Bad Movies We Love: Twilight
I'm clinically unashamed most of the time, but today I come to you with a confession worthy of St. Augustine or at least Diane Keaton: Twilight may be the ultimate Bad Movie We Love. It is surely bad, as it looks and acts like the longest, moodiest Evanescence video of all time, but it's also hard to resist. It's neither pretentious nor overconfident. It's silly. Bella Swan is hot for a shock-white ghoul with darting pupils and a social disorder. Celebrate.
Twilight brings us to the cold, rickety Eddie Bauer catalog town of Forks, Washington, where new teen resident Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves in with her dad, pulls a hood over her head and saunters fetchingly through the Pacific Northwest. She's a little twitchy, but in a hip way, and she even makes friends (including Anna Kendrick's Jessica Stanley). But she becomes entranced by the chiseled young man in her science class named Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Edward's aloof and seems to have a gastrointestinal disorder, and Bella is right to be offended when he storms out of the chemistry lab because she is in it. However, aloofness is hot, and Edward's jawline is geometric. This is love.
From here, Bella discovers that Edward always wears white Party City vampire makeup for a reason: He is a vampire, dammit! And so is his vampire family, including vampire Josh Groban (Jackson Rathbone), vampire Katharine McPhee (Ashley Greene), vampire That Ripped Guy From Twilight (Kellan Lutz), and vampire Do You Think She Really Wrote Thirteen Or Was That Just a Publicity Stunt (Nikki Reed). They all mingle and fly around in pitiful CGI treescapes. Happy happy. Edward and Bella can't fornicate because he has an expensive diamond torso and little Boris Karloffs in his balls. He and his family vow to protect Bella from evil fanged people (including Cam Gigandet, who also costarred with vampires in Burlesque). The movie leads up to a prom, and then to four other movies and one Armageddon (coming soon).
Like I said, no big deal. Twilight is downright unassuming for a teen blockbuster, and even if the plot leads nowhere, the moody vamps are worth the price of admission. I can narrow down the joy of Stephenie Meyer's sulky sensation to five lovably bad attributes. Let's count 'em down.
5. Nice save, lightning hands!
I'm willing to suspend disbelief as much as anyone, but I think we can agree it's a little insane when Edward single-handedly (literally) prevents a car from careening into Bella and no one notices. He even sits there for a second and exchanges a glance with her before the Forks Lacrosse Team runs over to say, "Wow, Bella. You almost died! Crazy! You were pretty good in Adventureland." Bella, by the way, forgets to react to the accident. I guess after you've been in Panic Room, vehicular disasters don't really warrant a scream.
4. Dare you not to love THIS GUY!
Before Taylor Lautner's character Jacob cut his hair and sharpened his nipples, he was this good-natured Paula Cole imitator. That smile! Fun. We need more heartthrobs with exciting foreheads. Michael Fassbender is bringing back the Irish-German forehead, yes, but Taylor Lautner's IMAX browline is still unparalleled. He is churning out the hotness. Christina Ricci, I see what you're trying to do with bangs these days, and I say no. Fivehead or bust, my dear.
3. Bella Swan just needs a sk8r boi.
Has there ever been a heroine as irrepressibly pressed as Bella Swan? She can't hold a grin for more than a second, she snarls like a second-rate Liz Phair, and she fidgets more than Claire Danes during the entire run of My So-Called Life. If your problem with Avril Lavigne is that she doesn't have enough unjustified angst, Bella is your girl. She's like Avril with IBS. I'll be the first to admit that Kristen Stewart is a pretty cool star in the Bop! magazine universe. She played Joan Jett and looked amazing while doing so. I say we support her quest to frown at everything.
2. Edvard, I vant to take you to a social vurker.
Plus, there's no use mocking Bella's huffy weirdness when Edward is a tower of antisocial quirks. In order: He hyperventilates, he gets queasy, he storms out of rooms, he storms into rooms, he wears gray H&M coats (which look bad with his pale skin), he craves Bella's blood like Chili's Chicken Crispers (the most delicious items on Earth), he's killed a few people, he's a hybrid of Edward Scissorhands and Michael Jackson in '93, and he's going to star in Water for Elephants. I think we should get him a Capri Sun and show him some inkblots. He's as nervous as I am watching the trailer for Bel Ami. When he tells Bella, "You're like a drug to me," I think that's code for "Bring me my sedatives, home viewer."
1. Take Me Out to the BAHAWHAWHAW Game
The Cullens play baseball at one point, and it just makes so much sense. After all... no it doesn't. What is there even to joke about here? They're wearing baseball uniforms, jamming to a soundtrack, and disgracing America's favorite pastime with shoddy field play. This is also where the CGI gets unspeakably bad -- like, stampede-scene-in-Jumanji bad. It is nonsense and it is definitively awesome. Batter up, haters.
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