about vampires that still focuses on growing up and relationships, try Buffy the Vampire Slayer – there's an example of an entertaining, funny series which deals with a lot more than just boys and monsters, as well as featuring strong female characters that don't need a man to validate their existence. I'd expect no less from the wonderful feminist Joss Whedon. Also, the vampires in that don't fucking SPARKLE.
Image via magesomido's Flickr