Actual footage from my real life.
Never mind that we were halfway through the second season before I remembered this little deal. Whoops! Halfway to New Moon! Joe had a passing knowledge of Twilight, like most people on planet earth, he was familiar with the story but hadn’t really seen the movies… according to him he “saw some Volturi’s.”
Fast forward to rainy Saturday night when I selected one of the 9983468273482 versions of this movie I own for us to watch. I chose the 100 dollar #Forever Collection version. OBVI. And while the flaws are still there, some of the dialogue is awkwardly delivered and the stunts are enough to make both of us laugh out loud (COME ON CATHERINE), guys… Twilight totally stands up after ten years… and dare I say, it might have gotten better?
Memories and Tour Guiding
There’s a whole truckload (like, ten semi’s worth) of memories wrapped up into the Twilight franchise for me, so obviously I know every detail, ever nuance and backstory. And while that’s nice to have the knowledge, I didn’t want to bore him to death with my tidbits of knowledge like: see that outfit Buttcrack Santa is wearing, watch for it on someone else later! Or, when explaining that Rob‘s music ended up in the movie, I definitely didn’t need to share the backstory of how Nikki Reed probably had a thing for Rob and worked her magic on her ex-step mom Catherine, the director, to get it in the movie and how Nikki and Kristen were good friends and how they aren’t really now… because of things. Nah, that is too much for the novice. That’s too much info in exchange for promising to watch a season of a half hour sitcom from the mid 2000s. I knew I could tell him all this necessary/unnecessary info but I didn’t need to be the tour guide to someone else’s Twilight experience. So, I sat back and enjoyed… and answered questions when he asked. Which… he had!
The movie does a pretty good job in not giving away that the Cullen’s are good people. You think they could be bad, it’s edited in a way to make you question his motives and what’s really going on. Especially considering the “animal attacks” happening. While watching, Joe was confused as to Edwards true motives: “If I didn’t know anything about this…” so I had to bite me tongue to let all the moments play out.
Ok, so I dogged on some of the awkward lines earlier, but that’s not the case for every character. The high school ‘humans’ are perfectly awkward in that high school kind of way and It’s actually really pretty funny and endearing. Again, this could be nostalgia, and maybe it’s me getting older and remembering a simpler high school experience than a lot of kids get now. Remember in Twilight, they don’t talk about social media, and cell phones don’t appear until later in the series and aren’t really used in any sort of plot point beyond Edward crumbling one in his hand.
Bella, the Feminist and Best Friend
Long before #MeToo and #TimesUp, Bella was double-checking Edward’s work in Biology class… cause what smart girl wants to leave her GPA and the difference between Prophase and Anaphase in the hands of some weird boy with color changing eyes that she just met? Not Bella Swan. Also, she trusts herself, after Edward saves her from getting crushed between Tyler Crawley’s stoner van and her truck, she demands the truth. Even when Edward tries to gaslight her into questioning what really happened, she hits Google and the bookstore to research the real answer of who or WHAT Edward truly is. Take that 107 year old patriarchy!
Bella Swan is the wing woman and best friend you want. Even though she knows all the boys are interested in her, the new girl. She doesn’t toy with them and recognizes that the girl friends she has made like these boys. Instead of securing a prom date with the golden retriever Mike Newton, she honestly tells him, she doesn’t want to go and that he should ask Jessica, who she knows wants to go with him. She also encourages Angela to take the bull by the horns and ask Eric Yorkie to the prom.
“You’re a strong, independent woman.” Bella Swan to Angela Weber
And let’s not even talk about the creeps in Port Angeles. Bella will have none of that… and neither will Edward.
Wigs or the lack thereof
You didn’t think we could make it through a post about Twilight without mentioning wigs, did you?! HA.
Even with the awful bleach jobs, everyone’s hair looks so much better dyed blond than the subsequent wigs they all used. I mean we get why they had to be utilized but still, Jasper and Carlisle’s hair are crimes against the fandom.
Volvo is just not a sexy car. They are safe and good on gas and made for picking up kids and groceries. And while, I imagine Edward chose it on purpose because of horsepower and fitting in or whatever, how do you explain the rest of the Cullen’s driving Mercedes’ and BMW’s and manly Jeeps? Edward. Edward. Edward. Stop being so ‘safe.’
A lot’s happened in ten years: as evidenced by the quality of gifs, the internet is a much bigger beast these days, social media is a major part of how we communicate now, politics have changed (ugh, let’s not think about it), gender politics are changing for the better, and surprisingly, we’re seeing the tide turn on the unnecessary hatred, from years ago, of Twilight from some people in the fandom world.
It’s not that this movie has changed in ten years, it’s the new lens in which we now watch it. While we cheered on a confident Bella in the 2008 movie, we are now seeing just how important this type of representation is for women in Hollywood, how we have to champion it when it does show up on screen… and when it grosses over 1.3 billion dollars (!!!). We knew then there was a massive market for these movies, and Hollywood is only now believing us and trusting the numbers. Things may be sifting, but this movie remains delightfully and thankfully the same, the only difference is that my appreciation for it has grown.
How is that even possible?
*Cue Flightless Bird, American Mouth*
You’re welcome… here’s a tissue.
Have you watched Twilight recently, or perhaps reread the book? How’d it hold up for you?
Read more Twilight here on TN and over at Letters to Twilight!
All GIFs via Giphy unless otherwise noted.