Book: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Movie: Breaking Dawn: Part 1
Genre: Young adult, romance, vampires, werewolves, drama, teen angst, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant: Vampire Edition”
Rating: 2.43 out of 5 stars (movie), 2 out of 5 stars (book)
Summary: Bella and Edward are getting married, and no one is happy, not even Bella herself, who doesn’t know what a smile looks like. With two hours of running time and only 30 minutes of plot, the penultimate movie in this franchise is full of enough nip slips, shoddy acting, and bad vampire CGI to make even Twihards lose some brain cells.
For my view on the book, please read my even snarkier post here.
Before I begin reviewing what is inarguably the best comedy of the year, I have a question to pose to the sparkly vampire loving audience. What happens when Bella gets her period? Seriously. Edward can barely get to second base without freaking out, what happens when Bella is menstruating? Please let me know if you have any theories/would like to cite Stephenie Meyer’s misuse of prose to prove to me that I’m thinking too much into this.
Breaking Dawn: Part 1 opens up as expected, with Jacob taking his shirt off and Edward and Bella getting married. The marriage of these two bothers me for multiple reasons. For one, Bella’s mother (who is inexplicably dressed in short shorts) seems to be finding this out for the first time when she receives her invitation. She also seems HAPPY that her 18 year old daughter is choosing to marry someone who left her alone in the woods two movies ago rather than going off to college. She’s a wonderful role model for young girls, isn’t she?
Bella chooses to spend her last single night sitting alone in her house in pajama jeans. That’s right, Bella is wearing pajama jeans. Edward opts out of being alone to have the lamest bachelor party in existence by chest pounding with his brothers and running around with the aid of really bad CGI. I get it, vampires run really fast, but if the special effects in Interview with the Vampire were better in 1996, just stop.
Then there’s the wedding itself. The whole thing is crazy lavish and over the top (all arranged by vampire sister Alice who needs to get a life of her own). I could have bought a home with the cost of that wedding. A celebration by the way which meets everyone’s expectations but Bella’s, who is dragged down the aisle with a scowl and a look on her face that makes me think she desperately needs to use the bathroom. For some reason, Kristen Stewart just can’t seem to separate her in real life wet dishrag personality from her portrayal of Bella. Although I would probably be pissed off too if I was shoved in a hideous matronly dress that I didn’t even get to pick out myself. It does match her equally ugly dragon egg shaped engagement ring which is so awkward shaped that she has to wear it on her right hand so her wedding band can fit on her left. To cap everything off, Bella and Edward share an awkwardly long kiss/make-out session that no one ever married in the history of ever would exhibit in front of their families.
As if things couldn’t get stranger, we also get treated to the reception. Anna Kendrick is the voice of reason, making snide remarks about Bella having to be pregnant to agree to a shot gun wedding, scoffing at the unnecessarily large cake (there weren’t enough people at the party to eat even a third of that!) and making a hilarious speech about how Edward shouldn’t even be in love with Bella because she’s nothing special. This, combined with anything Charlie says (“I’m a cop”, “I own a gun”, “I hunt things”) are the only purposefully amusing parts in this movie. Someone give Charlie a spin-off. I would watch that. Eighteen other people give speeches, including Edward, because these vampires/screenwriters don’t understand anything about wedding etiquette.
After smiling for the only time during the whole wedding at Jacob, we are whisked away in a product placement Volvo to Edward and Bella’s ill prepared honeymoon. As in the book, Bella didn’t pack anything and Alice only packed skimpy lingerie for her. Because it’s not weird that you want to prep for your brother and sister-in-law to have lots of sex. Not at all. We also learn that Alice didn’t think to pack Bella a diaphragm. You’ll be regretting that later kids! Then they have sex in the ocean, because that’s not a yeast infection waiting to happen. Best of all, we get to see a romanticized version of losing your virginity, because that won’t set high standards for virgin teenage girls everywhere.
At this point in my rant we are only 50 minutes into the film, and we get our first hint into the plot. Enter demon baby! The makeup on Bella in these scenes is surprisingly good, and we get to witness how babies are literally parasites who steal nutrients from their mother. Makes you wonder why they couldn’t do anything else successfully. Regardless, we get a look firsthand into the worst pregnancy ever, in which everyone stands in a room looking awkwardly at one another, Bella learns how to smile while dying, and Edward learns how to look up demon babies on his Apple desktop. To top it off, Bella’s boobs stay the same size. Yeah, worst pregnancy ever.
I learned a lot while watching this catastrophe, the main thing being that about 80% of the audience was also there solely for the lulz. I also learned that when said out loud, Albus Severus isn’t as bad as Renesmee. Cannot wait for all the Loch Ness Monster jokes in the second movie.
The second observation is something everyone knew since day one, the acting in these movies is horrible. Everyone is so wooden and inexperienced, which is a shock to me since I thought Kristen Stewart was great in The Runaways. Shut up, that’s a good movie! In this film, we get the worst actress ever, who plays a lady werewolf. She may have been in Eclipse, but I have yet to see that mess. Suffice it to say, the girl who plays Leah is terrible. Whoever was casting just picked any Native American woman who came through the door, regardless of talent. I suppose the same could be said of 90% of this cast though. Robert Pattinson’s idea of acting is looking dazed and nauseated.
It is mostly Harry Potter’s fault that this finale is in fact two films, because there isn’t enough plot to stretch it out into two. Even the ending could have been a finishing point in this movie, because everything is wrapped up. What’s left but to explore more of the lamest vampirism ever? Regardless, I’m sure the second half will start off will Bella testing out her vampire powers, us watching Nessie grow into a creepy freak of nature, Jacob committing pedophilia, and lots of CGIed vampire sex.
And now, solely for your viewing pleasure…
Twilight in Four Seconds
Yes, this is exactly how the movie opens.