In case you hadn’t heard, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 hits theaters Friday, giving awkward tween girls, unfulfilled housewives, and lonely secretaries everywhere something to do on a Friday night (besides eat ice cream and/or cry with their cats). As is usually the case with a new Twilight film, anticipation is running high. But this time, things are a little different. I’ve seen Bill Condon’s Breaking Dawn, and I’m here to tell you that—against all odds—I think you oughtta see it even if you’re not a fan.
(Check Out A Guy’s Guide To Twilight)
You’ve probably already decided that you aren’t going to see Breaking Dawn. Not only will you be missing out on one of the greatest unintentional comedies of all time, but you’ll also be depriving yourself of one of the most bat-shit-crazy 20-minute stretches of melodrama ever committed to film. Breaking Dawn’s first half is nigh unwatchable, taking a solid hour to limp through what seems to be about fifteen minutes’ worth of story. But its second half—particularly its final twenty minutes—is something you owe it to yourself to see.
It. Is. Glorious. But it’s not like that finale is the only reason you should see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 this weekend. Hell, I can think of at least half a dozen reasons you should go. Here they are, in no particular order. Spoilers ahead, obviously…
Stephenie Meyer wants you to believe that she’s essayed a deep, thoughtful, compelling romance in the Twilight series, but the story’s so emotionally false, it’s simply impossible to take seriously. Kristen Stewart’s Bella consistently comes across as emotionally unstable, her moods swinging from one extreme to another seemingly without cause. And yet, the men in her world—be it Jacob The Werewolf-Boy or Edward The Sparkly Vampire-Lad—welcome each new swoop of the pendulum with endless patience and understanding. There’s something to be said for working through the issues you’re having with your partner, but let’s be realistic here: if any dude I know were dating Bella, he’d dump her ass after the third inexplicable meltdown (note: if Kristen Stewart were hotter, this might be a touch more believable).
Also worth noting: Condon’s camera is constantly lingering on this movie’s version of money shots—a wedding gown, expensive furniture, an absurdly ornate piece of jewelry stuck to Stewart’s head. The girls in my audience cooed at each of these shots, sometimes outright moaning. It was freaky, until I realized I was watching emo-porn for the tween girl set.
You’d think that after three films and however-much-time-has-passed in the novels, Edward and Bella’s “first time” (the word “sex” is never used here, because…I mean, my God, how filthy would that be?!) would be a bed-breaking, Earth-shattering affair. And ya know what? It is. Edward hits that like the fist of an angry God, ripping a huge chunk out of the headboard, leaving bruises all over Bella’s beautifully, uh, already-sickly-looking pale skin, and somehow destroying every pillow in the process. At least, that’s what I gathered from the onscreen evidence; it’s entirely possible that—in the same world where vampires sparkle—vampires also ejaculate feathers. I mean, Edward just decimates that ass. But this is a PG-13 movie, so we get a couple quick shots—mostly of furniture being destroyed—before the all-purpose “cut to the morning after” shot. Still, though, it’s unintentionally hilarious.