One fan bares her fangs to defend Twilight.
I’m no stranger to defending Twilight. When you’re 32 and a fan of a teenage vampire love story, it comes with the territory. Yes, the heroine has a vampire fetish, a theme that might conjure images of shrieking teens with posters of Robert Pattinson on their walls, but my rationale is simple: The Twilight series is just a great love story.
When it comes to modern romances, fans of the genre are seriously limited. Who can stomach another shopping- or matzo-ball-themed chick-lit novel filled with slapstick meet-cutes? Twilight, though set in the science-fiction world, is straightforward: A normal girl moves to a new place and meets someone beautiful, mysterious and complicated. She really likes him, and he really likes her back. What girl doesn’t dream of that?
Stephenie Meyer is often criticized for being a good storyteller but not a great writer. My response: Who cares? Her success makes her a big target, and writing about a potentially campy topic like vampires makes her an easy one, but she’s not claiming to be Alice Munro, or even Anne Rice. Meyer might not have the depth of a great author, but she delivers an addicting story. Anyone who can get me to forgo a night out for reading deserves credit, to say nothing of the fact she gets kids to read.
The first film, I’m afraid, is harder to defend and works only as a guilty pleasure. Sparkly skinned vampires aside, the cheese factor is high: I couldn’t help but laugh during the science-class scene where Edward is overcome with Bella’s scent and holds his nose—with loud, angry guitar chords in the background. I hope part two of the saga, New Moon, will be better. With Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning playing ancient royal vampire gods, I’d say it has a pretty good shot.