Around Valentine’s Day, Twilight in all its many film manifestations dominated the movie channels. And I mean, eight-hour blocks of time where each movie was played back-to-back sans commercials. Almost every day. If this sounds horrible to you, rest assured that that’s how I felt, too. I switched off the TV in disgust…but then something strange happened. I caught the beginning of Breaking Dawn part 1, you know, the one where Bella has a demon baby growing inside her. Since the vision of Kristen Stewart emaciated and bruised was oddly gripping, I kept watching. Before I knew it, I was hooked. I watched almost every single Twilight film playing nearly non-stop and I loved every minute of it. Whoops.
Now, when I was 15, I jumped on the Twilight bandwagon. I got super excited when my copy of the first book came in the mail, devoured it, and before I knew it, I was 17 with my friends at an awkward, tween-infested midnight party for Breaking Dawn. For about two years, I really liked Twilight. I thought it was romantic, interesting, and even if it was terribly written, it was a gripping story. I never hit that point of being “in love with Edward” but I really did like the love story. It wasn’t until I grew up a bit that I realized Edward was kind of a controlling, abusive boyfriend, and that Bella was a bit of an idiot.
So I backtracked. I became rather outspoken against Twilight and roundly criticized it. I perhaps went too far in the opposite direction. And now, seven years after I first picked up Twilight, I find myself kind of liking it again. Liking Twilight again was surprising considering all its major flaws, but I kind of want to apologize for hating it so much. Sure, it’s sentimental, and some of Bella’s decisions are a bit dubious, and Edward is more creepy than not, but there’s something about Twilight that’s fun, romantic, and a bit transporting.
Recently, I read Gone With the Wind, and was surprised at the amount of racism and propaganda present in the novel. Parts of the book, especially the pro-KKK bits, were difficult to read, but I loved the book just the same. I loved it for the story, for the characters, for the way it swept me up into a different world. Though deeply flawed, I could not help but adore the story.
I think I feel the same way about Twilight. I’m not perhaps the wide-eyed fan I was at 15, but I surely don’t hate it just for the sake of hating it, not anymore. And there are things about it that I truly like, even though it’s so far from perfect. I like Bella’s selflessness and her capacity for love, I like the vampires’ redemption journeys, I like the backstory Meyer wrote about the werewolf clan. It’s a fun story, and it’s entertaining. So I’d like to take this time to apologize for hating Twilight, and maybe admit that now I’ve come to see things in that story I hadn’t seen before. Or maybe it’s just fun to watch Kristen Stewart as a vampire.