This evening, we attended a critics’ screening of Bill Condon’s Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part One (Why? Do you even need to ask? For the mockery, of course). The film was– as expected– terrible, but it was also something we never expected it to be: recommend-able. That’s right: we think you really, really need to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn this weekend. Don’t believe us? We’ve got the top six (spoiler-filled) reasons why below. Read on, my gentle Examiner readers…
In case you hadn’t heard, Twilight: Breaking Dawn hits theaters today, giving awkward tween girls and lonely secretaries everywhere something to do on a Friday night (y’know, besides eating ice cream and/or crying). As is usually the case with a new Twilight film, anticipation is running at an all-time high, but this time, things are notably different. This time, there’s reason for both fans and non-fans alike to be looking forward to the latest Twilight film.
No, really: I’ve actually seen Bill Condon’s Twilight: Breaking Dawn, and I’m here to tell you that—against all odds—I think you oughtta see it, and I’ve got 6 reasons why.
But first, let’s get something out of the way: we both know that the Twilight films aren’t any good. Even if you’ve never actually seen a Twilight film (full disclosure: I’ve seen two of them now, this one and the last one), you know this to be true. You’ve felt the mockery rolling off the internet in snarky waves. You’ve picked up one of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books in a Barnes and Noble, leafed through it, and marveled at the franchise’s hysterical melodrama. Maybe you’ve even seen one of the bajillion trailers Summit releases in anticipation of these cinematic hate crimes. In any case, the result is the same: as sure as you know that the sky’s blue, beer tastes good, and that Jay Leno isn’t funny, you know in your heart that the Twilight films suck.
My sneaking suspicion is that even Twi-hards (the insufferable, all-purpose label Twilight fans slapped on themselves awhile back) know that this is the case, but that’s an idea best left explored on another day.
Anyway, you’ve probably already decided that you aren’t going to see Breaking Dawn when it hits theaters this weekend (or maybe you’re getting dragged to it by an overbearing girlfriend/wife/what-have-you: in this case, consider what follows a pep-talk before you brave this film’s tedious waters), but I submit to you that this is a mistake: not only will you be missing out on of the greatest unintentional comedies of all time, but you’ll also be depriving yourself of one of the most absurdly ridiculous 20-minute stretches of melodrama ever committed to film. Breaking Dawn’s first half is nigh unwatchable, taking a solid hour to limp through what seems to be about fifteen minutes’ worth of story, but its second half—particularly its final twenty minutes—is something you owe it to yourself to see.
It. Is. Glorious.
But it’s not like that finale is the only reason you should see Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Hell, I can think of at least half a dozen reasons you should go. And so, we’ve put together this (incredibly spoiler-heavy) list of the top 6 reasons you should catch Breaking Dawn when it hits theaters this weekend (second spoiler reminder here). I think that, after you’ve read these, you’ll agree that this is the weekend’s only must-see movie. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. SHIRTS INVALIDATED IN THE FIRST MINUTE
Less than one minute into the film (and it may well be under thirty seconds), Taylor Lautner’s already ripped his shirt off. At first, I was convinced that the moment was simply director Bill Condon’s wink-and-a-nod to the precious few Twilight fans that’re able to admit how ridiculous the series is.
But no, it turns out that the moment is presented completely in earnest: Condon’s not interested in elevating this series’ material—and if he had been, he probably would have insisted on a decent script.
2. EMOTIONAL PORN FOR TWEENAGE GIRLS
Stephenie Meyer wants you to believe that she’s essayed a deep, thoughtful, compelling romance in the Twilight series, but the story’s so emotionally false, it’s impossible to take any of it seriously. Kristen Stewart’s Bella consistently comes across as emotionally unstable, her moods swinging from one extreme to another seemingly without cause…and yet, the men in her world—be it Jacob The Werewolf-Boy or Edward The Sparkly Vampire—welcome each new swoop of the pendulum with endless patience and understanding. There’s something to be said for working through the issues you’re having with your spouse, but let’s be realistic here: if any dude I know were dating Bella, he’d dump her ass after the third inexplicable meltdown (note: if Kristen Stewart were hotter, this might be a touch more believable).
Also worth noting: Condon’s camera is constantly lingering on this movie’s version of money shots—a wedding gown here, expensive furniture there, an absurdly ornate piece of jewelry stuck to Stewart’s head. The girls in my audience cooed at each of these shots, sometimes outright moaning at them. It was freaky, until I realized I was watching emo-porn for the tween girl set.
3. THE PG-13 SEX SCENE TO END ALL PG-13 SEX SCENES
You’ve heard about it, and it’s here. You’d think that after three films and however-much-time-has-passed in the novels that Edward and Bella’s “first time” (the word “sex” is never used here, because…I mean, my God, how filthy would that be?!) would be a bed-breaking, Earth-shattering affair. And ya know what? It is.
Edward hits that like the fist of an angry God, ripping a huge chunk out of the headboard, leaving bruises all over Bella’s beautifully, uh, already-sickly-looking pale skin, and somehow destroys every pillow in the process (at least, that’s what I gathered from the onscreen evidence; it’s entirely possible that—in the same world where vampires sparkle—vampires also ejaculate feathers). I mean, Edward just decimates it. But this is a PG-13 movie, so we get a couple quick shots—mostly of furniture being ruined—before the all-purpose “cut to the morning after” shot. Still, though, unintentionally hilarious.
4. VIRTUALLY EVERY SCENE TAYLOR LAUTNER ACTS IN
Now, I know there’s been no small amount of Taylor Lautner mockery on the internet as of late, particularly after his first big non-Twilight film, Abduction, bombed at the box office (maybe his forthcoming performance as Stretch Armstrong will wipe that smug grin off your faces). People say he looks like a llama, they say he only has one facial expression, they say that he couldn’t act with a gun to his head. Haters gonna hate, and all that.
Well, internet, you’ve gone and done it again: Lautner’s been listening to you, and in a fitting tribute to all those unkind things you’ve said about his acting over the years, he’s decided to play each and every scene he gets in Breaking Dawn as soullessly, robotically, and joylessly as possible. Once or twice he gets really close to emoting, but he always reigns himself in at the last second. It’s almost as if Taylor Lautner’s saying, “You wanna see bad acting? I’ll show you bad acting!” Way to stick it to the naysayers, Lautner.
5. THE NEVER UNPLEASANT SOUND OF TWEEN GIRLS GIGGLING HYSTERICALLY
Call me crazy, but there are few sounds on this Earth as pleasurable as 12-14 year-old girls cackling maniacally at things that don’t seem even remotely funny. Maybe I’m being left out of the joke, maybe they’re just giggling because they don’t know how else to react to hearing someone say the word “period” in a movie, or maybe they’re just mindless imbeciles: whatever the case may be, the screening of Twilight: Breaking Dawn I attended was completely overwhelmed by the sweet, sweet sound of nervous hysteria. If you like the sound of tweenage girls giggling, Breaking Dawn is gonna blow your mind.
6. THE FILM’S FINAL 20 MINUTES
Yes, it says above that these are in “no particular order”, but this is really the best reason to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn. After Edward gets Bella pregnant, Bella decides that she’s going to go ahead and have the baby anyway, even though virtually every character in the film begs her to abort it (among other things, Breaking Dawn is also an effective pro-life statement). This leads to the film’s final twenty minutes, where a number of increasingly-ridiculous things happen. They happen so fast, in fact, that it’s hard to digest them all at once.
Starting about the time that a group of vampires feed Bella a styrofoam cup filled with blood, here are a few things that happen in Breaking Dawn‘s final stretch: the sight of Bella bending over backwards as her back inexplicably breaks, a sight accompanied by an enormous “CRACK!” sound effect on the soundtrack; Edward ignoring an entire roomfull of surgical tools in order to use his vampire teeth to give her a C-section (you read that right); Jacob The Werewolf Boy falling in love with the baby as soon as he lays eyes on it (too long to explain, but it happens). There’s more, but those were the highlights for me.
And that, my friends, is a small army of reasons you need to see Breaking Dawn this weekend. Yeah, it’s gonna be painful sitting through that first hour or so, and yeah, you’re going to have trouble believing that a vampire would choose to vacation in Rio (lots of sun there, idn’t there?), and yeah, you’re going to feel incredibly embarrassed when you buy the ticket (pro-tip: do it online, so no one sees you!), but I promise you that you’ll be entertained. Twilight: Breaking Dawn won’t be the best movie you see this year, of that much I’m sure.
But it may well be one of the funniest movies you see this year.
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