Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top 5 things I learned from 'Breaking Dawn'

List by Tosca

SPOILERS AHEAD! You have been warned. Confession: I saw Breaking Dawn and I think it was a comedy. Was it? I'm stretching the use of the blog today because we don't have the Breaking Dawn film yet because, hey, that'd be illegal and libraries don't roll that way. I try, as much as possible, to promote our resources here. So major #fail on that part. We do, however, have the books the movies were based on, so I'm going to pimp those like they've never been pimped before so I can get away with this list. Slightly kidding on the pimping part! Although I do want to point out, in case you didn't know already, that we have Meyer's Twilight saga in normal print (small print? I never know quite how to refer to it), large print, audiobook, ebook, graphic novel and soundtrack. We even have Twilight books translated into international languages. Is that awesomely accessible or what?

Breaking Dawn the film is based on book 4 in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. Here's my heavily edited version of the books to date: Twilight, book 1 - human Bella meets vampire Edward, angst ensues. New moon, book 2 - Edward leaves Bella 'for her own good,' Bella is overly dramatic and thinks she can't live without him and, once again, angst ensues. Eclipse, book 3 - I can't remember what happened, but I know that angst ensues. Breaking dawn, book 4 - egad! The angst, people, the angst!

I have to be honest, I broke one of my own cardinal rules - Thou shalt read the book before seeing its film adaptation - in traipsing off to see Breaking Dawn with friends. I'm not a fan of the books or the films, and yet I adore adult romance novels. In this instance some of my concerns stem from the fact that, strangely (?), I find that a guy (immortal or otherwise) hanging out in your bedroom watching you sleep (without your permission, I might add) is not hot, or sexy. Take out the vampire element and it's plain creepy, somewhat disturbing and, really, is grounds for a trespass order. Or arrest. Happy ever after does not forgive stalking. I know! Crazy me, right? And it's something I've always struggled with in paranormal romance novels - the idea that we (women) are more likely to accept behaviour in fictional novels that we would find abhorrent in real life. The key word, though, is 'fiction,' and I keep telling myself that but it doesn't make me feel any better. Edward's domineering actions (offering Bella to Jacob like she's a brood mare (in the book, not the film), floating the idea of abortion (not so strong in the film as in the book), for example) combined with Bella's constant oh-I-will-die-without-you attitude are enough to make my back teeth hurt from the grinding. Chuck in the very good looking Jacob to add to the whole emotional (yet shirtless) mix and, wow, there's so much angst I wonder how these three can walk on their own under all that weight. It was like watching an episode of a soap opera where everything just kept getting more fantastical. And yet...and yet. That's the kicker. Yes, it's incredibly cheesy, but it's also tragically entertaining. It's one of those films where, if you're as cynical as I am, you spend the whole time wanting to chuck popcorn at the screen, despairing at Edward's creepy behaviour, wanting Jacob to both put a shirt on and take it off all over again, and muttering comic asides to the friend unfortunate enough to sit to the left of you (that would be Debra). Sometimes good friends make up for cheesily bad movies. Even this one. So, no I didn't like the film, but the company made it worth it. It pains me greatly to say this (firstly because I liked the book I'm about to mention, and secondly because it's been voiced all over the world/interwebs) but I would call the Twilight books the immortal Wuthering Heights of our time. Go ahead, you can kick me now *long suffering sigh*

By all means, go see the film if you're a fan of the books. It won't disappoint you. If you're more like me, see it with great friends and prepare to seesaw back and forth between outright laughter and exasperation. And if you haven't even seen the first film, read the book. One last thing: The whole time I sat there watching the film (and laughing in spots where everyone else was quietly spellbound and lost in Bella and Edward's profound love for each other), I was thinking of all the things that this co-dependent vampire/mortal movie taught me. Such as...

The idea of vampire/mortal sexytimes is disgusting to hairy werewolves
I suspect some of this is jealousy on Jacob's part but he does the whole, 'It's sick!' thing quite well. But it made me ask, "How would it be any different to werewolf/mortal sexytimes...?" Pot, meet Kettle.

Vampire/mortal sexytimes lead to demon superbabies and broken beds
Who knew?

Vegetarian vampires are crazy enough to want to lick mortal blood from the scalpel that just cut open their sister-in-law
That? Whoa. It was like something out of a slasher movie, and the part of me that adores slasher movies was both overjoyed and squicked. I think I chortled and clapped and dry heaved at the same time.

If said dirty scalpel falls to the floor then vampire daddy-to-be can rip demon superbaby out with his fangs
I'm not sure what the appropriate response was here. A victory dance? And then he hands the baby over to his sister. Yes, the one who'd just tried to lick his wife's blood off the scalpel. Was it just me or was she so thinking she could lick the baby's still bloody head and no one would ever know...?

Breaking Dawn (the whole series, actually) could serve as one, big (if somewhat hyped up) cautionary tale for young women: The fun, sexytimes? They can kill you.


Anonymous said...

Testing comments section is working
- tosca

Kelly M said...

LOL Tosca - I heart this whole post big time....thanks for making me laugh and laugh...and I'm a fan of the books even (don't hate me :)

Tosca said...

That's what I love most about fandoms! There's room for all of us to live and love and get along: the haters who can't stand the books but know they'd be total Team Jacob if they were (like me), and those who genuinely enjoy it (like you) and all kinds in between (that include the boyfriends who get dragged along and suffer heh. I heart Twilight for bringing more people back to libraries and books. That's the bonus :P