Throwing Intellectual Caution to the Wind

This last weekend I was left alone, dangerously and utterly alone.  After a couple days with the family, I was in the prime for solo mode.  I attribute my gun-shy attitude towards family gatherings to not having had to do them for the last twenty years.  We were always the ones that that sat down to a Thanksgiving table consisting of two people and a nineteen-pound turkey.  Those days weren’t sad and disagreeable; in fact, they were delightful in their quietude.  So when this year’s Thanksgiving extravaganza ballooned from two to nine people, I was in need of some respite.

Unfortunately, that respite came in the form of watching Twilight for the second time.  The first time I had seen it was on a “borrowed” copy of a friend’s.  I would have liked to have thought that my distaste for the film was owed to the terrible, hand-held quality of what one could barely call a DVD, but my ire stemmed largely from a terrible script, acting that never simmered above hardcore brooding, and a nagging question that never got answered – “What’s all the fuss about?”

I understood the fascination with vampires; I was young when Interview with a Vampire came out – so young that I watched most of it through my fingers.  As an adult, I read the book and have since become an avid Anne Rice fan.  Vampires are sexy and untouchable.  But Twilight stuck me as decidedly sexless and most definitely untouchable.  Although, come to think of it, Edward and Bella did touch and kiss which only served to bring them closer to the unimaginable, the unholy, the climax of young lust.  Shudder to think.  In Interview with a Vampire, those blood-sucking bastards never failed to seal the deal.  Again…and again…and again…

If you gave me that script and told me to sell it my pitch would be: “It’s blue balls meets blood lust…and I’m not talking about blood if you know what I mean [in appropriate grunting inserted here].”

I’ll be the first to admit: I’m a chronic overthinker in possession of an obnoxiously analytical mind.  I watched Twilight and all I could think about was an article about the Mormon author of the book version and how Twilight was merely gross propaganda for abstinence, which it most certainly is.  Even the cover brings to mind a Georgia O’Keeffe- like image: two death white hands cupping a red apple.  All I’m saying is they should have just cut their loses and placed a giant cherry there.  Pour some sugar on me, God damn it.

And so I watched, grumpy and opinionated, as Bella and Edward acted out their version of how tortured, hormone raged teens might behave.  The movie got a couple of laughs out of me, although I don’t imagine it was intended to be comedic.  Edward’s twisted face as Bella’s human stench flew his way in science class, the fist curls, etc.

As any warm-blooded babe would have to agree, dear old Rob Pattison is indeed a dreamboat.  But that powder white skin and those berry lips didn’t distract me from noticing that Rob managed to put on the most American accent I’ve ever seen on celluloid.  I mean, he sounded more American than I do.  He sounded like f’ing Marlon Brando.  I’m not hating on this; I sound like Mary Poppins when attempting British in my car.  Still, his overt masculinity occasionally sent me into fits of laughter.  Perhaps I prefer pansies, I don’t know.

Nonetheless, I thought it was time for Round Two: The Open Version.  I sat down in front of my TV, turned my IQ down a few notches, and pressed that fateful play button.

This go around I wanted to imagine I was thirteen again, still a virgin, and dying to kiss boys.  And you know what?  It worked.  Of course Twilight isn’t for intellectuals!  Twilight is for hormones!  Unrequited, boiling over hormones!  Why hadn’t I seen it before?  As soon as I surrendered myself to my past as a young girl, all the bad acting, the terrible script, the makeup that wasn’t supposed to show but did – all of that just…disappeared.  I had successfully sucked myself in to the vortex that is Twilight.

The movie ended and I was comforted with the thought that I could still relate to other humans.  I now understood my friend who loved how it just took her right back to high school.  I now understood my other friend who saw it three times in the theater.  I had relived my adolescence and Twilight was the vehicle.  And I suppose that’s precisely what a movie is supposed to be about…escape.  I certainly escaped my brain for that hour and a half.  That I did, indeed.

Go team Edward!


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