Breaking Dawn, the fourth movie in the Twilight series, opened last night at midnight. I have already seen the Facebook posts making mention of people’s plan to see it…or maybe they went to the midnight showing last night and are still sleeping. The posts will increase as the day goes on; I am sure. Taking cues from the Harry Potter camp, the movie makers have broken the last book into two movies. More movies equals more money. The LA Times blog claims that it “could (almost) make box office history.”
This makes me (almost) sick to my stomach.
I do not stand in opposition to these books and movies without having read the books (they are written at about a fifth grade level, so they were a super fast read) and having seen the movies (the second movie was such a waste of time that I wish I could sue the movie makers for the time back). One of my pet peeves is that people criticize things without having actually read them. I wanted to be critical of the Harry Potter series, so I read the books. I was wrong about them in my first impression and actually found them not only delightful but also insightful.
That is not so with the Twilight series.
Back when I read the books in November 2008, I blogged about them, so I am just going to repost the links below:
Twilight – November 17, 2008
Twilight Part 2 – November 18, 2008
Twilight Thoughts – yes more... – November 20, 2008
New Moon (#2 in Twilight Series) – November 26, 2008
Twilight Series – December 9, 2008
Breaking Dawn (4th in Twilight Series) – December 12, 2008
So – three years later, and a few movies later, I stand in opposition to this series for the most part because of its depiction of the male/female relationships. I am absolutely opposed to the isolation that is caused in Bella’s life and the codependency that she depicts in her need and desire to be with Edward. He is dangerous, he is “bad” for her, and even though very wise people (Jacob and even her dad) in her life try to point this out, she is obsessed with him. She needs him. Wow.
Why are girls so infatuated with dangerous boys?
My daughter is in Footloose – the Musical this weekend; anyone who reads this blog frequently knows that. I am so proud of her! Her character is the voice of balance in the story, and my daughter pulls it off well. I say that completely objectively. However, there are concerns in this musical as well about females wanting to be with dangerous men. The main character – Ariel – has a bad boy boyfriend…Chuck Cranston who, as Ariel’s friend says in one scene is “the high school drop out who gets in trouble with the law and is about to be evicted from the trailer park.” Who wouldn’t want her daughter to be with this boy? (insert sarcasm sign here)
This is a major theme in many musicals and books. Grease is another example. In Footloose, the girl leaves the bad boy. But in Grease, the good girl turns bad. Who doesn’t love that scene in the movie when Olivia Newton John shows up in leather pants with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth? I mean, that is classic!
As a community of people who are involved in raising children, we need to be aware of the messages that our culture promotes. We are all involved in this “raising” – Search Institute says so, and I agree with them. I know from my own personal experience that parents alone do not raise children; it does take all of us around them. And we need to be sure that we engage with the messages that our media promotes so that we can engage in conversation with our children (teens, young people – whatever) and even combat the messages.
I am not Team Edward or Team Jacob; I am Team Daughter and Team Son. I want my daughter to know that there is not a boy on earth for whom she should leave behind everything else she loves. And I want my son to know that there is not a girl on earth that he should ever treat the way that Edward treats Bella. If he had any idea of what love is, he would not allow danger to be part of her life. Becoming a vampire and eventually giving birth to a parasitic vampire offspring is not showing love to this girl; it is selfishness gone worse than one could imagine.
The Twilight series depicts an unrealistic and damaging approach to relationships, and the only redeeming quality in the books at all is the fact that, like my Cheeseball Chick friend Molly promotes, Edward and Bella “wait” until marriage.
That is not worth the hours of negative messages that I read and watched as I sifted through the Twilight series. And, quite honestly, I do not plan on watching this movie. The LA Times claims that it is worse than the book itself.
That is hard to imagine.