Friday, December 9, 2011

Breaking Dawn, Breaking the Box Office, and Breaking My Heart

This Thanksgiving, teenage girls squealed in delight at the arrival of the fourth movie in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn: Part I. Over 3 million people lined up to root for “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” on opening night, hungering for the second to last installment of what has become an incredible cultural phenomenon. Though no vampire lover, I found myself dragged to the movie theater this Thanksgiving with my sister and cousin to see what all this Twilight fuss was about.

After sitting through two hours of hysteria from the young girls around me, I have a hard time wrapping my head around how the Twilight series has attracted such a mass following. The plotline, in my opinion, was hyped up without much real substance. While the events of the film keep the audience on its toes, there is no real character development. Kristin Stewart’s acting consists of her dramatic eye movements. She spends the majority of the film twitching her eyes this way and that to convey her teenage angst. Along with the poor acting, the disturbing events of the film, as well as its poor cinematic qualities left me wondering why films like “Twlight” have come to define our popular culture. What have we come to that millions of viewers flock to see Stewart blink and obsess over Robert Pattinson’s creepy, sparkling skin? Since when are vampires the sexy, new cultural trend?

As the film ended with Bella’s transformation from human to vampire, I left the theater perplexed. While I thought Breaking Dawn could quite possibly be the worst movie I have ever seen, all those around me could not stop expressing their excitement about how much they loved the movie. As a lover of what I would consider to be “real” films, I am heartbroken over how films like those in the “Twilight” series have come to dominate the movie industry. While I understand that “Breaking Dawn” grossed 3.7 million dollars just on opening night, the quality of film and art in general should not be compromised for financial gain. Along with “Breaking Dawn,” other poor quality films and TV shows seem to appeal to the masses the most today. Why our culture is obsessed with low quality entertainment, I do not know. The only thing I can say positively is that you will not see me lining up on opening night for “Breaking Dawn: Part II.”