First, a few tips if you have not yet seen this movie, based on the best selling Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. Keep in mind, I have not read the books, but many of my friends, family and strangers on the street have, so these initial tips are more about the movie-watching experience than the content of the movie. I'll get to that.
- If you are going to see this, see it soon and take three or four things with you: popcorn, soda, goobers and a 12-year-old girl who has read the books. You won't get the full viewing experience without the salty/sweet nature of your snacks and the squeals, oohs and ahhs the will undoubtedly emanate from one who is seeing one of their favorite books come to life on screen.
- Just know that the theater crowd doubles as a Tweener convention, this multiplying exponentially the aforementioned squeals, oohs and ahhs.
- For those who are getting up there in age, be prepared for flashbacks to such teen angst movies as Sixteen Candles, Pretty and Pink and any other movie starting Molly Ringwald or Andrew McCarthy. All with the addition of vegetarian vampires, of course.
- Just know that if you are also a pastor and you blog about such a theater jaunt, you may get some flack, but here is a well-balanced look at the Christian responses to the book from About.com.
Okay . . . so I did see it and had a great time with Eldest on our dad and daughter outing. She ALMOST was not going to let me take her because I had not read the book and in her world, that "Is just wrong." But I was there, was willing to take her and well, she REALLY wanted to see it.
Now again, I have not read the book, so I have no idea how true to the book it was. Eldest said that it did a pretty good job, though there were some set backgrounds and personality traits that she thought were a little off. Keep in mind that she thinks she found mistakes in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, so I think her assessment is high praise for the movies book fidelity.
The movie itself was pretty entertaining and I could see why fans enjoyed it. The main character is likable and cute, the vampire family was cool, if not a tad bit pale, and the story line was just this side of really cheesy. Well . . . actually they did cross the line a couple of times, but again those of us who resonate with #3 above have very little room to talk.
Okay, so what about the vampire thing. Well, I was never one to think that art influences life choices more than a solid belief system so, no, I do not think my child now romanticizes vampires any more than I think I can drive any better after seeing Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. I suspect that if you feel like movies like Harry Potter and the Golden Compass are harmful to the Christian faith in some way you would not allow your children to see it and I would suspect that Twilight is already on the do-not-see list. This is obviously within the bounds of parental responsibility, but I would also push back to see how consistent we all are in what we allow our children to experience through the media when it also comes to violence, gender, sexuality and race.
One of the things I DID like about the movie was the relationship between Bella and her dad. Rather than go with an over-the-top version of a bumbling, disconnected, small-town father I thought that the relationship between dad and daughter was believable. In fact I was impressed that many of the characters were well done versions of normal people experiencing abnormal circumstances. From the make-up of the school demographics to the non-angst ridden main character, I think it takes seriously the lives of today's young people . . . again, adding the family of vegetarian vampires. But other than that 😉
So in the end, it was great fun, a bit of escape and some good memory making with my Eldest child. I was glad to be the one to take her on her first showing as I am sure she will be seeing it over again with a much cooler and more educated crowd, her friends.