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Breaking Dawn Trailer Analysis: You Are Cordially Invited to the Event That Will Change Everything

June 6, 2011

I found the trailer rather wedding heavy, but this focus is hardly surprising given the way the wedding/honeymoon/headboard-busting has been framed as THE climax (pun intended) of the saga.

Rivaled recently by Royal Wedding fervor, the Swan/Cullen union will shortly get the world all agog in all things weddings once again.

As documented in books such as White Weddings or as in posts about the wedding industrial complex (as here, here, and here), society is in the grip of severe wedding fever, a fever which is on the one hand very expensive and promotes our consumer-driven society, and, on the other, which keeps humans (and females especially) all wrapped up in a romance narrative framed by ideas about (white) purity, true love, happily ever after, and normative (read monogamous and heterosexual) gender/sexuality roles.

This is one of the many reasons we, as a society, are so seduced by Twilight, it taps into our cultural love affair with weddings and romance BIG TIME.

In a few short months, the wedding will be writ large on cinematic screens, allowing fans to enter into the immortal love-story between human Bella and vampire Edward.

And, while the final book of the saga has a lot more going on than the wedding, the trailer definitely frames the nuptials as THE story, as “the event that will change everything.” Yet, this is actually NOT what happens in the book – the wedding may be the catalyst that finally results in Edward’s removal of his virginity warrior stance, and thus also results in Bella’s monstrous pregnancy (another plot point fetishized in the trailer), but the wedding itself is only a minor part of the final book.

Alas, the trailer pays lip service to the very narrative that I see driving a huge part of Twilight’s popularity – that love can last forever and that the best kind of love is that between a female and a male joined in marriage and resulting in the creation of children. New? Hardly. New for vampire tales? Why, yes. And that is the brilliance of the saga – taking things that are subversive and sinister – vampires, werewolves, immortality – and wrapping them in a true love conquers all package.

Yet, am I excited about the film’s release? Of course. Would I like to get an invite to THAT wedding? Of course!

I am, like so many females, a sucker for weddings. And this is exactly why Summit will make bank – and why their framing of the trailer will drive our just-off-the-high of the Royal Wedding society to become even more obsessed with the next big, big day. The question is, who will be dawning a Princess-Beatrice-type hat to the Swan-Cullen shindig?




9 Comments leave one →
  1. Ana Bastow permalink
    June 6, 2011 6:06 pm

    “The question is, who will be dawning a Princess-Beatrice-type hat to the Swan-Cullen shindig?”

    LOL Alice, my vote goes to her going with a very prominent hat.

    Sadly I think the wedding was already filmed by the time Prince William and Kate got married so given that special hats are not an American tradition we probably won’t have one… 😦

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      June 7, 2011 6:37 pm

      True, there probably won’t be hats…
      Do you think there will be an open bar? Given the Mormon as Vampire meme, I doubt it…
      As per Alice, if she were to wear a hat, it just might be akin to Princess Beatrice’s – at least if we went by some of her awful outfits in New Moon!

  2. June 6, 2011 6:11 pm

    I, too, am a sucker for the big splashy weddings, but … on the one hand, I enjoy the pageantry, on the other, I’m a realist. I snap my head and *poof* all of it becomes a fairy tale. It’s a nice ideal-courtship, marriage, stability, children-but in real life, the chaos theory dominates all. Just saying, though, it’s fun while it lasts.

    And no hat for me–just golden eyes and a little fur around the knuckles, please. 😉

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      June 7, 2011 6:39 pm

      The fairy tale reference is so apt — the event even takes place in what looks like Snow White’s forest!
      I doubt any fur will be in attendance – all the wolfs will likely be donning only human skin. Too bad.

  3. Sarah Harman permalink
    June 6, 2011 6:33 pm

    I’m still intrigued by how the sex scene and giving birth scenes will actually be portrayed. I did wonder whether the former would be just some ‘romance’ (read: making out) with a fade out cut away, yet the trailer seems to hint at it being rather more graphic. Very much excited to see it.

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      June 7, 2011 6:49 pm

      Yes, the trailer does hint there will be some “hot and heavy” scenes — Bella and Edward are positively writhing under that waterfall!
      I find it interesting that the fandom is VERY interested in the sex scenes yet Summit chose to downplay this in the trailer — I think it’s more of the “teasing” that I wrote about in an earlier post. Especially as the fans are framed as largely female, it speaks to the gendering of sexuality wherein female desire must be coded as a desire for romance/marriage rather than as for hot headboard busting encounters…

  4. June 7, 2011 6:24 am

    I know that this is kind of off topic – since we’re talking about weddings and all… – but does Bella not worry that the guy is actually DEAD?
    Do the viewers not wonder how DEAD semen can impregnate a woman? I don’t know…
    But I suppose the whole experience is about the fantasy.
    Sorry to be a bit disgusting 🙂

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      June 7, 2011 6:45 pm

      I don’t think it’s off topic at all — though it seems Summit and the author would prefer we not think about such specifics.
      There has been lots of talk in on the Twi-net (and even at conventions via panels devoted to the biology of Twilight) of the viability (or lack thereof) of Edward’s sperm.
      In the trailer, Bella does say “that’s impossible” when clutching her stomach and then the camera cuts to Edward, with a look that also indicates the impossibility. Of course the books never delve into the details of ejaculation – let alone erections – instead, like the trailer itself, we are encouraged to focus on the wedding and the “happily ever after” of marital bliss.
      That being said, the Twilight scholars I run with often joke about sparkly sperm! So, we are more than “a bit disgusting” as you put it…

      • June 8, 2011 12:07 pm

        Sparkly sperm! I love that! I need your Twilight scholars as friends! 🙂
        I suppose the most intriguing thing about the Twilight franchise is how it’s become so popular despite obvious logical problems. I would love to know more about the Twi-net…

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