Like half of teenage America, probably, I (although I am old) saw "Eclipse" last night. With my daughters. Those children were simply desperate to see the film.
They both love Taylor Lautner (Jacob--see photo above) with a passion that unnerves me. Aren't they a bit young, I wonder, to have crushes of such seeming intensity?
He's too old for you; he'll be too old for you for quite a while, I want to say. Plus, the character isn't real. Plus, I am sure it's a fair bet that Hollywood will have corrupted him--if not already, certainly by then--not that you'll ever get to actually meet him...oh, never mind.
Some things (like Jacob, like Santa Claus) are too complicated to explain--especially without ruining some important part of childhood magic.
Let them have their Jacob crushes. I had a Leif Something crush when I was young. I can't even remember Leif's last name, at this point. But I do remember he was nowhere near as exciting to me as Taylor Lautner is to my kids.
In our house, we have Jacob posters on the girls' bedroom walls. They own too-big Jacob T-shirts. Before we got to the movie, one of my kids insisted on writing "Team Jacob" on her cheek with a lipstain pen that lives in a cupholder in my car…but she was looking in the mirror when she did this, so of course it came out backward: bocoJ meaT in shimmery plum.
I should have taken a picture; it was hysterical. She rubbed it off, laughing and blushing furiously despite her stained right cheek.
I myself sort of prefer Edward, which causes some division (but honestly, I do not really care that much either way. I am, thus, Team Switzerland).
What I notice when I watch the films is that even though the Bella-Jacob dynamic gets screen time, the romantic tension here does not really exist in the movies, not the way it does in the books.
I like both of the actors who play these roles, and I appreciate both of the characters, but together, I think they have as much positive chemistry as petroleum and saltwater. Or, maybe even a tank of tropical fish and a bottle of bleach.
When Bella tells Jacob to kiss her and he does, she looks as though she is putting up with a tooth pulling. Jacob, for his part, is pushing the Who Wouldn't Want to Kiss Me? Look How Well I Kiss; Look at my Varied Kissing Moves! thing a bit too far, in my opinion.
What I told my daughter--who seemed a bit disappointed that Bella is so sure, in "Eclipse" the film, that she doesn't have the hots for Jacob in any way (even though Jacob insists he knows she does, but just won't admit it--which I think is a weird thing to keep saying, at least in terms of screenwriting)--is that the books really explore the life Bella could have with Jacob. In the book(s), she is truly torn at some points.
The movies can't cover this in the same way, I guess.
No, "Eclipse" was all about Edward pushing Bella to marry him, and an elaborate proposal, etc., that was the Old-Fashioned/Fairy Tale Fantasy...and mostly unrealistic.
"Oh. My. God. There's water coursing down my cheeks! This is so touching! I'm a guy, and I need a tissue so bad. So bad!" the kid behind me was saying--(good actor), though I knew he was joking.
As a parent, I can appreciate the "values" contained implicitly within the Twilight series, but sometimes, it does get a bit saccharine.
YA is a difficult balance that way (and I realize that the author of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer, is Mormon, and has a certain, shall we say, worldview). It's a perennial (or contemporary, rather) problem: should premarital sex ever happen, or if it does, should it be glossed over, or should it be completely condemned as morally wrong?
I write YA, too, but I generally don't find YA sex scenes to be appropriate, especially since YA is usually read by pre-teens.
At the same time, though, I can see that it is more honest to write about people, even youngish people, having sex. It's just realistic. It is especially honest when it's written as disappointing, demoralizing, full-of-remorse and what did I do's?
Writing YA filled with hyper-magical, too-perfect sex actually does more of a disservice to teens, I think (and that will come later in this particular book series, although I think it is written in an extraordinarily vague way, and it also comes attached to marriage...)
Sex or no sex (and there’s no sex here), the Twilight books and films can be steamy, or borderline-so. Bella and Edward certainly do have chemistry. You can tell the actors really do like each other, and that’s cute.
Still, as Jacob even says in the film, “…I’m hotter.” The audience roared.
When Jacob was injured by a vampire and phased back into his human body, some young woman actually screamed, “He’s naked! Jacob’s naked!” Again, everyone in the theatre lost it.
I remember they lost it, too, when Jacob first appeared onscreen (in the last film), shirtless. Even the grown-ups were screaming.
The books, as usually happens, are better than the films (and the books are imperfect, too, though enjoyable), but seeing “Eclipse” was an experience that gave me material…and my eldest is now plowing through the series, and anything that gets kids reading is wonderful, in my opinion.