Twilight: The Source of All Evil?

So, Breaking Dawn, Part I is out and judging from reports, tickets were selling like hotcakes. This made for much wailing on the part of cultural critics and film reviewers everywhere.

I have to admit, I’m not a great fan of the films and I had problems with aspects of the books but others I loved. I certainly don’t think Meyer’s books and the resulting movies are as bad as the onslaught of reviewers’ complaints make them out to be. That puts me in a minority!

Apparently, the collapse of western civilization can be attributed to the Twilight fandom. Especially because it’s all girly in all the ways that women shouldn’t be. At least according to just about every cultural commentator whose reports I’ve seen popping up on my TV or computer screen. See The Franchise That Ate Feminism or tbe Twitterverse’s recent comments on the red state/blue state US mapping: Do You Live in the Twilight Belt? for examples of these visceral reactions.

Meyer’s story hits a trifecta of topics to sneer at: it’s aimed at young women (universally decried for their lack of taste and judgment), it intersects with genre fiction/film (so ‘true fans’ of the genre decry the pollution that is Twilight at Comic-con) and it also promotes conservative/anti-feminist values. What’s not there for a critic to savage?

I’m not saying you have to like or dislike Twilight. I am saying that I find that too many critics are following the easy path of establishing their credibility by snarking up a storm about the films, the books and their fans. You may not get the appeal, you may have problems with the books and movies, but please stop with the suggestions that fans are dangerously unhinged!

It’s nice to see The New York Times bucking the trend. The reviewer actually seems to enjoy the film and finds a lot to praise in the director’s work (even if Taylor Lautner comes in for some pointed derision in terms of his acting ability). Still won’t convince me to see the movie in the theatre (I don’t like blood and I know there’s a lot that’ll be an integral part of the story) but I sure will watch it on DVD if just to see what all the fuss is about.


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