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1st thoughts on New Moon movie…

November 24, 2009

Yesterday, my 13-year-old son and I headed to our local movie spot to see New Moon. He enjoyed the film, but he thought Bella’s rejection of Jacob was cruel. “Why couldn’t she choose both?” he asked. Well, because we fixate on monogamy in our world. Obviously she loves both, but given our religious culture and our deification of the one man/one woman paradigm, Bella has to choose.  Seems to me an open relationship with all three could work very well. But, no such queering of relationships is possible according to the ultimate happy ending (?) the series is heading towards.

As for myself, I am more than ever Team Bella and am saddened by the fact so many fans only route for the male characters (and only shower their love on the male actors). I think Kristen Stewart makes an excellent Bella – and even more so in New Moon than Twilight. I get that readers identify with her, feel like they are her, but I don’t get why more don’t step outside this fantasy identification and recognize how dissing Bella (and Stewart) is like slapping themselves and their gender in the face. We females our are own worst enemies, and the contempt for Bella/Stewart is a key example of this.

My feminist side was bothered that Bella was so age-obsessed (though I get this is due to her vampire aspirations). I also felt like she could use a hearty sandwich or two and wished she would have been a co-mechanic with Jacob rather than once again a provider of food (as when she tosses Jacob the pizza slice).

I liked the humorous relief –the references to the movie Facepunch, the classroom scene watching Romeo and Juliet, Jessica’s ranting about zombie films and consumerism, Bella flying on VIRGIN air to Italy. I particularly liked Mike in this film – he took masculinity outside the box, noting he doesn’t like horror films and showing himself to be far less arrogant, confident, or seething than either of Bella’s intendeds. Loved his reaction to Jacob’s unfounded rage in the movie theatre – such a nice nod to the problematics of hyper-masculine rage and macho-ness (which Jacob embodies all too well in his wolf transition).

In the Laurent scene the first thing I thought was “why no shirt?” The general shirtlessness of the non-white characters seemed gratuitous—a painstakingly obvious attempt to provide “wolfy eye candy.” Then again, when Edward removed his shirt in Italy I was not attracted to his paleness – sorry Bells, we disagree on that one – the whiteness is not magnificent to me…

I loved Jacob in this movie and thought Lautner did a great job – though I couldn’t help being slightly disturbed by that much muscle on a 16/17 year-old-boy. Think of the hours that took – yes, that is dedication, but is packing on 30 pounds of muscle really what we want males to do in order to prove their worth? Muscle is attractive, sure, but it goes hand in hand with the violent masculinity we as females should be intent on deconstructing…

As for the audience where I saw the movie, it was diverse – almost as many males and females and ages across the spectrum. However, the handful of 5 to 7 year olds scattered amongst the seats threw me. Surely they must have been bored – or else so indoctrinated into the idea THEY MUST LOVE TWILIGHT that they forced themselves to be interested. Does the 7-year-old girl wearing the “I love boys who sparkle t-shirt” really love the series, or has she been cajoled into this love by older siblings, friends, family? And why does a 7 year old need to be fixating on such a romantic tale – how about focusing on friends and frivolous fun until, say, I don’t know, at least 10 or 11???

Now onto reading reviews/reactions from others and forming some 2nd, 3rd, 4th thoughts…

 

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