'New Moon': Why its girl-driven success is good for the future of movies

Offhand, it would be hard to think of a pop phenomenon as rapturously beloved as the Twilight saga that is also as vociferously hated. Read the full post.

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  • Mana

    Um…no. People don’t hate Twilight because it represents a gender power shift (plenty of girls hate Twilight too, y’know) but because it’s *badly written* and yet inexplicably popular. Bella has no personality to speak of, and her inability to do anything without her boyfriend makes my inner feminist curl in a corner weeping. Edward is a borderline stalker whose entire wooden personality can be summed up as “is pretty” held up as a shining example of true love. The books themselves are poorly written (lay off the “chagrin,” Stephenie Meyer) with little actual plot and lots of staring and long descriptions of Edward’s chocolate eyes and porcelain skin and gag me. People hate Twilight because when something so poorly written becomes a phenomenon, while more deserving actually well-written things get ignored, it gets tiresome. If Twilight causes Hollywood to make more Bella-esque heroines, with no drive of their own or life outside of their boyfriend, count me out. I’ll go see Princess and the Frog instead, where at least Tiana has her own goals outside of “get hot boy, marry hot boy.”

    • Matt

      Thank you, Mana! I couldn’t care less that women and girls are flocking to see a film–as long as it was a GOOD film. As a feminist, I’m insulted by the implications (which Mana has beautifully illustrated). Edward and Bella’s “love” is nothing but a guise for an abusive relationship–and people are eating this up. THAT’S the problem.

      Owen really doesn’t get it. And if he thinks it’s “feminine driven” just because it’s about some kind of romance, he REALLY doesn’t get it.

    • Jane

      I wouldn’t say “badly written” or “poorly written”unless I am a qualified critique. Mana, start writing and see if you can even come up with 100 words.

      • Mana

        Sorry, hon. I just won NaNoWriMo: 50,000 words and my novel’s only a quarter finished. Try again.

      • L

        Just because you wrote 50K words doesn’t mean any of them are any good or will sell.For all we know, you could have C&P’d “Mana’s Awesome” until you reached your goal.

      • Mermaid

        Do you by any chance mean “critic”? A “critique” is a discussion about something’s quality. And she WON NaNoWriMo–she didn’t just participate.

      • Dan JD

        By that logic, Owen and Lisa shouldn’t be reviewing movies for EW since they’ve never made one. One can critique the value of a work without having actually made one themselves. I’ve never written a novel, but I know bad writing when I read it (for example, I know the difference between the words “critique” and “critic”).

      • Jen

        Jane, what a dumb thing to say. So if you’re not a published writer, you shouldn’t be allowed to be a “critique”? I think you mean critic.
        How about this. I’m not a published writer, so I won’t criticize Meyer’s work. In exchange, I’ll ask YOU, as an equally unpublished writer, not stop praising Meyer’s work.
        It works both ways, kids.

      • anonymous

        I suppose that since you’re not a fashion designer you never, ever critique anything you dislike on a hanger or a person. And since you’re not a professional cook, you don’t know what really tastes good or not. And since you aren’t a politician, you don’t have any opinion on politics.

    • Heather2

      No one is saying that Twilight is Shakespeare. It is something new and fresh and different. Which is why we like it. No one is putting Bella on a pedestal shouting “Every girl needs to be like her.” The chick has issues and overly thinks everything and so on and so forth. But she is a fictional character and nothing more.
      Why do all of you people find it so offensive that some of us like albiet love Twilight? I don’t jump all over you guys for NOT liking it.

      • Mana

        “Fresh and original”? Please. I liked Twilight better when it was called Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the characters had personalities.

      • invaliduser

        true blood, lost boys

      • Heather2

        Invaliduser, I love True Blood. But can you really compare the two. Sure there are similarities, but Twilight is adventure and fantasy. True Blood is raw and bloody and sexual and in your face. They are only sharing the vampire genre. But just my opinion.

        Mana, BTVS was about a chick in high school that goes after vampires and kills them. How is that similar to Twilight?
        I am honestly asking. I am not trying to be difficult or start an argument. I get that you guys don’t like Twilight and that’s cool. :)

    • twicurious

      @heather how is this fresh and original? these movies are awful. nobody was all up in arms when the notebook was popular?

      • Heather2

        I didn’t know that by me saying fresh and original that I was going to create such a stir.
        Allow me to try to explain. I have been a fan of the vampire genre for years, starting with IWTV movie. Twilight is not a typical vampire series/movie/book series. It is based in an adventure/fantasy setting with little to no mention of gore/blood/horror elements. It actually focuses on the fantastical elements of the vampire and werewolf worlds, but manly deals with the love story.
        That, to me, is new and fresh. Me being a fan of such series as Underworld, Moonlight, The Lost Boys, True Blood, etc., it was nice to see the vampire topic handled differently.
        That’s what I meant by new and fresh. Sure there are details that even I say WTF to, like the sparkling. But it is Stephenie’s world. I love it and some agree with me, and then again there are those that don’t. I don’t think we are gonna agree either way.

    • Mermaid

      THANK YOU, Mana and Matt, for exactly expressing my opinion. I am a teenage girl, the supposed target demographic for these books and movies, and, yes, I find the quality of both to be way below my standards (of course, this is also true with “boys” movies, too; frankly, it’s often hard to find anything good to watch, regardless of who it’s made for). Still, what makes me what I guess people call a “hater” (which I find a little offensive, given that it suggests my personal opinion about the books is also how I feel about the people who like them) is what Matt outlined. I’ve never really considered myself a feminist, but the whole nature of the Bella/Edward relationship I find really off-putting. She basically seems to think she’s worthless without him, and he is waaaaay too paternalistic and controlling for my taste. Plus, the whole bit about her ending up with bruises when they finally do have sex kind of freaked me out. I’m all for heroines being flawed and interesting, but Bella isn’t so much flawed as obsessed with what she thinks are her flaws. And yes, writing a novel is hard, @Jane, but shouldn’t that mean that only well-written ones get published. You shouldn’t get a medal just for trying. And yes, @Heather2, no one is specifically putting Bella on a pedestal, but of course girls reading these books will see her as the hero of the story, and heroes are who we want to emulate. The millions of girls screaming at Rob Pattinson to bite them is sort of proof of that. Basically, if the Twilight movies mean Hollywood thinks girls want that sort of stuff, then I’m not looking forward to it at all. Do think maybe they should try, oh, not building a film for a specific audience, but creating one that speaks to many different groups? Which, yes, is hard; but isn’t that their job?

      • Linda

        I don’t think you’re a hater Mermaid. I like the books and series but I can also see your reasons for not liking it. I just don’t appreciate people calling me dense or brainless for having fun watching and reading this series. If everybody was as polite as you are stating your dislike there would be no haters.

      • Heather2

        Mermaid, I agree with Linda. You are not a hater. You are expressing your dislike and that is fine. It is the outright rudeness and name calling of the fans of the series that is offensive. You are cool.

    • 30yearoldtwifan

      People hate Twilight? Right that’s it made what it did? You have no standing in that comment, YOU all maybe don’t like it, but like I said above for every hater, we have 20 fans. All I have to do is leave this link on a few Twilight fans sites and this thread will be bombarded with fans to refute all of the hate… hmmm maybe I will do that, just to annoy the crap out of the haters!

      • twihard

        susan boyle is outselling almost every musician. i guess she is good too?

      • Dan JD

        And then I’ll link this to various anti-Twilight communities on LJ and we’ll have a big flame war on the EW boards. Fun for the whole family! Pro-tip: “popular” does not equal “good.”

      • Wow

        I’m not even going to comment on your status as a 30-year-old Twihard.
        First off, popular does not always equal quality. If we can have dozens of people bashing Transformers 2 for being crap even though it made a ton of money, then we can equally have people calling New Moon crap, if they think it is. Stop being hypocritical about it. If making a ton of money didn’t make T2 “good,” the same should be applied to New Moon.
        Second, while I know the Twilight fan base is “OMGZ huge!11!” I’d be curious to know how many individual people saw the film, and how much of its business was due to the same group of hardcore fans seeing it 5-6 times over the weekend.
        Movie A makes $100 million over the weekend and is seen and enjoyed by 10 million people. Movie B makes $150 million over the weekend and is seen and enjoyed by 5 million people. Which one is the “more popular” movie? The one seen and enjoyed by more people, or the one that made more money on the backs of fewer people?

  • MJ

    I admit I am a teenage girl and the fact that everyone in Hollywood assumes I must be obsessed with Twilight is just incorrect. I’m happy for people to like it, but I don’t like the books and I barley enjoy the movies. People should not assume I love them based on my gender and age. New Moon is entertaining, but that doesn’t make it good. It’s sometimes so cringeworthy and over the top that it becomes unintentionally hilarious.

    And my favorite movies of this year were the Hangover and Star Trek, so-called movies for the male demographic.

    • invaliduser

      a rational perspective from someone who saw new moon for what is. refreshing

    • J

      Agree 100%. I’m 19 and I love a lot of “boy” movies; Star Trek remains one of my favorite movies. I also enjoyed New Moon, but it definitely made me laugh out loud at some moments that weren’t supposed to be funny. It entertains me but it’s not good by any means.

  • Ryan

    While I agree that the hate of the Twilight Saga is growing out of proportion, I think it is unfair to say that it is because of a male-dominant entertainment industry. I have numerous friends, both male and female, who recognize the works as garbage, but none of them ever critique the acting in or the direction of the movies. What people find upsetting is that Twilight has established such a large fan base and it really isn’t that great of material. There are PLENTY of other pieces that deserve more attention than Twilight, but they are drowned out by the screams of senseless fans cheerinng “Team Edward!” Why Twilight has become such a success is because the female protagonist is so poorly described that readers easily envision themselves in her position and then are able to live out a wacky romantic fantasy.

    • Alexandria

      “Why Twilight has become such a success is because the female protagonist is so poorly described that readers easily envision themselves in her position and then are able to live out a wacky romantic fantasy.”

      AMEN, to that.

    • Bingo

      You hit the nail on the head. There’s a reason Bella is so vague, plain and utterly without interests and ambition. The more wishy washy she is, the easier it is for girls (and grown women) to project themselves onto her and pretend to be Mrs. Edward Cullen.
      Bella is supposedly the center of the story, and yet she’s by far the dullest, least interesting, most annoying character. That alone should raise a few red flags.

  • jaime

    Okay i dont care about it winning at the box office but ugh come EW grow up and stop putting them on your cover every other issue. Sometimes I want to cancel my sub b/c its all twilight stuff…

    • Em

      I know what you mean, but isn’t there job to discuss this stuff? I mean the magazine focuses on pop culture and entertainment, and right now Twilight is huge. Like, in 2007, when Harry Potter was huge it got a lot of coverage, or in 2003 when Pirates became huge and so on and so forth. Though Twilight (books and film) isn’t close at all to the greates that is Harry Potter and Johnny Depp, the magazine still has an obligation to cover the articles.

      • Alanna

        I understand that it’s their job to cover pop culture. My problem is that this is the fourth Twilight cover this year — not to mention all the others with “Twilight” as cover sidebars — and the second cover story in three weeks. As a subscriber since 1992, I find it embarrassing that a once-great entertainment magazine would so shamelessly promote Twilight just to boost its newsstand numbers, even in a struggling print industry. Or perhaps this is just another sign that the rumors are true and EW is not long for this world?

      • Alanna

        (Darn the lack of an edit button!)

        Tomorrow’s new issue is actually the FIFTH Twilight cover, with the fourth only two weeks ago. And gee, it just happens to be a “collector’s edition” with three separate covers, in order to get the Twilight fans to buy multiple copies. Again, I understand the economics behind it, but EW’s credibility is taking a huge hit. I don’t really mind the articles themselves, particularly those that are (apparently) thoughtful examinations on what it means for the movie industry, such as Gleiberman’s essay above. I’m just really tired of opening my mailbox to find YET ANOTHER Meyer character on the cover.

      • @Em

        I get what you’re saying, and you have a point. But no matter how big HP or Johnny Depp were/are, they have NEVER EVER EVER been given SIX (now SEVEN) covers in a year’s time span. Not in 2003 when Depp made Pirates, or in 2007 when the last HP book (the publishing even of the decade) and Order of the Phoenix came out.
        It’s not THAT they’re covering it. By all means, cover it. It’s that their giving it so much cover exposure (not even in the sell lines, but the entire damn cover) over and over and over and over again.
        I know they’re doing it to boost newsstand sales, but what are they going to do when Twilight ends, the Twihard newsstand sales have dried up and they’ve alienated long-term subscribers? I’ve been a loyal subscriber for more than a decade. Are they willing to lose my long-term business, and people’s like me, just to satiate girls’ need to buy into a short-term fad? Apparently so.

      • Em

        This is true, and @Em why did you steal my name! Just kidding, but I still stand by that they are covering a huge pop culture phenonmenon right now. I am not a huge twilight fan– I read the books after they came out, I saw the movies a few weeks after opening weekend– but the truth is Twilight is going to make a lot of money right now in this crap economy and the fact that is so successful, financially, is partially why EW is covering it so much. I do wish for less cover stories, but I also wanted less cover stories about Michael Jackson and the Jon and Kate +8 (different magazines). I just don’t read the articles if I don’t want to. I’ll keep my subscription because like you said it is a short-term fad and soon they will be covering other stuff just as much (like with Ausiello covering Melrose Place with 1.3 million viewers or Ken Tucker with the J and K+8).

      • JackBauerEnthusiast!

        Yeah, but there were not 20 Harry Potter covers in one month and I can only think of maybe two Pirates of the caribbean covers since 2001. Someone please tell me how many twilight covers there has been since this garbage came into existence?

      • anonymous

        Sometimes it feels like they feed the hysteria as much as report on it.

      • @anonymous

        They definitely feed it. EW is obviously not blind to all the negativity related to their intense twilight promotion. This is evident by Owen’s article and Lisa’s article. They do it on purpose because they want us to argue over it because it gets more attention for their website and more press for twilight. Negative attention is still attention.

  • Ashely

    if th success of twilight means they are going to make more movies for women, great. but i hope to god they feature women that teen girls should actually look up to. if they are all take a note from twilight though then i, as a woman, will never find a movie geared towards me enjoyable again.

  • J

    Owen, thanks so much for this article. It was an intelligent analysis of the new moon phenomenon and subsequent backlash. I completely agree that it’s success is mainly resented because it appeals to women. As mainstream culture is essentially masculine from the law courts, board rooms to the studio business meetings, women are used to watching films and engaging in activities that are not targeted to specifically to their tastes and preferences. New moon is an example of a movie that unapologetically focused on the female audience and it hounded by criticism that it is only enjoyed by idiots and was a terrible film for not pleasing all audiences (for examples see any twilight related EW article). You don’t need to have taken feminism 101 to penetrate the reason why it is so hated.

    • Hannah

      “You don’t need to have taken feminism 101 to penetrate the reason why it is so hated.”
      That’s kind of what I thought, except everyone seems to be completely missing the point—it is the fact that Twilight is so very, very *anti*-feminist that means it’s so hated. The women in the series are universally weaker than the men—I’m not just referring to Bella and her willingness to lie down and allow Edward to walk all over her. I’m talking about the fact that, other than Edward’s unexplained inability to read Bella’s thoughts, the gifts of the male vampires are infallible, while Alice’s gift is extremely limited and leads to problems. I’m talking about the fact that the male werewolves are given an ability, imprinting, which helps them find the perfect woman (or baby, and let’s not even touch on the paedophilic aspect of these books) with whom to carry on the werewolf line, whereas the female werewolf becomes infertile. I’m talking about the fact that no one bats an eyelid when it is announced that the wives of the Volturi leaders are kept in a tower. Twilight is full of inherent sexism. It glorifies a thoroughly abusive relationship and places a sickening amount of importance on physical attractiveness. That’s the problem people have with it, not that it’s knocking The Dark Knight off the top spot.

      • J

        I understand why you might feel like that but I really feel that if you take the series as a whole, breaking dawn really changes a lot of the power balances between male and female characters. Ultimately Bella saves everyone and acts as the protector figure, a traditionally male one, to all of the characters even the most powerful of vampires. Alice’s talents enabled her to find the evidence needed to save Renesmee. I think that feminism can mean the right of women to choose their own path and for some women that may be a traditional one. I actually don’t think that is necessarily the case with Bella but just because you may perceive her as deriving her greatest happiness from her relationship, family and eventually her child does not mean that she is a weak female character. Maybe that is rather her strength because ultimately it was her choice to keep her baby and eclipse was all about her choice between Jacob and Edward.

  • J

    Men aren’t used to pop culture phenomenons that aren’t aimed directly at them, hence the burning need to dismiss Twilight as for ‘children’, ‘tweens’ and ‘idiots’. You don’t have to like twilight and by all means comment away on message boards, but the level of hatred and the nature of the criticism merely reveals quite how threatened you are.

    • Shamrock

      Because it’s a bad movie with bad actors. Don’t settle, demand better.

      • J

        Is this more true of twilight than transformers? I didn’t see such hatred of transformers, just general acceptance that it was blockbuster rather than oscar material.

      • Heather2

        Shamrock, just because some us love Twilight doesn’t mean that we do not have an appreciation for other movies, albeit Oscar level ones.
        I love movies in general, and I personally cannot stand ones that are not well made and that are schlock.
        With that said, I take a movie for what it is supposed to be. I watched Slumdog Millionaire expecting a masterpiece because that is what it was meant to be.

        New Moon I watched and expect a melodramatic love triangle movie based on the book that it was derived from. And that is what I got.
        I also liked Transformers. Some movies are meant to be guilty pleasures and some aren’t. I am not so uptight that I cannot enjoy both.

      • John

        J if you didn’t see hatred for Transformers you just weren’t trying very hard…it was EVERYWHERE. BTW I think both Transformers AND Twilight sucks. So I guess I just killed Owens theory. It is completely about putting things on a pedestal that don’t belong there.

      • BilbrosB4Hos

        John, who put it on a pedestal?
        Fans do NOT expect it to win any awards. We just enjoy it. And there’s nothing wrong with that, even if it’s not something you like.

    • Lucy

      And your defense of Twilight (and your defense of the original post by Owen) reveals how dense you are. Twilight = crap, and you don’t have to be a man to know it.

      • Leila

        Why can’t you critizise without insulting?

      • Sarah

        I don’t even like Twilight but I totally agree with Leila. Show some common decency people.

      • Heather2

        And you would be another example of a “hater” which is what this article is for. The level of hate and rudeness just alludes me.
        Twilight=Crap. You are saying it as fact. Your opinion is not the only one that matters.

  • Lisa

    I wouldn’t exactly call Bella a character for young girls to look up to, but I think it is a lot better than a lot of girl roles that are portrayed these days. At least she doesn’t dress like a total slut and is still a virgin at 18. That is very different from what I usually see.

    I don’t expect everyone to like the books or the movies. That is their opinion and they have a right to it. But some people seem to hate it a bit too much which I don’t really understand. It’s just a movie.

    SaveTheHumans, thanks for the compliment. I agree with you as well.

    • Matt

      But this is just Titanic all over again. This ‘sudden realization’ that women watch movies is absolutely nothing new. That’s what annoys me about the article – it implies that it is.

      Incidentally do you know what the biggest grossing film in the UK currently is? Mamma Mia. You think that was mostly guys watching it?

      • Vina

        This is the first time in a long time we’ve seen this sustained over a franchise, the first time we’ve seen this level of corporate tie-ins, and the first time that the marketing blitz has hit saturation level to the same degree as your average superhero film.

      • Shelley

        Agreed with Matt. Titanic had a huge marketing campaign, huge song from Celine Dion… No, it wasn’t a franchise, for obvious reasons (the boat sank…), but let’s not dismiss its success. Spiceworld was the culmination of a band as well as a widespread merchandising campaign. High School Musical attracted more girls than boys and was a franchise hit. There are more examples out there. Female-skewed movies are common enough. I don’t think you can find a strong argument to justify that the backlash is because Twilight challenges the usual male-skewed Hollywood offerings. If anything, the backlash is simply a result of over-exposure/saturation of Twilight.

      • BilbrosB4Hos

        First, Shelley:
        “No, it wasn’t a franchise, for obvious reasons (the boat sank…)”=hilarious!
        I think you’re right about the backlash. This series just isn’t nearly as crappy as other crap. It has to be the over-saturation causing the EXTREME hate that some people seem to feel (the worst seem to be men that haven’t even read/seen it).

      • invaliduser

        your humor is about as fresh as dane cook or carrot top. i haven’t seen those two in person though? maybe i would change my mind if i did huh?

      • Shelley

        Ok, then… not sure exactly what deserved that nasty response… I was just making an observation about the whole Twilight phenomenon and the article. Not praising or criticizing the film either way. Enough said. Good night!

    • Kyle

      Tell me something, BilbrosB4hos, how do you know that the haters seem to be people who have never read or seen it? That seems to be your standard answer, but you don’t back it up. It leads me to believe you pulled it out of your ass. Just saying.
      Most of the haters I’ve met have done both, and they STILL hated them.

    • Hannah

      “At least she doesn’t dress like a total slut and is still a virgin at 18.”
      I would rather my hypothetical future daughter was a girl who wore short skirts and had lost her virginity by eighteen but was a really decent, independent, thoughtful person and had truly loving relationships with boys who actually respected her as an equal, than a girl who constantly wore jeans and polo necks and remained a virgin until marriage but was snide, ungrateful, snobbish, lacking in common sense, needy, whiny, shallow, and in a relationship with a man who treated her like a doormat.

  • Megan

    I have to strongly disagree with the Kristen Stewart being “expressive” comment. She looks confused and awkward every time I’ve ever seen her. And I mean when I’ve seen her on screen in roles from Adventureland to The Cake Eaters, AND when I’ve seen her in interviews. She never changes. And considering how different those roles are, and the fact that it’s her JOB, I really think she should. Screeching wildly (whether being bitten by an evil vampire or because of a “nightmare” that just involved seeing Edward’s face) isn’t acting. It’s not even expressing the right emotion in the latter case, unless she’s going for insanity as opposed to sadness.
    Which isn’t to say Robert Pattinson is any acting genius either. On the other hand, he seems to at least be trying and I haven’t seen him in anything other than Twilight and Harry Potter so I guess he could surprise me.
    But put the two together and the “chemistry” between them is one of the most awkward things I’ve ever witnessed. I’m sure young people without any sexual or romantic experience could buy into that idea, but anyone who has ever had “chemistry” with another human being will tell you: that ain’t it.

    • psychoanalyzer

      Yes, their “chemistry” does bother me. it bothers me more that some young girls who do look up to Bella and Edward mistake their interaction for love.. I actually thought the sexual tension between Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner was more natural, but maybe that’s because I’m so tired of Robert Pattinson’s face.

    • akak428

      I replied early about Rob Pattinson… but you should check out Little Ashes… he has the chops, just not the good script. (Though I love the continuity of the “Jizz in My Pants” moments in both movies)

  • Dani

    Omg.Twilight is so popular that two of EW.com’s movie critics feel the need to write an article about it.

    • Sara

      You JUST realised?

  • Sarah

    It’s not so much in the shallow and angsty acting of the Twilight kids as in the hackneyed, shallow, obnoxious, and decadent writing by Stephenie Meyer. Lines like “Bella, you give me all I need just by breathing” are painful. And it’s even more painful that so many have flocked to see them play out.

    • Ashley

      I agree that the writing is the worst part of the movies. When I read Stephenie Meyer’s books, I realized how cheesy some of the lines were. But wow, they do not translate well to the screen at all. Hearing Edward say things like that out loud just makes me want to laugh. How about instead of changing the director on every film, change the writer?

      • Sena

        Too late Eclipse has already wrapped but there’s the future breaking dawn.

      • BilbrosB4Hos

        I’m not happy with Melissa Rosenberg either. I think she botched it. I hate to think of what someone could have done with it, might have been really great.

  • Ashley

    You know why? Because people look for something to complain about. My older brothers in college will argue how terrible it is for hours, but neither of them have read any of the books or seen any of the movies. I agree about the shift away from teenage boys, and it’s so true because those are the people who complain about it most. I know a lot of the fans can be annoying, but I wish the haters would get over it. Because you’re JUST as annoying.

    • Lisa H

      I agree Ashley. I think the problem men have with Twilight is that now woman love the romance it portrays men have to step up there game. Woman hate it cause they probably have no chance with a man like Edward. Hate on people you make my day!

      • Calvin

        If by stepping up our game means all that we have to do is take off our shirts any chance we can get or look pasty white and wear lipstick I think you will find yourself single for a long time. Or if not that a man who really hates you.

        Eff outta here!!!

      • Hannah

        “Woman hate it cause they probably have no chance with a man like Edward.”
        No, I hate it because it portrays men like Edward as people everyone should *want* to have a chance with. Edward is abusive. He controls Bella’s every move, he messes with her head, he stalks her and intimidates her. That’s neither romantic nor ideal, and the fact that it’s protrayed as if it is is the real problem we have with Twilight.

  • Dani

    If “a new kind of girl power” means having more movies involving damsel-in-distress characters falling obsessively in love with overbearing stalkers with whom they could never be on equal footing, then no thanks. As a woman, and as a sci-fi/fantasy fan, I can’t stand the sex object/always needs rescued/ doesn’t do anythng brand of female that is so popular in movies of that genre today. However, Twilight’s brand of feminine isn’t any better, and I don’t want to see more of it.

    • Vina

      I like to think of it as a starting point. Now the studios are on notice that this massive audience exists and wants to spend money. Which gives them the incentive to greenlight and *properly* market female-targeted films. I’ve seen so many negative reactions to Bella’s damsel-in-distress status, I can’t imagine we won’t see filmmakers take it as a challenge to respond with more interesting, independent heroines the next time out. It certainly wouldn’t be very difficult to outdo Stephanie Meyer on any level. But if all Twilight’s success does is net us a film version of Wicked or a couple of Anita Blake books, that would still be enough for me.

    • Mana

      I think it’d be nice if Hollywood took notice that women watch movies, but I fear it’s more likely that they’ll decide that this just means women watch *vampire* movies. I’d love to see some movies with strong females in lead roles that aren’t in any way, shape or form romances. Where’s our Star Trek, our District 9, our Lord of the Rings? Girls like action and adventure too.

  • Lisa

    Hi Dani. I see what you are saying. But if you read all of the books, Bella comes out being the hero of the story who actually rescues the others.

    • Sena

      Yes she rescues others but that doesnt stop her from being a mary sue.

      • Leila

        I have never understood why Bella is critizise so much? Withing the reality of the series people expect this human girl to protect herself against beings (vampires) that are supernatural strong, nothing can destroy them except another vampire or wolf. I mean, I would critizise her if she was a vampire and needed protection. If everybody involve in the series were human beings than I would be the fist to be discusted with the Bella character. Any way this is just fantasy as real as witches and other fantastical creautures out there.

      • Lauren

        Yeah, but you’re forgetting it’s Stephanie Meyer who made the vampires and wolves so freakishly strong that Bella as a human had no chance of defending herself. Bella’s entire world is designed around making her powerless. Which wouldn’t be so bad if her inability to control her world were a theme of the book, but it’s not. Instead Meyer encourages the reader to think that Bella does have control because she tends to get what she wants. Bella is treated like an adored willful child. She only gets what she wants because the powerful people around her think she’s too dang cute to tell her no.

    • J

      The books are told from Bella’s perspective. It becomes obvious by the final book that the way she presents herself through the narrative and the other character’s perspective of her are vastly different. Her mind is unpenetrable and that is where her strength lies. In a setting that involves superhuman creatures with mainly physical strengths, Bella is the main protagonist with mental and emotional which eventually serve to protect all those that she cares for. I don’t see how this makes her a ‘Mary Jane’ or a drip.

    • Dani

      Hey Lisa. I did read the entire series, and my problem even with the fourth book is that the price Bella is willing to pay to get to the point you are talking about is not worth the risk. The part you are talking about is too little too late, and it comes as a result of an indulgence and a lifting up of ideas and attitudes which are not healthy. I don’t want to get into more specifics in case I spoil something for anyone who hasn’t read the story, but that’s the gist of my thoughts on the subject. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that the characters have flaws; in fact, I prefer flawed characters. What I don’t like is when unhealthy character flaws are lifted up in the general narrative as being perfectly healthy virtues.

      • Lauren

        Your last sentence is the crux of the problem. I also dislike that every single female character who isn’t quite and doesn’t conform her life around other people (usually men) is presented as ill-tempered, full of hate, and completely unliked by the people around her (that one female wolf and Bella’s school friend are the two that readily come to mind). That’s not a healthy bunch of characters to be selling to young girls.

      • Lauren

        ‘every single female who isn’t *quiet*’

      • PrG

        Alice is not quiet. She is described as a “force of nature” and does not “conform her life around other people (usually men).”

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Owen, you hit is spot on. While I certainly don’t think New Moon is the best movie ever made, it certainly is NOT the worst. All of this violent hate honestly scares me more than the obsessive tween twilight fans, at least their obsession doesn’t get me worried about violence!

    If you don’t like TWilight, please just ignore it and leave those who do like it alone. Plain and simple. We can coexist.

    • SOP

      Did someone say coexist? LOL From the sounds of the haters on here I’m not sure they’ll allow that. The hate is scary. They are so sure they are right and everyone should agree with them they are almost foaming at the mouth. Calm people. I love the books. I like the movies. I think Rob and Kris just keep getting better. Not great, but not horrible either. Really they inhabit their characters very well. If you don’t like their acting it’s probably because you don’t like Edward and Bella. Nothing they can do about that.

      And as for Bella not being a good role model or whiney or whatever…hello. Does every character have to be a role model? I think this is a book about one girl and this is just how she is. If you don’t like her fine, but don’t scream that she should be different or be written differently. She is what she is, just like you are what you are. Should I wail that you haters are annoying and obsessive and whiney?

      • dawn

        Well said.

      • Angel

        Yes, well said. I find the talk of role models entertaining. Shakespeare is referenced quite a bit in this installment of the series. His work has been published, performed and studied since its creation. I would hardly call some of his characters “role models”…yet many of the themes about the intensity of love – such as in Romeo & Juliet – have been replayed and re-adapted repeatedly. Why? Because we as humans are drawn to such stories, sometimes the characters are strong, sometimes they are weak. Just like real people. It boils down to the intensity of loving someone so much that you would do anything for that person. Certainly not a new theme in literature and cinema. Just one with a new spin…new viewpoint. And to the point of the initial EW post – I don’t think it is the teenagers who are making the Twilight Series the frenzy it is. I think it is the legions of 20 to 40+ year olds who are finding an escape in the stories. At the showing I was at, I saw many daughter-mother-grandmother groups. It has been a long time since I have seen anything bring together multiple generations that way.

      • Wino

        Bravo. finally someone with common sense. its entertainment foks. If you have an issue with the way Bella or Edward are behaving, write Stephanie Myers a letter. Or better yet, dont read the books and dont watch the freakin’ movies. Simple. My friend’s 10 yr old niece LOVES the series…and you know what she takes out of the entire saga? That she should find a guy like Edward who will be that devoted to HER. Get a clue haters, girls are not trying to be the next Bella…they are tyring to find the next Edward.

    • Blondie

      Want to talk about violence? How about the reports of psychotic fans attacking people who express their distaste for the series? I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it for myself. Teenage girls are the scary ones, chasing their idols into traffic so they’re nearly hit by vehicles.

      • PrG

        Exaggerated by media. Pattinson himself said he bumped into a cab.

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