It has been awhile since I have had the opportunity to review a film and a book at the same time. I think the last time I did this was in my Film Criticism class at UCO a few years back. This week I read the book Twilight and went to see the movie with some friends on Monday night. I will tell you up front that I liked the book much more, but you probably would have guessed as much. The book is always better.
Yesterday I was listening to NPR and a listener described the book as, “smoldering.” I think that is the best description as this book is pretty long and has relatively few action moments. Most of the book is spent on the relationship between the main characters Edward and Bella. One of the things that I like about the book is that it breaks some of the conventional vampire rules and spends time humanizing the vampires instead of getting wrapped up in the gory details of feeding.
I can easily see why so many girls are wrapped up within this series of books. Slightly dorky and clumsy girl meets hot and intriguing vampire, who falls in love with her and helps her escape from the reality that has become her life. A lot of the girls that couldn’t wait for the movie to come out and talked about the book on Facebook best match the description above. I didn’t feel like the supernatural side of the story outweighed the human side of the story. The majority of the book is spent on the relationship between Edward and Bella and their burgeoning love. As I told my friends as I talked them into going to see the movie, “this is a love story with a little interlude with vampires.” I grew up reading Anne Rice during High School so this story seemed really tame and had very few vampire moments, but I liked what happened and where it went.
If you have the time read the book or get the audio version on iTunes, which clocks in at just over 12 hours.
What a let down! I was expecting more from this film and would say that it delivered on nothing. The only casting choices that I liked were Edward, Bella, and Alice. The director brought out the vampires as being weird instead of just being outside the crowd, which are two different things. With very few supernatural things to create on film I thought that what we got was very hokey and cheesy. I laughed aloud many times during the film, as did the couple sitting behind us. The film was very fragmented and seemed to introduce moments from the book without explanation. I also felt that there was too much over acting during the film.
Skip the movie if you can read the book. It will only stand to keep you away from the books, which are far superior.