I recently did a thing. Perhaps a silly thing, perhaps a pointless thing. I fell off – or, perhaps, swan-dived – off the cliff. I finally watched Twilight.
It was a Sunday night. I was in need of something that didn’t require much attention, as I wanted to knit.
Notice how I need to justify myself? Oh Twilight, the amount and type of emotion you stir simply by being named.
Even had I been 15 when Twilight came out, it would not have been quite my thing. I’ve never been much of a one for romance movies – at least not at the cinema – and I never went in for paranormal romance much, certainly not as a kid (with just a few noticeable exceptions; ahem, The Changeover, Margaret Mahy).
As a movie, I was not very impressed. I thought the effects were pretty lame – not sure if that’s a time factor or not; I thought the tinkly music accompanying the sparkly vampire reveal was overdone; I didn’t think much of Pattinson’s performance. There are definitely bits of the narrative that I thought were pretty poor and being watched while you sleep by someone who doesn’t have permission to do so is utterly, utterly creepy.
However. My goodness I can understand why this was so popular. What an absolute slightly-awkward-teen-girl fantasy! Your parents are fine but a bit distant (so relatable); you’re new but everyone wants to meet you; new to school but instantly get friends; all the guys want to date you but you know how to redirect them so everyone ends up happy. You’re awkward in sport but it doesn’t matter. And then you fall in love with the hot guy no one understands who warns you he’s the villain but you know he Has a Heart of Gold and you can Really Reach Him.
This story is a story a million nervous, worried, awkward, frustrated, dreamy, anxious, and lonely girls dream of living. It’s catnip. It’s not necessarily good for them, but it fills a need/ meets a hunger/ suggests a pathway in a glorious, sparkly, slightly creepy, romantic way and I kinda don’t blame them for eating it up with a spoon.
I have no intentions of watching the rest (… until I really need another no-pressure movie, possibly…) but I don’t blame anyone who loved it.