I finally saw New Moon last weekend, and my review of the movie itself is “good.” The movie stayed true to the book and played out on screen pretty much exactly like it played it out in my head. Because I had already read the book and had heard the reviews from the many, many friends who saw it opening weekend, there wasn’t much that surprised me. Because we were seeing it weeks after the opening I assumed there would be few die-hard Twilight fans seeing it with us. Therefore I assumed that when Jacob took his shirt off there would be no Twilight Superfans or teeny-bopper Team Jacobites to squeal at the sight of a muscular teenager taking off his shirt. I was wrong. Early in the movie my friend sitting beside me leaned over and whispered how she had heard that the women and girls in the movie theaters went crazy, screaming “woohoo” and the like when Jacob took off his shirt. Minutes later, that scene played out and sure enough, women and girls hooted and hollered. To which I rolled my eyes and laughed.
So there, the movie was good, entertaining, nice cinematography, elements of the sets and production were better than Twilight, but (you knew one was coming) Bella annoys me. Bella annoys me in the book but she annoyed me even more on the screen. It was one thing to read about her compulsive yet unexplicable obsession with Edward, but my gosh, to see it played out just bugged me. She’s sooo whiny. She’s soooo spoiled. She can’t breathe when Edward’s not there. She can’t breathe when he was. Just the idea of that level of “love” (which I use the word in quotes but it doesn’t resemble love to me as much addiction) is nauseating, but to see it acted out by real people was kinda sad. I wrote about having finished the book series a while back and I commented that everyone loves the Twilight saga so much because they want a love like that. Uh, no, not like that, not like what I saw on the big screen. The book does a better job of painting a more tolerable picture of Edward and Bella’s relationship being, or looking like, true love. The movie cheapens that quite a bit.
Similarly, seeing Bella hurt Jacob was much harder to watch in the movie than it was to read in the book. Poor Jacob. I was on Team Jacob after reading New Moon, and seeing the movie version just solidified that position. (Sidenote: I finished reading New Moon on an airplane next to a Team Edward fan who told me New Moon was her favorite book because Edward came back. Me? New Moon was my least favorite book for the same reason.) Bella is sooo using Jacob and she knows it and she doesn’t care and that’s just wrong. In the book she seemed more oblivious and less intentional. In the movie she seems to be intentionally leading him on because she knows he’ll do whatever she asks and she has a hole to fill — he temporarily plugs up her Edward-shaped hole, or at least stops it from hurting as bad. In the book I forgave her because I rationalized for her — she was truly sad and hurting, she needed a friend to get her back on her feet and she didn’t mean to hurt Jacob in the process. The way that plays out in the movie seems more intentional and hurtful than it did to me in the book. And poor Jacob just continues to stand by her ….
All that said, I can’t wait for Eclipse — June 30, 2010.