As I dragged myself into the theater, I was rather happy. This was the final film, the “Saga” was finally over. No matter what played, at least it would all be over. No more yearly Twilight films, no more frenzied Twilight fans and haters yelling at each other. That moment of realization before the film had begun was the best part of the film.
The Twilight Saga, as it has come to be called, started in 2008 and has since then blazed a historic trail in cultural popularity and box office returns. However, on the other side, the “Saga” has also become of the most hated and harshely criticized franchises in recent memory. With very limited experience in this series, I decided to go back and watch all four previously released films in preparation for Breaking Dawn Part 2. The results are in and the time has come to sort through the Twilight Saga for any hidden gems or darker evils.
After Eclipse, I was actually a bit excited to watch Part 1. My thought was that if one Twilight film could be good, maybe two of them could. However, that thought did not last long. There have been few films as narratively thin and slow as this film. Breaking Dawn Part 1 was a step back into the first two films, into the realm of terrible writing.
After Twilight and New Moon, my opinion if the series was more or less set in stone. My hatred for the series was boiling and the thought of three more caused me a great deal of pain. However, as I watched Eclipse, two things struck me fairly quickly. The film was absolutely beautiful and I was enjoying it. What was most shocking was that those feelings lasted the entire film. While I had not watched a particularly good film, I can say that, in all honesty, I like Eclispe.
You know what I hate? The very care-free approach we take to words like “sexism” and “feminism.” Those terms are thrown around so much now of days, even over the smallest of pin drops, that they’ve lost their weight and credibility. Many feminists don’t even like to use their word anymore, instead relying on “women’s activist” or the like. The accusations of sexism reach nearly anything to such an extent that some people simply get angry at the word ever being used, even when warranted.
It’s easy to see how all the love and hatred for this series got started. From a purely indulgent point of view, it’s a teenage girl with no characterization or detailed personality who has gorgeous men lusting after her. From a film point of view, never have I seen such a disregard for structure or the basic foundations of storytelling.
Steel Magnolias is one hell of an entertaining film, at least for the first 45 minutes or so. Dolly Parton, Sally Field, and even Julia Roberts are so much fun to watch and listen to in those minutes that the film feels like the best kind of soap opera: fast, fun, and full of entertaining gossip. Unfortunately, the rest of the film feels like a typical soap opera: long, drown out, and overly melodramatic. I won’t spoil anything here, but suffice to say, the movie is a “chick flick” and, more specifically, a “weepy.”