Greenwich Library will be showing Twilight (2008) on Thursday, August 26, at 2:00 pm in the second floor Meeting Room. Director Catherine Hardwicke and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg's streamlined adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's first "Twilight Saga" novel centers on the initially hesitant but eventually passionate (within PG-13 bounds) romance between high school juniors Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and the strange, seemingly awkward/hostile/insightful Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). As everybody knows by now, one (?) of the big complications in this budding but troubled romance is that Edward's been a vampire for the last two centuries. Plus, in this installment, there's the little matter of strange, savage killings occurring outside the town of Folks, where Bella, Edward, and their family and friends reside.
But underneath all that, Twilight is really about other stuff. There's Bella, the new kid in town, trying to fit in, and Edward, because of his situation, who's always going to be the "new kid" wherever he settles. There are all the various social structures (school; family) that teens, on the verge of adulthood like Bella, must contend with. More importantly, there's the theme about how teens like Bella and Edward are able to meet whatever dangers confront them through their mutual love and support, as well as that from their families. (Edward's family may be all vampires like him, but besides curbing their blood lust so nobody will be killed or "turned", they also stand up for each other plus Bella and the locals -and remember, Edward's adoptive dad is the town doctor.)
(BTW Did I mention how cool Edward's family is? Imagine being able to play baseball at night the way they do!)
Of course there's also Bella and Edward's attraction, sexual and otherwise, to each other. For Bella, Edward is The First. But Edward, fearful of losing control and spreading his "curse" to Bella, refrains from any kind of physical contact towards her. (And although it's not mentioned directly here, I get the feeling Edward's been through this "first love" stuff before.) As a result, both are somewhat wary and awkward around each other, afraid to say or do the wrong thing. If that isn't an obvious metaphor for adolescent first love, I don't know what is.
Despite all this heavy context stuff, Twilight is also a lot of fun. There's humor (the kids at school and their various shenanigans are a lot like the ones I remember at that age), action (the scenes between Bella, Edward and the creatures responsible for the previous aforementioned killings outside town) and horror (the various killings, also toned down for the PG-13 rating, plus the exciting climax). There's also genuinely poignant moments as well, like Bella's reconnecting with her dad, her meeting with Edward's family, Edward risking losing Bella to save her during the climax, and Bella and Edward at the prom. To this middle aged horror film fan, Twilight may skimp a little on the thrills, but what it doesn't lack is a genuine heart.
Please come and watch Twilight this Thursday at 2. You won't be sorry.