I wasn’t excited by the magical wizard boy either. I’m just not into fantasy. I prefer things that could really happen. I don’t care if it’s far fetched and extremely unlikely, as long as there is a chance–at least the tiniest possibility–that this could actually happen somewhere to somebody. So when a book-turned-movie about a love triangle between a girl, a vampire and a werewolf hit the scene, I was SO not interested.
After the millionth “OMG. Twilight is my life!” Facebook update, I caved. My dad (also pulled in by all the hype) had rented the movie, so I decided to pop it in. I tried to like it, guys. I really did. I set all my skepticism on the back shelf and tried to enjoy and be captivated like everyone else.
It didn’t work.
In defense of the movie, I will say that I only saw the second one, so that could have something to do with it, but I doubt it. Even without seeing the first one, I was able to follow the storyline pretty well. They did a good job of including enough back story to make the second one relevant to anyone who hasn’t seen the first. It was that whole Bella-Edward dynamic (Is that even his name? I get those guys mixed up?) that bothered me.
I get that she’s young and inexperienced. I get that she’s kind of awkward and doesn’t feel like she really fits in. I get that she sees him as her “vampire in shining armor”, but their relationship is all kinds of unhealthy. I think teens crave the drama of it all. “He’s so hot. She loves him SOOOOOO much. What a dream! I wish I was Bella!” It seems every questioning, insecure young girl can identify with this character, and her intense love for the “hot” vampire represents that over-the-top romanticized love we’re all fed from birth on. (I put “hot” in quotes because, as hard as I try, I just can’t jump on the “corpse-white, slight-attitude-having vampire” bandwagon.)
You guys know me by now. I’m all about healthy, realistic messages of love. I’m not entertained by scenes of a young girl literally willing to give up her life and soul (her words, not mine) to be with someone who isn’t even of the same species. I’m all for deep, fervent love, but this is crazy. It seems girls are encouraged to lose themselves in love. From the fairytale movies of our childhood, to the pop culture images of our teen years, we are programmed to seek a type of volatile, obsessive love that cannot be managed or contained. This is a serious problem. They start off as harmless teen crushes that usually fade away, but they grow into the troubled relationships that seem to mar the lives of so many women. We grow so dependent on the love (read: validation) of a man that all of our normally-functioning faculties seem to go on vacation.
As Beyonce sings about being “Crazy in love,” quite literally, we experience it. When things are going well, life is grand and we feel like we’re on Cloud 9. Once they go bad, we spiral into a “can’t eat/can’t do anything but eat, can’t sleep/can’t do anything but sleep” type depression that puts a huge rain cloud over our entire lives. Am I exaggerating? You know I’m not. You’ve been through it. I’ve been through it. We all have, but never again. We must all remember that, until God says otherwise, life goes on, and it is our job to make it the best, most fulfilling life possible.