Welcome to the Stifyn Emrys blog. Visit this site to stay updated on the latest news and releases from author Stifyn Emrys, along with serious, silly and occasionally sarcastic observations about the world around us.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Twilight Begs to be Taken Seriously

It occurred to me last night, while watching the movie Stardust, why I didn't like Twilight - the main reason, anyway.

These two movies have a couple of things in common. They're both supernatural adventures, and at least one character in both films sparkles. (Yeah, I had to go there.) But Stardust has something Twilight doesn't have: a sense of humor about itself. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and it actually makes the audience laugh on purpose.

A lot of people - myself included - have made a lot of jokes at Twilight's expense. There are snickers about sparkling vampires, memes about so-and-so being "still a better love story than Twilight" and so forth. But if you're laughing at Twilight, something's wrong, because there's no indication this was the intended result. Do you remember a single joke in Twilight? One piece of self-deprecating humor? A single bit of silliness to break the tension?

I can think of one: the arm-wrestling scene, which was too predictable to be too funny. Beyond that, however, they just weren't there - or if they were, they weren't memorable. This is a movie that wants people to take it seriously, which is fine if you're Schindler's List, but just seems pretentious in the context of this movie.

I got to thinking about all the supernatural movies I'd seen, from Stardust to the Harry Potter films to the Avengers, and they all contained a healthy dose of chuckles - even a couple of hearty belly laughs. But everything about Twilight is dead serious, from furtive glances between characters to the over-the-top syrupy-romance soundtrack. Hell, even The Hunger Games (a much better film in the same broad Young Adult genre as Twilight) had Stanley Tucci camping it up as a cross between Regis Philbin, Simon Cowell and early '70s Elton John.

For all you Twihards out there, I will give you this: The last movie in the trio is marginally better than the first three. It has a fun fight scene (though not up to Avengers or X-Men standards) and Kristen Stewart actually shows some semblance of believable emotion. I haven't read any of Stephanie Meyer's books, so this isn't a commentary on them. I haven't read the book Stardust, either, but I know from his other works that author Neil Gaiman throws in a healthy dose of humor - ranging from silly to sardonic - to keep the reader on his/her toes.

There's a lesson to be learned from watching the Twilight finale. If you take yourself too seriously, others may not.

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