Sunday, November 22, 2009
I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not a big fan of the Twilight Saga, the huuuugely popular series by author Stephanie Meyer. So the release of the movie New Moon was kind of a non event for me. However I have noticed that for large numbers of young girls, and oddly, middle-aged women, "New Moon" is a biiig deal; and they will defend their love of the series to a surprising degree. Even more surprising is how vehement the opinions are of those who don't like the series. Opening night of "New Moon" was so huge that it looked as if it were going to break the record earnings "The Dark Knight" raked in; though ultimately the largely female audience couldn't match the broad appeal of Batman-- though it was a very, very close race. But huge revenue doesn't equal good reviews and the criticisms of the "Twilight Saga" have been harsh. Cracked.com has a article titled 7 Chick Flicks That Secretly Hate Women and "Twilight" comes in at #6 on their list... In Twilight, a boring-a** twitchy girl named Bella falls in love with a shiny vampire named Edward. And for some reason not explained by the movie, he loves her back. So just be your clumsy, mouth-breathing selves ladies. Someday, if you're skinny enough, someone exotic will love you for just being "you." And How Does This Hate Women? Take the vampirism from this movie and all you're left with is Ike and Tina right before Tina refuses to eat the cake. Edward stomps, broods, sneers and snidely tells his love interest to f*** off, but that's just the forbidden fruit angle Bella needs to stand around like a dumba** waiting for her stalker/boyfriend to confess his love/violent lust for her tasty blood. He'll confess a few MURDERS while he's at it. Bella sees his murderous lust and raises him a dead-eyed vacant stare and the flippant assurance that he'd never hurt her. This entire movie is one black-eyed-teen away from being a PSA from 1989. Ouch. "New Moon" doesn't fare any better on Rotten Tomatoes, garnering only a 29% favorable rating. Double ouch. Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes go pretty much as you'd expect criticism of a teen-angst film to run. If the first instalment of The Twilight Saga was a celebration of teenage sulkiness, then this sequel positively drowns in it. ~Digital Spy Pseudo-religious nonsense, with fangs. ~This is London Depending on your gender, age and Twihard-ness, this good-looking angst party is either a solid Meyer adaptation with quiver-worthy moments of hotness; or a wet, ludicrous, unintentionally-funny pile of steaming bathos. ~ Total Film Need I go on? But Twilighters will not be dissuaded. No amount of criticism will convince them that creator Stephanie Meyer is anything other than a genius. The movie is pure romance they say. I know this because voicing my opinion on the subject on other blogs has garnered a far stronger response than I every anticipated. And the most ardent supporters seem to be the older women who seem determined to find deeper meaning in the story. If you haven't seen or heard of this phenomenon, just go to TwilightMOMS and you'll see precisely what I'm talking about (though this particular site isn't exactly "deep" when it comes to content). It's surreal. What really boggles my mind is how polarizing a movie can be. I mean, those who love, really love it, and those who don't like it, hate it. There seems to be a determination on both sides to convince the other that their opinion is the right one. I can't tell you how many posts I've seen on my Facebook page from women who are giddy to see the movie and don't understand why anyone else wouldn't feel the same way. I pretty much stay mum on the subject. No need to lose friends over "Twilight." If I had to guess, I'd say the battle lines are drawn by the older women who are really into the saga. They claim they love the "romance" of the story while scoffing at the criticisms that it dismisses abusive behavior in young men. Younger women don't seem as invested in defending "Twilight" and I think it's because the older women are feeling a little defensive about getting into a teen romance-- teens have no need to defend being their age. Anyway. It's certainly an interesting phenomenon to watch. Since I don't have a stake in the argument, I've been reading the comments across the blogosphere with interest-- both pro and con, and the passion behind the opinions has been startling. So, what say you? Do you think this war will die down with all the bad reviews? Or do you think this is a phenomenon that will continue to defy the critics?