I’ve been to Middle Earth a few times, am regular visitor at Hogwarts, and have wandered around in Narnia from time to time. But, I arrived late to Forks, WA.
I just watched Twilight and went to see New Moon with Army Wife, who “runs with werewolves.” I have not read the books yet, but noticed one has appeared on my nightstand. I have to admit, I was not really keen on this story in the beginning. I sneaked into the movie theater with friends when I was an underage teen and saw Andy Warhol’s Dracula (the violence-laced X-rated version), watched Interview with a Vampire on cable when Tom Cruise was normal, and suffered through the TV series Buffy, the Vampire Slayer with preteenage girls back in the 90s. I just didn’t think there could be a new spin on this old tale.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the movies. Aside from great marketing, I totally understand why it has achieved cult status so quickly. It’s a sweet chick flick…if a vampire story can be sweet…and recognizable themes of Pride & Prejudice and Romeo & Juliet are woven throughout.
There are some twists and turns that cause me to turn to Army Wife for an explanation. Her response is always the same. “I can’t tell you. You’ll have to read the books.”
The romance between Bella and Edward is a little sappy at times, but that adds to the appeal of love over lust. The Jacob-Bella-Edward triangle leaves you rooting for the underdog wolf much of the time, and Bella’s teenage angst feels very real for anyone who has found themselves as an outsider…especially in the low self-esteem teenage years.
For me, the Twilight phenomenon won’t surpass Harry Potter’s story of sacrificial love. It will never come close to the two icons of fantasy literature, The Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. However, within the story is a theme that is super appealing. Personal free choice and being able to change your life’s path and direction…to reinvent yourself…has huge crossover appeal to many generations, especially in this day and age.
But unlike Middle Earth, Narnia and Hogwarts, Forks is a real place. And, because of the Twilight phenomena, is enjoying quite a tourist boom due to the books and movies. I always find it fascinating how art (film) intersects with culture, mimicking values, trends and the priorities of the age. And how the stories and characters come alive and catch people up in a frenzy. For now, for me, it’s a nice little fantasy break from life. I will take Army Wife’s advice and read the books before I weigh in completely on the saga.