How Twilight Works
A few weeks ago I had the miserable experience of reading Twilight. A friend bought it for me and I took it with me to read on a long flight from Seattle to Houston. I knew it was going to be crappy, but I thought it would be a guilty pleasure kind of crappy - where you know it's bad but you still get enjoyment out of it. I actually managed to power through around 400 pages until I gave up and started reading Sky Mall. I've been seeing Twilight everywhere lately, especially with
Vampire Teens II New Moon's release, so I thought I'd break down why everyone is going apeshit for it.
First off, the author creates a main character which is an empty shell. Her appearance isn't described in detail; that way, any female can slip into it and easily fantasize about being this person. I read 400 pages of that book and barely had any idea of what the main character looked like; as far as I was concerned she was a giant Lego brick. Appearance aside, her personality is portrayed as insecure, fumbling, and awkward - a combination anyone who ever went through puberty can relate to. By creating this "empty shell," the character becomes less of a person and more of something a female reader can put on and wear. Because I forgot her name (I think it was Barbara or Brando or something like that), I'm going to refer to her as "Pants" from here on out.
So after a few chapters of listening to Pants whine about high school, sucking at volleyball, and being the center of attention, the second major character is introduced. Imagine everything a lady might want in a man, then exaggerate it by ten thousand - and you've got Edward Cullen. The level of detail that the author goes into while describing Edward's appearance is remarkable. At one point while reading I started counting the number of times the author used the expression "Edward's perfect face," and it was far into the double digits. The author excruciatingly details his muscular pecs, clothing, hair, eye color - even his goddamn breath (I'm not joking).
Edward intensely listens to everything Pants has to say, even if she's bitching about she had diarrhea on Christmas or her preferred method for cutting a sandwich in half. As far as the reader is concerned, Edward cares about nothing in the world more than Pants. What the author has done is created a perfect male figure - a pale Greek statue which the reader can worship and in turn be worshipped by.
So what about men that like Twilight?
If you're male and you like Twilight, you're gay. I don't mean that in the derogatory sense, I mean it in the "you want to put your testicles against another man's testicles while gripping handfuls of chesthair" kind of way.
And the movie?
The movie is just the same uninspired crap shat out onto a film reel. If you like the taste of horse manure on your bologna sandwiches, you're probably gonna like it on your birthday cake as well. The same principle applies with Twilight.
Beyond that, it's just a romance novel with the occasional vampire teen drama bullshit peppered here and there. It doesn't really break any new ground in the realm of vampire fiction, other than portraying vampires as a family of uncomfortable imbeciles who prance around the woods eating deer and bunny rabbits. There's lots of nervous lip-biting, tender kisses between Pants and Edward, and lengthy descriptions of every feature of Edward's body. Pants is a static character who never really progresses beyond being an insecure vampire fangirl who obsesses over Edward. Whether her character grows beyond that is unknown to me, I'd stopped reading by then and shifted my attention to an electric butt-massaging chair in Sky Mall.