Sunday, November 29, 2015

Edward & Bella get married

Gallery: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Premiere
About the movie
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Drama; Romance; SciFi, Fantasy
MPAA rating:
for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements
Running time:
Release date:
Peter Facinelli; Jackson Rathbone; Taylor Lautner; Amadou Ly; Kristen Stewart; Wendell Pierce; Robert Pattinson; Ty Olsson; Elizabeth Reaser; Billy Burke
Directed by:
Bill Condon

EDWARD MAY have gotten the girl, but it's Jacob who is the shape-shifting spirit of the "Twilight" movie franchise.

A third of the audience views the movies as a wildly satisfying romance, a third views them as hilarious comedy, and another third is somehow content to see the movies jump back and forth between these opposing forms.

Everybody seems deliriously happy.

To sit at a screening is to hear sighs and snickers occurring almost at once - something the filmmakers appear to understand, and to play without shame or adherence to rules of tone or internal logic.

The first thing you see in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1" is wolfboy Jake getting an invitation to the wedding of Bella and vampire groom Edward, and becoming so consumed by jealousy and rage that he tears off his shirt.

Of course this permits Taylor Lautner to immediately fulfill his obligation (probably contractual) to display his ripped torso.

It's the movie's way of saying: We get it. Now, onto the wedding, a fairy tale of hanging blossoms, gowns, hairdressing and makeup application. Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) stand at an altar that looks like Rivendell, finally sharing passionate kisses with everyone's approval.

And why not? They're married. The newlyweds jet off to Rio for an island honeymoon, and a story about chastity and longing becomes a story about satisfying conjugal activity. And what often arises from it.

I'm fairly certain it's not a spoiler to reveal that Bella gets pregnant. Thus does "Breaking Dawn" become a gigantic pop culture vehicle for examining what Jonah Hill described in "Knocked Up" as "smashmortion."

The werewolves believe the pregnancy voids the werewolf vampire treaty, that the "demon" must be destroyed. The baby is a threat to Bella's health, so Jake and even some of the vampires (including Edward!) want the pregnancy terminated. This leads to in-house debates over the terms "fetus" and "baby" and how they apply to the unborn child growing inside Bella at a supernatural rate.

You have to tip your hat to Stephenie Meyer for the unprecedented way that her "Twilight" series manages to weave love, sex, marriage, commitment, teen pregnancy and life/choice arguments into a lively and enormously popular narrative.

Even so, it's really hard to keep a straight moviegoer face during some of the late-stage developments in "Breaking Dawn" - if you thought pickles and ice cream were strange pregnancy cravings, wait till you get a load of Bella's.

And the movie makes a grave mistake by having werewolves carry on an angry debate while in wolf form. It's a cross between "Anger Management" and "Milo and Otis."

Also, the delivery-room scene is a little baroque; distraught vampires trying to save Bella with "Pulp Fiction" hypos and desperate biting. Good luck getting an HMO to pay for that.

Is the movie good? Surely not.

Will you be sorry you watched it? Surely not.

It's like "Roadhouse" for women. As irresistible as it is ridiculous.

Daily News Film Critic
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