Just because it’s bad art doesn’t mean it’s bad for you
Oh Twilight…as I sat in the theater giggling and groaning through Breaking Dawn Part 2, I kept asking myself, “Is this harmless fun crap or is it actually bad for me?”
The underlying theme of the series is our search for a place to belong, for the life we were meant to lead, the person we were meant to be. If you are living the “examined life” then you are very familiar with this quest, with the constant self doubt and questioning,“Is this what I was meant to do? Is this all there is for me? Did I miss the better road?
All good so far.
For Edward, his 100 year search led him to Bella. And she is his reason for being. Outside of her, he literally has no reason to live. Edging toward harmful…
For Bella, her 19 year search led her to being a vampire, Edward’s wife and a member of the Cullen family. I’m not actually sure what that means exactly outside of being really strong, really self-controlled, a really fast runner, and way more beautiful than she was before (and I don’t mean inner beauty, I mean actual longer eyelashes and rosier cheeks etc.)
For Jacob, his 2 year (one-sided) love affair with Bella led him to his relationship with Renesme (which I won’t go into in case someone gets upset over spoilers.) Let’s just say, it ain’t good and feels like CPS should get involved..
None of these quests lead anyone to evolve or change or even fail. They are in the end exactly as they were in the beginning: gorgeous, halting speakers who mostly rely on staring at one another for long intervals to communicate. Love so deep that you are willing to suffer pain and even die for your family and loved ones is a real thing for sure, but in Twilight world, everyone is perfect and everything works out perfectly. This isn’t art. Much like a Thomas Kincaid painting, it lies about the messiness of life by omitting it entirely.
I have enjoyed my Twilight journey from the books to the movies, because Robert Pattinson is beautiful, because hating Jacob is fun (Team Jacob isn’t a real thing people, HE WAS NEVER IN THE RUNNING), because teen love is delightful, and because Edward loved Bella the way we all want to be loved. However, we all live in the real world where we love each other as best we can, but often fall short.
As long I keep that in mind, I think Twilight is good harmless fun.