It's that time again- the return of the Twilight saga to theatres. At this time last year I was watching (and re-watching) the movie "Twilight" over Thanksgiving long weekend. Loving it and hating myself for loving it.
We are now on book 2: 'New Moon'. And the sheer chaos surrounding this movie is amazing. I was talking with a girl tonight about this phenomenon and its' source. She and I have both read, and enjoyed, all of the books. We are both WELL out of our teen years *ahem* so it's not as though it resonates... but we still got sucked in.
People compare the books to Harry Potter. And while I will say the anticipation and popularity is similar, the quality and mass appeal are not. Twilight definitely has a more razor sharp focused target- even considering the twi-moms or whatever you call them. The quality of the writing is no where near the same- with J.K. Rowling being a much more talented and skilled author. But Twilight does have a simple style that, while not clever, or terribly intelligent, is still entertaining.
What follows has been discussed a billion times and are not new thoughts. But let's review the appeal as it pertains to the young girl shall we??
1. Angst: It's main character, Bella, is so brutally sad and pathetic (esp in book 2) that if you are not a pre-teen girl you want to beat her head into a brick wall. But for the younger set- they completely relate to and 'get' the angst and anguish of this lost soul. Remember at that age: EVERYTHING WAS LIFE AND DEATH.
2. Safety: Being a young girl is scary. You have all of these hormones and emotions and you don't know what to do with them. You like boys- and you want them to like you. You want to be cool and grown-up but you're not. It's a fine balance for a couple of years. Vampire dude in the books is the PERFECT PRE-TEEN MAN. He's desperately in love with Bella- but unable to have a physical relationship with her. So she can have everything she wants- sweet words and utterly devoted love- with none of the pressure for stuff she's not ready for.
3. Triumph of the Underdog : We're all insecure (okay not all of us- but lots of us) and nothing is worse than feeling like you're not good enough for a guy you love. Bella is described as plain. Awkward. Simple. Not the cheerleader. Not super attractive. Clumsy- not athletic. Shy- not funny. If she can get the hottest guy in school- then maybe there's hope for all of us.
Not this weekend, but maybe when the frenzy dies a bit- I will go see the movie. I will think of it as an intellectual study of the behaviour of our younger generation- an anthropological expedition if you will... and I will remember and re-live what it was like for me at that age- to be so desperately in love with love. And I suspect I will hate myself for loving it just as much this time around!