This weekend, the 2nd film in the Twilight Saga, New Moon, opened in theaters. For the past few months, the cast of the film has been all the rage on entertainment channels and gossip magazines. Its midnight release broke the box-office record for midnight sales, beating out last summer's midnight release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price.
What I don't get, is why do so many people care?
Sure I read the books before they became insanely popular. I'll admit, the first 3 in the series were alright - they were nothing great and sure not anything special, but they were somewhat entertaining and an easy read. I took me awhile to get into Twilight (the first book), but when I did, I read New Moon (the second book) in about a day or 2, finishing the third book (Eclipse) by the end of the week. Now the fourth book... yes, I bought it the first weekend it was out, but it honestly took me 2 weeks to get through it. You know a book is bad when you have to force yourself to read it just to find out how the Saga ends. The only good part of Breaking Dawn (the fourth book and last in the series - thank God!), were the chapters from Jacob's point of view. The rest of the book, and come to think of it the whole series, was a Mary Sue (as my husband says writers call it), where the author lives out her fantasy through the main character, letting the main character get everything she could ever want.
Honestly though, I don't understand why these books are so popular, and especially the movie.
Now I haven't seen New Moon yet, however I plan on seeing it later once the hype of it dies down and it's half price, but Twilight was HORRIBLE. The cinematography was bad, the "special effects" were terrrrrrrible, and the acting was horrendous. We just watched the Riff Trax version of it recently which made the movie actually watchable (for those that remember MST3K - Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Riff Trax is the child of the MST3K crew, where they provide humorous commentary tracks to current films that can be sync'd up to the DVD).
And with the books... Bella is a HORRIBLE role model for girls. She doesn't care to see the big picture, she doesn't appreciate what she has, she's selfish and has no regard for her friends and family (how many times in the series does she treat her dad like crap and sneak around with Edward or Jacob behind his back, blow off her friends at school, or emotionally hurt Jacob?) and she's willing to give up everything, including her family and her life for one "boy" who is a terrible boyfriend (which we'll get to in a minute!). She pretty much uses Jacob and then continues to manipulate the poor boy and his feelings for her and string him along when it's convenient for her to do so once Edward is back in the picture. She's not a very strong female role model for teenage girls to be looking up to.
And then there's Edward Cullen... who is a horrible example of what a boyfriend should be. He sneaks into Bella's room while she's sleeping just to "watch her sleep" which is creepy in and of itself, and he's always making the decisions in the relationship without any regard for how she feels - healthy couples communicate and come to agreements together - it's NOT one having a say in what's best for the other without giving them a say in the matter. And throughout the series we see him be selfish and emotionally abusive towards Bella as well, with his whole "we shouldn't be together" and then 2 seconds later "I can't resist you" and then coming and going again and again. I'm sorry, but don't ever let a guy string you along girls - if he can't make up his mind about whether or not he wants to be with you, walk away and find someone that will.
I will admit, after the events that occur in New Moon I was pretty much telling myself what an idiot Bella was every few pages. So I honestly don't get why teenage girls (and some grown women for that matter too) are so into this series - the books weren't even THAT great!
I'll admit, if I had to choose a "team" I would be Team Jacob, but mainly because of my husband. The character Jacob and my husband have similar qualities, both physically and personality-wise. And Jacob and Bella's relationship/friendship sort of reflects the one I had with my husband - we had been friends for 9 years before I gave him a chance. I knew he had a huge crush on me the entire time though, but resisted and we still remained close though despite this, although he would occasionally make comments about wishing I was his, etc while I was dating other guys. The fact that Jacob puts up with all of Bella's crap once Edward comes back into the picture says a lot about him and reminds me of how much my husband put up with me when I was dating a guy that was completely wrong for me.
I completely agree with Stephen King when he said that Twilight author Stephanie Meyer "can't write worth a damn" - while her books are a simple and easy read, there really isn't much to them. And she completely changed classic vampire lore, creating "vegetarian" vampires and stating that instead of burning in sunlight, they sparkle. Maybe that's why the kids love it - instead of being deadly predators, these ones are bright and shiny and sparkle in sunlight!
Honestly though, I'd much rather take my True Blood vampires and werewolves over the Twilight ones anyday. The series is much better written, the world in the series is much more believable, drawing you into the series, and in the books, heroine Sookie Stackhouse, is a much stronger, better female role model for the most part.