Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

monday morning movie club

Can a Grown Werewolf Falling in Love With a Newborn Not Be Creepy? (And Seven Other Things About Breaking Dawn)

Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Part 1 finally arrived in theaters this weekend, and, as expected, many, many people showed up to see it.  We knew there would be a lot to talk about — this is, after all, not only the movie in which Edward and Bella finally have sex, but the movie in which Edward eats a baby out of Bella's uterus — but having seen the film, we can say the sex and the birth scenes (especially the sex scene — more sex, Twilight, come on!) were just the tip of the iceberg (or, vampire fang, if you will). So on this, the morning after, let's run through some Breaking Dawn talking points.

1. Werewolf Conversations Are Ridiculous
In a film full of awfulsome scenes, there was one that stood out: when the werewolves all yelled at each other in the dark. Let’s recap: Jacob finds out Bella is pregnant and tears off into the woods in wolf form, howling and yowling. (Alas, there's no shirtlessness; he’s too angry to take his top off first). Jacob's pack soon follows, and in a timber worksite they have a big ol’ ESP chat about what to do about Bella’s creepy pregnancy. As if a dozen oversize, oddly animated wolves having a deep-thought-off were not silly enough, the wolves all think over each other in semi-complete thoughts and very deep voices. The conversation is basically semi-indecipherable emo jibber jabber as conducted by voices Auto-Tuned to the lowest possible register. Obviously, it is magical. By the time Jacob scrunches up his snout, has a hissy fit about being the son of the chief who will do anything to protect Bella’s demon fetus, and storms off, we were sort of convinced the wolves could have their own show on a cable access channel. Wolves discussing movies! Wolves discussing cars! Wolves discussing politics! Loser has to bow down and put his nose in the dirt.

2. Jacob Knows How to Tebow
To the movie's credit, the imprinting scene — a.k.a. the scene in which grown-up Taylor Lautner falls in love with a newborn half-vampire — was not as creepy as it could have been. The adult Renesmee flash-forward circumvents most of the age issues, and they barely even mention that imprinting will eventually involve sexual relations (mostly it's described as a "protective" instinct). But did Jacob's reverent kneel look familiar to anyone else? He was totally Tebowing!

3. When You Become a Vampire, You Are Reborn With Magical Eye Makeup
Real talk: Poor Kristen Stewart probably deserved some nice mascara after looking freakily gray and malnourished for most of the movie, so we can't fault the makeup department for treating her vampire transformation like a rom-com makeover. Complexion: dewy! Lips: rosy! Eyes: suddenly done up in four layers of shadow and smokey eyeliner! Magic, that venom.

4. Catchphrase Alert! The Most Absolute Law
In the grand tradition of Twilight, the climatic battle is actually an anti-climax, involving a handful of wolves and even fewer vampires knocking each other around, but at least it does set the stage for a doozy of a line. After a few minutes of vampires socking wolves in the nose and no one getting hurt, Jacob tears out of the house and snarls at his former pack. They back down, and Edward reveals why: Jacob has imprinted on Renesme (See No. 2), and since the wolves can't hurt someone a fellow wolf has imprinted on, the wolves can't harm her: “It is their most absolute law," Edward says. Not the law. Not the absolute law. But the Most Absolute law. (Does this mean among werewolves maintaining one's abdominal muscles is a just an absolute law? Or the most, most Absolute law? Werewolves, help clarify in the comments!) Either way, learn it, live it, love it, play with it: "You know what's cool? A billion dollars." "Duh. It's the most absolute law."

5. How About That Jazzercise Wedding Dress?
Bella actually wears two wedding dresses in Breaking Dawn; the first, which is part of a dream sequence, is a lovely prom-ish tulle number that ends up covered in blood. (Can't take a vampire anywhere.)  But the second dress — the actual wedding dress that Bella wears to marry her dashing blood-sucker — is a weird eighties number with leotard ribbing on the front and then, horribly, a very deep and intricate lace-patterned cutout on the back. This creation will probably be available for purchase at Hot Topic in like, twenty minutes,  (update: here it is!) but please, consider buying Dress No. 1 instead.

6. Where Does Breaking Dawn Stand on Abortion?
In Breaking Dawn, Bella gets pregnant with a fast-growing demon spawn that takes all her nutrients and beats her up from the inside, a circumstance that lends itself to some bonkers conversations about abortion. If the books are generally thought to have a conservative message about sex and reproductive rights, the movie is way too all over the place to have a clear position: Bella and Rosalie both take to calling the demonspawn a boy (even though it's not) and refuse to talk about terminating. Alice, being politic, insists on calling it a fetus. Carlise thinks it needs to come out because it's killing Bella, but he can't pierce the amniotic sac with regular medical instruments. Jacob and Edward agree that Bella shouldn't have it, because it's killing her. And at one point, Edward flips out about how Bella isn’t giving him any choice, she just decided she’s going to die as a result, and that’s not fair. So Breaking Dawn contains the first pro-choice argument voiced by a petulant vampre upset because he can't make his wife have an abortion, which nicely synthesizes just how nonsensical Breaking Dawn renders the whole debate.

7. Bill Condon Really Likes His Weepy Love Songs
Was it us, or was there more singing than talking in this movie? Especially during the sex scenes, which were all scored with acoustic emo music that turned the bed-breaking into a cuddle-fest. We get that Bella and Edward have a spiritual love that will last forever, but would an R. Kelly slow jam have been totally out of place? Just for that one scene?

8. Even the Twilight Actors Think Renesmee Is a Bad Name
Witness the excellent reactions of Rosalie, Alice, Carlisle, and even Jacob when the half-vamp's name is revealed. No one is buying; not even the actors in the movie.

Errata:

  • Best scene in the movie: the awkward wedding toasts. Funny on purpose!
  • The movie makes it seem like the invitations for the wedding were mailed ... the day before the wedding.
  • Turning Bella into a vampire with a syringe full of "venom" really robbed us of seeing Edward turn Bella into a vampire with his own mouth. Movies can take liberties! That would have been a good one.
Photo: Andrew Cooper/Summit Entertainment/© 2011 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.