Thursday, January 19, 2012

Suck on This

Hey, all you "Twilight" fans! Got a minute? Good. See, this whole "Twilight" frenzy and vogue for vampires--I just don't get it. That's not because I'm too old or I don't understand vampire lore or I don't watch scary movies or I don't understand young love. I UNDERSTAND all those things. But this "Twilight" mania is something else. Perhaps you "Twihards" would be kind enough to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule debating the merits of "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" to explain a few things for me.

First, the plot.

"Twilight" begins with the mopey, monosyllabic Bella Swan moving from Arizona to the perpetually soaked town of Forks, Washington. Fine. Her mother is a free-spirit married to a free-agent minor league baseball player who moves around a lot.That's also fine. Because she needs to keep up with her school work, Bella decides to live with her father for a while. That's perfectly reasonable. Bella's father, Charlie, is the sullen type who loved his ex-wife so much, he almost told her. He's also the town sheriff. So far, so good.

However, once Bella is settled into Forks she falls in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen who wears his hair in a bouffant and is never without his Dr. Pepper lip gloss.

Also vying for the affections of Bella is a Native American hunk named Jacob who turns into a werewolf on occasion.

Now you've lost me--and here's why:

1)Vampires have been a staple in films since the silent era. Bela Lugosi was memorably Old World, Christopher Lee was elegant, Frank Langella was sexy. However, this current crop of blood suckers either resemble those whisper thin bohemian types who go to poetry slams and constantly remind their dates that they cry or those self-involved jerks who play lead guitar in smug indie bands. In other words, they are twits. And why waste your time on a twit?

2) Bella Swan is the biggest drip this side of Niagara Falls. She mumbles, she looks wan, her clothes look like she pulled them out of a dumpster, she is completely personality free. I can't think of anybody who would want to hang out with her, living or dead. And the hottest, most mysterious boy in the whole school wants to date her? C'mon!

3)Forks High School is the friendliest, most welcoming educational institution on the face of the planet. Bella barely sets foot in the building when she's bombarded by kids who want to be her friend, show her around, ask her out. They are even nice to her in gym!

Having experienced high school myself, I know for a fact that the warm welcome Bells receives at Forks High is simply a figment of the author's and film maker's collective imaginations. Both fiction and film require the reader/viewer to suspend disbelief, but this is ridiculous. Nobody is nice to anybody in high school if they can help it; Bella's deadly dull persona would make her a marked woman within seconds. Carrie White from "Carrie" would have been treated better.

4) Who's idea was it to make Carlisle Cullen (Edward's foster dad) a bottle blond? He looks unnatural, creepy and cheap. In fact, he brings back disturbing memories I have of a local TV anchor woman in Portland who was a natural brunette and then slowly became blonder with each 5pm newscast. It was scary, like she was undergoing some hideous metamorphosis usually found in Franz Kafka novels.  May I suggest the good doctor return to his natural hue?

5) Conversely, no guy who wears his hair in a bouffant and has cornered the market in Dr. Pepper lip gloss usage has any business calling himself "the world's most dangerous predator." When a gentleman has a better hair and make-up job than his lady friend, it's a red flag. Be wary.

6) Just for the record, the HIPPO is the world's most dangerous predator, beating out such worthy contenders as the Black Mamba Snake, Dick Cheney, tigers, bears, ferrets and, yes, Edward Cullen.

7) Robert Pattinson ("R Patz" to his acolytes) is the Sonny Tufts of his generation. This means he's a Hollywood pretty boy with limited dramatic abilities, but a very inventive publicist. No doubt he will soon join the ranks of Chance Crawford, Joss Hartnet, Ty Hardin, Richard Greeco, Christopher Atkins and other manufactured light weights into cinematic obscurity once his lack of talent sinks enough movies at the box office.

8) Even though the "Twilight" series is suppose to be a love story, but it's very unromantic. Here's what smooth talker Edward says to Bella: "You are my own personal brand of heroin!" Oooh, what gal doesn't want to hear that? Later, when Bella and Edward get married, their wedding night leaves the bride black, blue and with a very nasty bun in her oven. In fact, not since Barbara Eden was knocked around by an alien fetus in the TV movie "The Stranger Within" has a mother-to-be been so terrorized in utero. And that's before Bella has a very bloody C-Section presided over by her vampire in-laws. Yuck!

9) After Jacob and his fellow werewolves return to their lair after a night of, oh, I don't know, prowling around their hunting grounds or something, what is the first thing they do after they return to human form? They eat muffins! Now, I like muffins, but really this is just too stupid. Muffins? Come on.

10) Does Bella ever consider what marrying Edward and becoming a vampire might mean to her parents? (She doesn't seem too concerned about her immortal soul. And just for the record, no, I am not a religious fanatic. In fact, my spiritual views lean towards moderate to liberal. But a soul is a very special gift, it's what makes us human and it shouldn't be thrown away. Haven't any of you Twihards ever read or heard of Faust? OK, lecture over.) She's their only daughter, after all. Yet from now until The Second Coming, Bella will appear to be forever 18, never age, drink nothing but animal blood and move around every couple of years so the local yokels won't guess she's one of the Undead. Meanwhile, her parents and friends age naturally and are stuck having to come up with endless explanations at the annual family get-to-gethers why Bella and Edward are the way they are. And no, saying they were "born that way" isn't going to cut it.

So you Twihards, if you read this blog on a regular basis (and I hope you do) enlighten me about this curious phenomenon. Please explain any or all of the points I have mentioned. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, I merely seek to understand.

I bid you peace.

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