Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen”)
Written by: Melissa Rosenberg (“Step Up”)
I completely understand the fascination with the “Twilight” series and I would go as far as calling author Stephenie Meyer a genius because she though of the combination of the horror/drama genre and tween demographic, which really hasn’t been tested before.
With that said, “Twilight” gets points for not falling into the clichés of its subjects like most vampire movies do. We don’t get bloody fangs, cloves of garlic, or faces melting in the sun, which is admirable. But what Meyer and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg replace some of this universal lore with is just as hokey as zapping one of the undead with holy water or shoving a stake through their heart.
In “Twilight,” Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves from Phoenix to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father so her mother and her minor-league-baseball-playing new husband can go on the road. While fitting into her new school and making friends isn’t too difficult for her, Bella’s love life gets a bit strange when she becomes intrigued by the mysterious Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a pasty heartthrob who she later finds out is a blood-sucking vampire.
But Edwards isn’t the type of vamp that kills people for sustenance. Although he does lust for human blood, he has learned how to suppress his hunger (good for Bella) and live off the animals in the nearby forests. Knowing this, Bella is never frightened of her new love interest, but is tossed in the middle of a rivalry when a group of rogue vampires come into town and find out Edward has feelings for a mortal girl.
While the foundation of “Twilight” is a love story, there is far too much dialogue between Bella and Edward that will have young girls swooning and everyone else rolling their eyes. While I could have ignored lines like “I don’t have the strength to stay away from you” as poetry any gothic teenager would write in their high school English class, Rosenberg chose to keep pushing the schmaltziness until the relationship between the star-crossed lovers is maintained only by long glances into each others’ eyes.
Instead of telling us more about the vampire culture (which might be saved for the two sequels), Rosenberg let’s Edward say things like “Her scent is like a drug to me” and “I never knew a lion could fall in love with a lamb.” It’ll hit the demographic fine, but for everyone else the romance might stall.