November 21, 2011

Pro-Life Vampires?

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Thursday night, Regal Cinemas was overtaken by hoards of middle school girls looking forward to the new installment of the series that anyone unfamiliar would call  “Robert Pattinson Looking Pained While Kristen Stewart Sighs Longingly and Refuses to Smile”. Among the giggling youngsters standing in line to see The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I were three Cornellians, who laughed so hard during the film that we were asked to quiet down.

It was impossible not to laugh. Like the other movies in the series, of which I am ashamed to say I have seen all, Breaking Dawn is simply ridiculous. There is no other word for it. Granted, the plot of the movies is so silly because they are based on silly books. However, describing the plot of Breaking Dawn could make even someone as dignified as Winston Churchill sound insane.

In this installment of the saga, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) marries her dream man, sparkles and all, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Bella is eighteen and Edward is a hundred ten, but before you get creeped out, know that he looks seventeen (also there are much creepier parts of movie that come later). The reason they are getting married is because Edward, being a classy bro from the early 20th century, doesn’t want to give it up to Bella until after their white wedding. And boy was it white. It’s a good thing that the Cullens are super rich, because that is the only way that they would be able to have such an extravagant wedding for two teenagers with no college education or job prospects.

Immediately upon escaping Middle of Nowhere, Washington for their honeymoon, the newlyweds spend a violent night in the bedroom of their house on their island off the coast of Brazil. While the filmmakers refrained from actually showing the sex, they did show the bedroom the next morning, which had literally been trashed. I guess expensive wood framed beds stand no chance against Edward’s powerful, shining arms.

Edward, afraid that he would hurt Bella, refuses her advances for the remainder of the honeymoon. A good half hour of the movie is dedicated to showing Kristen Stewart trying to seduce her husband while he insists on chastely playing chess. But overall, things go swimmingly for the couple until Bella realizes she’s pregnant with a daemon vampire-human hybrid that’s eating her from the inside.

It was around this point that the lady from Regal Cinemas asked my friends and me to stop laughing. It was also around this point, forced to watch the movie for real, that I started to get angry. Lines like, “You have to get rid of that thing!” and the response, “I’m keeping it,” and the exchange between Alice and Rosalie in which Rosalie insists, “It’s a baby, not a fetus,” seemed shockingly pro-life. Bella decides to keep the baby even though it is killing her.

It started to get funny again once they realize that the baby/fetus/devil-child is thirsty for blood. They ask Bella, still a human at this point, to drink blood out of a styrofoam cup with a straw. She takes a protracted sip and then smiles with blood dripping from her mouth as she tells the Cullens it tastes good.

The squeamish should note that this is not, by a long shot, the bloodiest scene in the movie. If you were traumatized by a birthing video in 9th grade health like I was, you will absolutely not be able to watch Bella’s remarkably disgusting birth of her baby, who they name Renesmée (a combination of Renée and Esme).

Then comes something even weirder than the name Renesmée: Jacob (Taylor Lautner) falling in love with the baby. I would like to reiterate: Jacob falls in love with the baby. That is what prevents the werewolves from killing the child. Apparently once a werewolf “imprints” upon someone, no one is allowed to kill the imprinted, or something along those lines. I’m not even sure why they wanted to kill it to begin with.

While, if taken as a comedy, Breaking Dawn can be extremely entertaining, it also perfectly represents what I hate about the movie industry. The executives of Summit Entertainment knew that Breaking Dawn would make a profit even if they just showed Taylor Lautner’s abs for two hours. And the sad thing is that they’re right. In its opening weekend, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I made $139,500,000, topping the box office charts.

I guess I just wish that Americans would occasionally prove the movie studios wrong and demand more than just the bare minimum. I wish that movie studios would stop assuming that their audiences only expect the bare minimum. Basically, the only thing that heartens me by the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I, is that there is only The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part II to suffer through. After that, I hope we can all pretend that this never happened and that future generations will not judge us too harshly for the popularity of Twilight.

Original Author: Julia Moser