Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Twilight" Fails to Glimmer For Me

So ... had I been in need of a reminder that I am 50 and not 15, going to see Twilight at the movies yesterday provided me with one. I guess it should go to figure that a vampire movie would ultimately suck but I've got to admit to being disappointed that it did. Were I a tween or a fan-girl, though, perhaps the bite of disappointment might not have been so bad.

I was late getting into all of the hype and hysteria of Stephenie Meyer's teenage vampire romance saga but upon the urging of the teenage girls in my life, I recently read the entire four-book series from cover to cover and, like millions of girls and their moms across the country, became quite enamored of Edward Cullen - the perfect man except for the fact that he's one of the undead. A minor detail, though, and easily forgivable when it comes to Edward; as a matter of fact, immortality makes him even more appealing in some strange and supernatural way.

After reading the books and falling in love with the whole love story (though there are times when I really wanted to strangle a couple of the characters), I was really looking forward to the film adaptation even though common sense and past history warned me that there was the very real possibility of the movie being bad. After all, how many Stephen King books have been wonderful reads and yet complete and total bombs at the box office? Yeah ... I rest my case.

Sadly, history has once again managed to repeat itself and the curse of Stephen King has apparently been passed on to Stephenie Meyer. Maybe it's that whole "Stephen ..." thing? Whatever it may be, it's just very, very sad that a movie that had such potential ended up being a complete and total let-down. At least for me.

I guess it's pretty hard to take a 500-page book and condense it into a 122-minute movie without combining scenes, cutting scenes, or adding in scenes that never occurred in the book; all of which Twilight is guilty of. When you're only about ten minutes into a movie and thinking "hey, hold on - that's not right" or "that never happened" or "wait a minute, that didn't occur until halfway through the book" then you know you're in trouble of actually liking the film. I kept thinking that maybe it would have been better to have not read the book prior to seeing the movie but then it dawned on me that if I hadn't read the book, I would be even more confused than I was having read all of the books.

A 15-year old would probably see it differently but the chemistry that existed between Bella and Edward in the book just wasn't there on the screen; Bella was even more annoying in the movie than she was in the book; and Edward ...ah, Edward, I hardly knew ye! Instead of being the perfect man that he was on the printed page, Edward on the big screen was just another brooding teenager with pale skin, too much hair gel, and a striking resemblance to the chicks in the Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" video.

Addicted to Love Edward Cullen

The saddest thing, though, is that I really wanted this movie to be good; I really wanted it to live up to all of the hype; I really wanted it to be a movie that I would want to see over and over again; and I really wanted to see the beautiful love story between Bella and Edward come to life off of the pages and onto the screen. I love a good love story that makes me smile, makes me cry, makes me believe in the hope and power of true love. Twilight the book was a good love story that did all that - Twilight the movie was a lacking love story that didn't.

Amanda and Cate will be going to check out the movie themselves sometime this weekend and I'll be interested in hearing what their take on it is. I told Amanda that she should draw her own conclusions and not base them on my opinion of the movie but apparently a lot of her friends at school have the same opinion of the film that I do so she's quite skeptical that she's going to like it herself. Perhaps, though, she'll come home and tell me that I'm nuts and that it was great and how could I say all these awful things? After all, how often do teenagers agree with their parents?

Oh well, maybe the sequel will have a bigger budget and a better script ... there are, after all, three more books in the series and with the way the movie ended, there has to be a sequel as even though I found the movie to be sorely lacking and a let-down, millions of tweens won't think so and will make sure that Edward continues to live on.


  1. That's happens a lot don't you think - that you think "I should have just stuck to the book!" ?

  2. Books although they give you the story, you can still interpret them yourself visually in your mind. when you see a movie you can't do that because its THEIR vision not yours. kinda like do you see what i see?

  3. Anonymous7:48 AM EST

    I'm trying to remember the last time a movie was better than the book...Can't remember. Hubby can't either...

    Sorry you were disappointed.

  4. Anonymous9:22 AM EST

    I bought the book yesterday. I decided to "jump on the band wagon". I probably won't have it read 'till the movie hits DVD (I only get to read while waiting to pick Shelby up in the afternoon). Thanks for the honest movie review.

  5. Linda, I started reading Joe Morgenstern's review of the movie that was in yesterday's WSJ, only because I knew you had seen it.
    He shares your opinion.

    Another movie I won't bother to go see. Is there anything out there to see? Doesn't seem like it.

  6. That's too bad. I hate it when you really look forward to a film and it is bad. (Note: You said the movie sucked. I suppose the vamps did as well...) Have a great Saturday!

  7. That's too bad. As a fan of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, I got lucky with the movie versions.

  8. As much as movies cost these days it really sucks when you think it was a waste of money. Its especially painful when it doesn't live up to the book.

  9. I'm sorry you were disappointed Linda. Often the books are much better than the movie. It's a shame too. Big hug. :)

  10. we saw it last night...having read the books...I kept feeling like the Teamster (who hasn't read any of them) was missing out on so many of the storyline details.

    the only book/movie I have ever felt did each other justice was "The Bridges of Madison County." That book was very short...and fit better into a two hour movie.

    Also seeing a movie with a theater of teenage girls was kinda a riot.

  11. I was so torn! I think the hype leading up to it was better than the actual movie!!

    Yes, it was a sad realization of my age as well and I just want to read the books all over again and live there (and in my head!) rather than on the big screen!!

    The soundtrack did it for me though but it would almost need to be 8 hours to really show the details and I would imagine that if you hadn't read the book you would be totally confused.

    Jasper killed me wiht his eyes!!!

  12. Sorry, Linda.
    At least you enoyed the books :o)

  13. Two movies that were better than the book, in my opinion: Fried Green Tomatoes and Gone With The Wind
    That said, I had a much better experience with the movie than you did, Linda - I did think that Robert Pattinson was perfect as Edward.
    I think I'm in love.
    And the movie did a good job with the romantic chemistry in my opinion.
    Yes, I agree with what you said in another comment - that the character of Jasper ended up looking like a blonde Edward Scissorhands.
    I'm not saying the movie was perfect, but I enjoyed it as a cinematic adaptation of an okay book. Perhaps that's the difference - I've only read the first book, not the series, and while I enjoyed the book, it wasn't a literary classic to me.
    So, I think I liked the movie better in the end!

  14. My friend Cyndi and I were talking about this last night and I told her that I thought that Gone With the Wind was a fantastic adaptation of the book and though she agreed with me, she said that the acting as compared to today's standards was pretty horrible. As I reminded her, though, overacting was the norm back then and that was part of the movie's charm!

    I've seen several good Stephen King books made into good movies - like Misery and Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile but those were all some of his shorter books. I think that the longer the book, the harder it is to convert over without making a mess of it - unless, of course, you're going to make a four-hour movie.

    Twilight was definitely NOT a classic- not by any stretch of the imagination as Stephenie Meyer's writing can get out of hand in places but I think they could have done a better job with the movie with a little better screen-writing and perhaps having made the movie a bit longer so as to flesh out a few of the more important scenes and characters a bit.

    It wasn't hideous by any stretch of the imagination and I didn't dislike Robert Pattinson (well, except maybe for that Tom Cruise-like hopping around in the trees he was doing!), I was just disappointed but that's because I over-analyze the snot out of things!

    Like I said, I will probably go see it again - especially if Jamie hasn't seen it by the time she comes up for Christmas and it's still around.

    Maybe I just needed popcorn instead of Twizzlers??

  15. Unfortunately, “New Moon” is already being filmed! Our Wal-Mart has the DVD going 24/7 near the display, but fortunately, I only manage to see the credits. I’m not a big fan of movies made from books anyway, and your description of Twilight has made me decide I have no desire to see the movie(s) at all.

    Personally, I thought “Breaking Dawn” was the best of the books, as it was the only one that kept me wondering what would happen next.


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