by Maria Schulz
Valentine’s Day is here, and suddenly you can’t turn the TV on without finding a timeless, romantic movie playing. The Last of the Mohicans has been on a few times, along with The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, You’ve Got Mail, Pride & Prejudice, Jerry McGuire, Sleepless in Seattle, and even Wall-E, which is really a sweet, adorable love story when you get right down to it.
But one of the movies heralded as wildly romantic has heroes that I find disturbing and a heroine who I find annoying. Of course I’m talking about The Twilight Saga. Now since I’m the mother of two young girls who are the right age (even if they are not Twilight fans), I possess a lot more knowledge about this series than I ever wished for in the first place.
The world of Twilight revolves around a moody teenage girl named Bella who has just willingly left her home in sunny Florida to live with her father in the always rainy, miserable small-town of Forks. She is afraid she will never fit in when she notices a very handsome young man who comes to school in an expensive car, surrounded by his equally handsome siblings.
Bella gets to meet “Mr. Wonderful” in her biology class, where he is going to be her lab partner. His name is Edward Cullen, and he will barely look at her at first. Why? Well because, as he tells her, he can’t tolerate her smell. Now if that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.
What Bella doesn’t know is that her scent drives him batty (sorry) and he is drawn to her. For her own sake, he is trying to stay away from her. But does Bella take the hint? Nah. Instead, she insists on getting to know him.
The dialogue here is riveting. She says such things as “are you a vampire?” and “you sparkle and shimmer. You’re beautiful!” Edward eventually responds by saying things like “I want you to have dinner with my family!”
Oh, by the way, Edward’s vampire coven family may just want to eat her, but never mind these pesky details. It’s a date!
Once the family manages not to kill her, they invite her to their softball game (?) and ask her to be their umpire. Of course it’s all good clean fun, until a gang of savage, marauding vampires try to crash the game and realize that Bella is NOT A VAMPIRE when she stands downwind. Never mind that she’s the only one without weird gold eyes and sparkly, shimmery skin, boy does she smell yummy!
See, this group of vampires is evil because they EAT HUMANS. Unlike the Cullen clan, who considers themselves do-gooder vegetarians because they only eat animals like deer (ask the deer what they think of that one). See, the other vampires have blood red eyes and the Cullens have gold eyes, which nobody seems to notice except for moody, sullen Bella.
By this time, Bella is TOTALLY in love with Edward. She wants to DIE to be with him! Which is great, because she might just get her chance before too long. Edward may be a vegetarian, animal-blood-drinking, deer-slaying vampire, but he has the brain power of a slug and keeps putting Bella in danger.
I am not sure what it is that draws Bella to Edward. Is it the angry way he tells her to love someone else? The shimmery skin? The glowing eyes? The nice car? I can’t really say, but I would bet that my parents said the same thing about lots of my old boyfriends.
By the way, can’t Bella date any NORMAL boys? How come her best choices are a moody vampire with a death wish or a muscle-bound werewolf with anger-management issues? Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. Wow, I don’t envy her father.
And what the hell is wrong with her father? How does one get to be Chief of Police and not realize that violent creeps have overrun your town? And here’s another thing: if I dashed off to Rome to save my idiot, glowing vampire boyfriend from exposing himself to the tourist masses, I had better be home by 12 a.m., or my Dad would kill me! Forget about the Volturi, if you want to see something really scary, try walking through the door past curfew in the Lagalante household.
What I really want to know is, how come Edward, Jacob, the Cullens and the other werewolves don’t just “off” Bella? She’s a big pain in the neck and constantly causes trouble. Perhaps I’m being “anti-Monster” here, but I don’t think evil supernatural beings have a lot of patience with whiny humans.
I wonder what they will do when their daughter, Renessmee (really? Renessmee???) enters her vampire “teen” years. Will she rebel by wearing bright, festive colors, singing Kumbaya in the local church choir, and dating traditional (gasp!) boys? Will Bella say things to her like “Oh sure, just go ahead and get great grades and date the star quarterback. But that church choir singing has got to stop!!!”
Most normal marriages hit the skids after 30 or 50 years of constant togetherness, but Edward and Bella will be together FOREVER. What will they do to spice things up? Will they cause another vampire civil war? Join a snowflake softball league? Invite Mr. and Mrs. Creature from the Black Lagoon over for cocktails and a little swinging?
If I could just chat with Bella, here’s what I would tell her:
- Vampires are not really your best dating option. There’s all that blood, and the possibility that his being hungry could lead to you being dead. Sure, he’s glittery, but is that really enough?
- I know this, because I did date a vampire once. Okay so I have no scientific proof of this, but he was very tall and thin, didn’t like venturing out in the daytime, and had skin so white that it kind of glittered. Plus he was moody and angry. Too bad we broke up before I could have the “are you a vampire?” talk with him.
- Supernatural beings in general are not really the kind of guys you can count on. Of course it’s nice to date someone who can read your mind, fly, bend steel with his bare hands and protect you from angry Vampire councils. But then again, if it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t need help with any of that.
- Vampires don’t actually eat, so you can’t go to all the best restaurants with them. Sure, you can jet off to Rome where your life will be endangered countless times, and you can even get married on a Caribbean island owned by your vampire boyfriend’s family, but they will never eat a single thing with you. They like to watch you eat, of course, which puts the “C” in CREEPY. I could deal with the blood, I could deal with the vampire angst, but what do you mean you don’t want to share my flan? I’m outta here.
- Werewolves may seem like a good option, but that’s only when you’re dating a vampire. See #3, above.
- When you have the “are you a vampire” talk, and he responds, “why yes, I am a vampire,” there is really no need for the conversation to go any further. Just say something like, “oh I just needed to know because I’m allergic to peanuts and vampires,” and run away. If you are worried about him being insulted, ask him to hold a bag of peanuts before you start talking.
- If you absolutely must date a Supernatural creature, choose the Invisible Man. There are bound to be surprises a-plenty with him by your side. Just think of all the ways you can prank people! The laughs would not stop coming.
- Try dating real humans. If you think vampires are moody and unpredictable, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Want to see someone show supernatural strength and bend steel with his bare hands? Turn off the football game he’s been watching for the past 3 hours when it’s 3rd and goal and there are just 03 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter. I guarantee you his reaction will be a lot more frightening than anything your vampire boyfriend has ever conjured up.
As for me, I will spend tonight with my husband and girls, and we will definitely not be watching the latest installment of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Instead, we’ll try not to get our hearts broken by the Knicks. Go Jeremy Lin!
What Valentine’s and Vampire’s blog post would be complete without a Bloody Mary recipe?
And as long as I mentioned Flan, here’s a recipe for all of you adventurous types:
So, Hungry Lifers…what “romantic” movies do you love? Which ones do you hate? What do you think about Twilight? Have you ever dated a vampire/werewolf/supernatural creature? Please leave a comment and let us all in on the fun.
Happy Valentine’s Day!