Pretty much everybody knows about the Twilight saga. Based on the popular series of books written by English author J.K. Rowling, it chronicles the continuing adventures of Bella Cullen (Kristen Stewart), an awkward high school girl looking for love. As the song goes, she finds it in all the wrong places, namely among vampires, but everything seems to work out for her anyway.
Her man/vampire is Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who has the appearance of a hunky contemporary, but in fact is a hundred or so years old. After many adventures, they hook up. She is besotted with him, and they set up house together against all the odds.
In this installment, the Quileutes close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses a threat to the Wolf Pack and the towns people of Forks.
The conventional approach to this sort of affair would be to show Bella's struggles with other people trying to destroy her relationship. Not so fast, partner. Rowling takes a slightly different approach.
Bella and Edward are to marry. Jacob becomes upset when he learns that Bella is planning to consummate the marriage on her honeymoon. The wedding over, Bella and Edward spend their honeymoon on the Cullen's idyllic private island. But, to their dismay, they discover that Bella is pregnant. The fetus is growing at an accelerated rate and everyone fears for Bella's safety. Will she go ahead with her pregnancy, whatever the cost? The Quileutes close in as the unborn child poses a threat to the Wolf Pack and the towns people of Forks.
This is a romance for girls. I know that sounds terrible, as if I am (look of horror) labeling this a "chick flick," but that is the point of view, and that is how it plays out. Boys and men can certainly enjoy it, and many do. However, the main draw is with females, many of whom are irresistibly drawn to the bad-boy love of Bella and how wonderfully her vampire, Edward, is portrayed. The series latches on to a deep yearning among unfulfilled girls and women who fear men, yet are drawn to them and need them. Edward fills that role perfectly.
Being a bit blunter, the point is that men are portrayed as inherently dangerous and deadly, but taking the plunge and melding with one is what one has to do, and, despite the problems, is worth it. That's an inherently positive message, in a back-handed kind of way.
It is fashionable to deride these films, then go home and watch them. This is one step above the romance novels in the bookstore, the ones with Fabio on the cover. It may even be one step below them. It doesn't matter, people like this stuff. Grown women will work through the day at their horrible jobs, then run home and enjoy a little Bella. People who never read a book devoured the entire series. Whenever Rowling came out with one of her novels, stores around the world had to set up special tables at the front of the store to meet the demand. There's magic in that kind of appeal, and it has nothing to do with vampires besides writing about them.
One could get pedantic and say that Bella is a bad role model for girls, or that this is all silly nonsense, that Edward is a pedophile because he really isn't a young man at all, and this and that. Or that Kristen Stewart's personal life - which has an air of scandal - might make the series less appealing. Hogwash. That attitude gets you nowhere. If you don't like the premise of the saga, don't watch it. This is fantasy time for women, and they deserve it.
Let me take a quick stab at figuring out what really is going on with "Twilight." I'm sure you have your own views, but another viewpoint may interest you. Twilight is all about strong female who make their own choices. The men are all secondary, in fairly stereotypical roles. It is the women, like vampire Trina in the upcoming conclusion (?) to the saga, who set things in motion. The men are only there to be objects of lust, or to carry out the dark desires of the females around them. In a way, that makes this like a TV soap opera. That a family and a baby eventually become the foundation of the plot should make perfect sense to anyone who follows such things. Therefore, claiming that "Twilight" is bad for girls is completely wrong-headed.
If you like the books, you'll like this. Every female I know likes this series, and they read it and watch it and love it. Very few guys I know will admit to liking this at all. If you like Nascar and the Lingerie Football League, you probably won't like it much, but if you read romance novels and find something sexy about vampires, this is for you.