I saw the fourth film in the dubious “Twilight” franchise, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” this week. My vampire interest ends with “Buffy,” so maybe I’m the wrong sort to be reviewing this film. To me, there’s really nothing sexy about blood-suckers; you might as well try making a Byronic hero out of a leech.
The film opens with various characters receiving a wedding invitation; the wedding, of course, is that of brooding vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and the hapless heroine Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart). Heartbroken at the news, shirtless werewolf beef-cake Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) runs off into the woods in a fit of rage. The story follows the wedding, honeymoon and surprise pregnancy, creating a film that is primarily build-up and little else. Hollywood’s getting a little sequel-happy with these two-part final films and it’s trying my patience.
I understand this is supposed to be the love story of our time and as this is the first part of the final installment, all the melodrama has been leading up to the big moment where these two characters finally act on the sexual tension which the audience has invested much time, energy and currency in. This is supposed to be it: the big bang, if you will. Instead, the main characters have incredibly awkward, passion-less and un-sexy sex (made worse by Pattinson and Stewart’s abysmal chemistry) that still managed to not be awkward and un-sexy enough for first time sex. Then they play chess (no, really).
They say nice (albeit melodramatic) things about being together forever, but there’s no clear adult love (The real kind of relationship love that takes patience and compromise: the “brushing your teeth together” sort.), instead there’s only the giddy teenage love (that is much closer to a restraining order-worthy obsession). It’s summed up best when Bella hauls herself up in the bathroom to have a moment to herself and panic. It’s a very human thing to do, to panic like that. But, it’s painfully irresponsible to paint that image of a clueless schoolgirl as the sort of person that is prepared for a lifetime (and in this case scary supernatural) commitment.
While valid arguments can be made for the entertainment value of these films, I was just creeped out. There’s something wrong with the weird no-chemistry sex that tries to call itself loving, and the scenes showing a grown man falling in love with an infant. I don’t care if he wasn’t lusting after the baby in its current form, but rather its adult form. I say: no. He looked at a baby and developed this creepy, not-at-all-romantic, possessive look. You can layer this sort of obsession with sweet words and the trappings of love, but it remains unsettling.
Is this what girls are supposed to swoon over? Should we want this? I don’t think so. When we get to the crux of the matter, that’s the series main flaw (not the horrendous writing, wooden actors or awkwardly religious overtones): it confutes love and obsession, portraying both in a way that is wrong. And creepy. Oh so very creepy.