The Twilight movie finally came out in Australia today, and it’s not that bad.
I have a frustrating relationship with the Twilight series. I read them before the hooha really got going- thanks to Megan, who introduced me to them. They are, of course, set in my former home, Washington State, so there is some comfort in the familiarity. Plus, I was actually in Washington when I read books 1-3.
My problem with the books is simply that they are poorly written. The stories are utterly compelling, but the way they are written leaves much to be desired. Plus, Bella is such a weak heroine. She’s so “Oh, woe is me, I’m clumsy”, defined by her love for Edward and nothing else. And Edward. Oh, he’s the right one for Bella, but only because he is equally dull. All that swooning and mooning. “I play music” “I play non-moving chess”.
To quote Anne of Green Gables: “Oh, no. I wouldn’t want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I’d like it if he could be wicked and wouldn’t. Now, Fred is hopelessly good.”
Edward, like Fred, is hopelessly good. Which is funny, considering he’s a vampire. But after he falls in love with Bella, you never doubt, for a second, he will do anything wrong. Not even in the anti-climactic final parts of the book.
Anyway, back to why the movie is better than the book. By the neccessary constraints of budget and time, the film has pared the book back to the barest of essentials. All the poorly-written mooning has, obviously, been left out, and Bella’s commentary is stripped to those few good moments when Meyer discovered she could actually write.
The film distills the story, and strips out the terrible, terrible writing. It still has flaws, but it is infinitely better than the rambling, poorly-written novel