11.24.08: culture blotter {twilight}

i spent a sliver of saturday afternoon scuttling around a few stories above times square* in search of an escalator with a fellow gal-on-a-date-with-herself-at-the-movies (the undermanned snack bar on our floor of the megatheater was swamped, so we were both headed elsewhere for diet coke). i probably sounded schizophrenic when i responded to her question about what i was there to see: "twilight, i know! but i read the books, so. but they weren't very good! but i like trashy things. my husband has to work today. also, vampires!" all that for one question: scary, no? she told me in return that she was there for danny boyle's slumdog millionaire, which i hear is very good, and that her elementary school students hide copies of twilight in class all the time. "oh, no," i gasped, "it's a terrible example for little girls!" "so you wouldn't let your daughter read twilight?" "NEVER!"

twilight the movie is, oddly enough, just fine for daughters, especially if they see it in a crowd. i nearly applauded when robert pattinson (as edward the vampire heartthrob) confessed that he liked to watch kristen stewart (as bella the situationally spineless heroine) sleep...and a ripple of titters and "'cause that's not creepy!"-ish comments moved across the theater. let your peers know that lines like that are laughable, girls! i'd like nothing better than for twilight to be your generation's incarnation of the mysteries of udolpho (udolpho via northanger abbey, that is). bella and edward are, after all, high gothic camp - which is why they were so readable in the first place.

*i know, i know, i said i'd never times square a movie again; sometimes i'm a slave to stephanie zacharek. ("If you care about pop culture at all, you owe it to yourself to see "Twilight" -- Catherine Hardwicke's** adaptation of the first volume of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster vampire-romance saga -- with an audience full of teenage and preteen girls.")

**throwback story aside, it's exciting to see hardwicke rock an almost $70 million opening weekend (the biggest yet for a female director).


baby jo said...

forgive the nerdy nerd-topping nature of this comment, but i just can't look at the dude in twilight without thinking to myself how unbelievable cedric diggory is as a vampire. that, and he reminds me (more when he's cedric diggory) of my crazy exboyfriend. should i wait and read the books first?

lauren said...

he will remind you of your crazy ex about twelve times as much once you've read the books, easy. i'd say yes, read the books first - hell, you can knock twilight back in a few hours and then catch it while it's still in theaters (worth doing - the shots of oregon-as-washington are really gorgeous).

aside: david denby gives a good summary review in this week's new yorker. "A genuine love story might be difficult for a young audience to handle, but this fantasy is blissful madness—an abstinence fable sexier than sex."

lauren said...

update: jo did end up seeing the movie, and texted me to note that it's one long meat loaf video. also, go fug yourself's premiere commentary continues to rule.