Posted by: Sarah | September 14, 2009

Twilight Sucks

If you’re a fan of Twilight in any capacity, stop reading NOW.

You’ve been warned.

Stop reading.

OK, last chance…..

I have never watched nor read anything that would have every single Suffragist and Women’s Rights Activist spinning in her grave as much as this book/movie. But, the ideological issues are not the biggest problem I have with this novel & movie. There are plenty of reasons to hate it on technical merits.

1) The Lack of Plot: Yes, the romance can be the plot in and of itself; but only if there are OBSTACLES to said romance. Even Romeo and Juliet had to deal with their parents. There was a bad-guy vampire. I do not know why he wasn’t used more, other than Meyers’ lack of experience or squeamishness. Using him wouldn’t have taken away from the romance; it would have added to it and perhaps shown why Edward was worth Bella’s longing and pain. If I’d written it, James would have been stalking Bella from the first. Maybe because she smelled good to him, too. Maybe because he really wanted to piss off the Cullens. Maybe because he’s just an asshole. The reasons are myriad. Edward would have been a bit too late occasionally to rescue our useless heroine, making her use her brain, perhaps? Maybe Jacob could have done something like grown a backbone a bit earlier and also rescued her at least once. Because stopping a sliding car one-handed while cool, is really rather tame by today’s vampire stories standards. Either way, the villain would have been a part of the story from the beginning, not put in as an afterthought because Meyer’s couldn’t figure out how to end the story without some sort of fight scene. Which Edward nearly lost.

2) The Weak Characterization of Bella: In the novel, this girl is a Mary Sue. And arrogant about it. She mothers her mother, she mothers and bosses around her father, who seems slavishly content to let her because omgmydaughtercamebacktome! Instead of, you know, parenting. I dunno if any of you know any cops in person, but being bullied by their kids doesn’t happen all that often. She bullies and bosses around her friends.  But, this seemingly strong-willed girl turns into a hormonal mush at the very sight of a boy who, for all intents and purposes HATES her. He sneers at her, he avoids her, he looks at her like he’s going to throw up. So why didn’t she just tell him to take a flying leap when he starts being nice to her. She’s got half the school boys throwing themselves at her, but she’s not interested. She’d rather have the overly pale guy who hates her take her to the prom than one of the many cute boys any other girl would be glad of. Instead she plays match maker to get them off her back so she can moon over The Boy Who Hates Her. Instead, of you know, telling him off. Elizabeth Bennett didn’t tolerate such nonsense from Mr. Darcy without telling him what she thought of him. Why couldn’t Bella tell Edward to stop being a dick? Or JUST STOP TALKING TO HIM, period until he had to rescue her from the big bad vampire stalker James? (And yes, feminism aside, most romances require the hero to rescue the heroine at least once.)

3) The Weak Characterization of Edward: First off, why sentence the poor boy to be perpetually 17? Couldn’t he be 21? Second, why have the younger vampires reenroll in high school umpteen million times? Why not let them be “homeschooled?” It’s not like they did a lot of socialization while attending high school. And now, the actual character flaws. Why would someone as old as Edward be interested in Bella? At least Spike and Angel lusted after Buffy because she was The Slayer, not because she smelled nice and was 16. I’m the last one to object to age differences, sometimes you just click. But usually, there’s something unusual about the parties in question, like the aforementioned Slayer. There was nothing special about either Bella or Edward. There weren’t even any important events surrounding their meeting, like the signing of the treaty with the werewolves, or the arrival of the Cullens. Actually, I can’t really complain about Edward’s characterization because we’re not given any. He’s defined entirely through a 16 year old’s eyes. And frankly, 16 year olds are rather shallow. He’s pretty, he’s cold, he’s rescued her, he’s mysterious. He calls her spider-monkey (seriously, wtf?), he glowers lovingly out from under his brows…. Oh, and he glitters in sunlight and likes music. Oh, and as he keeps telling Bella, while still stalking her, “Stay away from me, I’m dangerous.” Just ONCE, I wanted her to tell him, “Hey, dumbass, who just walked up to whom, here? Why don’t you leave ME alone, since you’re so dangerous?”

The cultural implications of Twilight should be fairly minor, I hope. I doubt there are bevies of teenaged girls who now think stalking or being stalked is cool in real life. However, I do worry that this novel, along with the Disney Princesses crap, our daughters are going to grow up believing that Prince Charming really will rescue them from their dreary, rainy existence.

Because frankly, girls, ain’t no one gonna rescue you from a car sliding out of control across an icy parking lot, try moving the fuck out of the way.

After all, when Anakin and Padme Skywalker make more sense than your romance, you’ve got some problems.


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