Twilight: Eclipse is like True Blood for tweens
When I want to watch sexy vampires and werewolves, I choose True Blood, but if I was ten years younger, I’d be swooning over the sparkly vampires and ab-tastic werewolves in the Twilight movies. If the first film and its sequel New Moon were burgeoning with sexual undertones masquerading as tween-friendly melodrama, then Eclipse is practically porn.
The film continues the story of Bella Swan (the permannoying Kristen Stewart) your average whiny high school girl who is in an inexplicable romance with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) a smooth hundred-year-old vampire. The pain of repeating high school for a century can’t compare to dating a morose clumsy teenager who equates the relationship to a star-crossed love connection a la Romeo and Juliet.
Of course, because this film is essentially a teenage girl’s fantasy, having one beautiful guy love Bella isn’t enough and so we bring in Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, who doesn’t seem to own a shirt. Jacob is a werewolf whose pack has been natural enemies of the vampires since olden times which, given the average age of the cast, probably means an era before iPods. Through out the film, Jacob and Edward keep trying to steal Bella, despite the fact that there are prettier girls who don’t look like they spend their free time writing goth poetry in their rooms.
The rest of the plot, in which an evil ginger vamp named Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard replacing Rachelle Lefevre) tries to kill Bella to avenge the death of her boyfriend James, is pretty inconsequential. Sure, there are a few scenes with vamps and weres tracking Victoria or preparing for a battle that had to involve a wire team and some decent harddrive space, but this is really a movie about pretty teenagers making out. In fact, they seem to follow the lather-rinse-repeat cycle with five lines of dialogue, a squinting stare, and then a close up of someone kissing Bella. This happens over and over and over and over for the full length of the film.
If this was HBO’s brilliant series True Blood, all these sexually-frustrated kissing scenes would be full-on sex scenes, which would be far more rewarding because it would actually add to the stakes of the story. But, naturally, the Twilight movies, based on Mormon novelist Stephenie Meyers’ book series of the same name, can’t exactly go there. As I said in my review of New Moon, these films sell sex to tweens through subtext.
This explains why Twilight has become such a phenomenon for younger girls who “feel funny in their front” when they see Edward and Jacob. All the drama of the secret society of supernatural creatures who fall hopelessly in love with some plain Jane is exactly what young teenage girls are looking for in a movie. I get it, and if I was about 14 I think I’d love it.
But, now that I’m older and have had a taste of True Blood, the Twilight movies seem watered-down like a bad margarita. If you’re a freshman in high school, you’ll pump thousands of dollars into this powerhouse franchise, but if you’re the parent or older sibling of a freshman in high school, save your money for the True Blood blu-rays.