US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Another old person's thoughts on Twilight

Meghan Murphy-Gill | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Two weeks ago, I watched the second installment of the Twilight movies. (Don't judge. Just because I've watched two of these tweenage titilators doesn't mean I liked them. Plus, I took an antidote right after and watched the entire Decalogue and read three T.C. Boyle books. Just kidding. I only read a chapter in a T.C. Boyle book.)

I am not a parent, so I haven't really been caught up in the supposed abstinence subtext of the movies and books. After watching the first movie, I commented that maybe I could get the teenage appeal. I may not be a parent, but I was a teenager not that long ago. I understand the power and maybe even value of experiencing a story of unrequited love. For teenage me, that movie was Immortal Beloved starring Gary Oldman as Ludwig von Beethoven. (You can go ahead and judge me now.) I'd also read an interview with Catherine Hardwicke and was impressed by her committment and approach to visually portraying the already highly successful (read: financially lucrative) first volume of the series, which is what compelled to watch it.

After New Moon, however, as soon as the credits began rolling I said to my husband, who'd been in and out of the room unable to sit through 10 minutes of plot dragged out over two hours, "So I don't think this is an abstinence tale, but a story about making enormous, life-changing decisions at too-young of an age based purely on passionate desire." I'm not a parent, but that's not a lesson I'd want to pass on to anyone. 

One friend of mine commented that the problem with the central focus of the story is not unlike the problem with how our church approaches marriage and relationships: "It's all focused on you-know-what and only you-know-what rather than the other 95 percent of a couple's life that is every bit as important as you-know-what."

Still, I'm not overly concerned that teenagers across America are drooling over hearthrobs Kristen Stewart (the twitchy, always annoyed one), Robert Pattinson (the brooding, messy-haired one), or Taylor Lautner (the boy in a muscle man's body). Haven't we all been a part of some cultural or (sub-cultural if you're really cool) phenomenon that made us borderline obsessive? As a tween I laid my head every night on a New Kids on the Block pillow case.  

I also wonder if they see all the reviews and media criticism as written by lame grown ups who've taken all the fun out of these books and movies with their poo pooing and finger wagging and eye rolling. I have a feeling that we lame-o grown ups are taking these things even more seriously than they are. 

Stay tuned for my Twilight Eclipse review next year, well after it's been released on DVD and available on On Demand...