A Movie Fan's Eulogy to 'Twilight'

A Movie Fan's Eulogy to 'Twilight'

Nov 14, 2012

I come not to bury Twilight. Nor do I come to praise it. Rather, I come to claim Twilight's fresh corpse and position it into funny, undignified poses and draw wieners on its face, so that Twilight and I may share one last hearty, confused laugh before parting ways forever.

Before I continue, I must make one confession: I still have not seen the third Twilight film. In fact, I'm not 100% convinced they even made a third one. I have also never read the books. From what I gather, this is not a movie series that greatly cheapens or adulterates the source material.

Though I barely participated with it, I will still miss Twilight. One can argue its quality but not its uniqueness. There will never be another of its kind. In the seminal Twilight Part 4a, to take just one example, we see a young man so distraught upon receiving a wedding invitation that he rips his shirt off in a fit of jealous rage. I repeat: He manifests his anger over an ornate wedding invitation by ripping off his shirt. It will be some time before we are again granted such a perfect encapsulation of modern camp.

Twilight has already begun showing its legacy, and it's a doozy. With the rise of Harry Potter, we enjoyed a renaissance of children's literature striving to tell complex stories and build worlds involving hundreds of dynamic characters. Some succeeded more than others, but most of them at least aimed high. With Twilight, the most notable imitator just jumped straight into pornography.

Forget boy bands. Forget stuffed animals. Forget accidental pregnancies. Nothing will ever make it easier than Twilight to look down upon your sister.

Twilight unites us as movie fans. When you outline to someone the events found within Breaking Dawn, and you see that look of cynical disbelief arise, knowing full well you can crush it with earnest verification from nearly any 9-15 or 34-56-year-old woman around, you've just conveyed one of modern popular culture's biggest dirty secrets and made a friend for life. And for those paying attention, Twilight fan behavior at various Comic-Cons offered us a mirror through which we gained a better view of our own fandom. Or maybe that was just me.

What a thrill to discover for the first time that not only do these Twilight vampires sparkle in sunlight, but they also play baseball (during thunderstorms) and actually dress up in old-timey baseball uniforms during their games. With the wealth of sharp comedy out there, it is very difficult these days to outrun satire. Twilight beat it by leaps and bounds. And before anyone could figure out how to accurately make fun of it, Twilight gained Bill Condon and successfully started making fun of itself.

Twilight was not a good thing. It was a goofy thing, perhaps the most goofy thing. And anytime we can accurately label a cultural milestone with superlatives, it is worth mention regardless of quality. You could never come up with something like Twilight cynically. Such strange badness could only arrive from a true believer, one who also happens to be an absolutely atrocious writer accidentally displaying huge issues with female independence, all while averring unshakable confidence in their talent and personal conviction. Also, being a Mormon probably didn't hurt. Maybe the next Twilight (whatever bizarre, unpredictable form it may take) will be an Amish endeavor.

And let us not forget the added soap opera kick provided by the real-life Bella and Edward's story of romance, bitter betrayal, and reunion, which nearly broke open Twilight's fourth wall and managed to adulterate the already shallow series with TMZ entertainment culture. It doesn't get much better than this. Furthermore, as Twilight ends, so ends Peter Facinelli's brief reprieve from full-on obscurity. He will be missed.

And so I bid you goodnight, Bella. Goodnight Edward. Goodnight Renesmenesmenesmenes. Goodnight weird action-less Italian vampires. Goodnight lady who was Rachelle Lefevre then became Bryce Dallas Howard and might now be Emma Stone for all I know. Goodnight super-hot big-eyed vampire girl. Goodnight super-ugly bug-eyed vampire boy. Goodnight Twilight. The time has come to finally go gentle into that good night. I am afraid I cannot yet douse the bedside lamp, however, as I am already halfway through Fifty Shades of Grey, and it's just now starting to get good.

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