Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Praise of the Goofy Undead

"Grr! Grrr, I say!"

Tonight I'll have the pleasure of escorting The Lovely Wife to a screening of Eclipse, the next in a seemingly never-ending series of movies about Glittery Vampires, Shirtless Werewolves, and the terminally-boring women who love them.

Yes, I said pleasure.

These movies make me laugh. Not in the meanspirited, dismissive sense, but in the goodnatured, along-for-the-ride-in-a-dark-room-filled-with-quite-literally-squealing-women sense. I recognize precisely why this series is so popular, and I recognize that my gender makes it impossible for me to connect with it in the same way that so very many women have connected with it, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the films in my own way: as comedy. One of the best comedic moments of the decade involves Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, some wirework, and an utterly-hilarious, Looney Tunes-style run through the forest.

These films are Goofy (capital G intended), and I mean that in the best possible way. This quality is best exemplified for me by Jasper, a character that I'm dangerously close to flat-out loving based on his scant minutes of screentime so far, and on the most ludicrious facial expressions I've ever witnessed in a "vampire" movie. I'm told that Jasper and his VERY LARGE EYES play a much bigger part in the story of Eclipse, which has me genuinely excited for it. That, along with reports of a weird, uncomfortable scene involving a tent, a shirtless werewolf, a very cold, very boring woman and a voyeur vampire have me anticipating a great time at the theater tonight.

Please do not misunderstand me: I am not making fun of anyone who enjoys the Twilight series unironically. I admire your passion, and I'm frankly thrilled that so many women have found a series of books/films that encourage them to "geek out" with all of us nerdy boys. Lord knows that I've enjoyed films, shows and books that are definitively terrible - far worse than this Twilight business - so I'm in no position to judge anyone based on what they do or don't like. Never be ashamed of genuinely enjoying something - that's my philosophy. And if you hear me chuckling away in your theater as The Most Boring Yet Also Apparently Most Desirable Woman In The World is fought over by two guys who should really just take each other home and have Glittery, Furry gay sex? Well, know that I'm loving it just as much as you are. Viva La Jasper!


  1. My fiancee flipped on the first movie for a few minutes just to see what it's all about.

    I couldn't. I-I couldn't. Just ... couldn't.

    Maybe if I were stoned out of my mind, I could have watched. But I'm afraid my jaw would have locked into place from all the hysterical laughing the combination of psychotropics and "Twilight" would no doubt produce.

  2. I mostly agree with you outright on your take regarding Twilight. These films are honestly hilarious yet they have their own logic and there are scenes that you can take somewhat seriously. The characters can also be quite enjoyable. My favorite bit from the Twilight movies is from the second film when impossibly boring woman goes to the movies w/ werewolf boy and this normal guy named Mike. It's just comedic gold in those 2-3 short sequences

  3. Colonel,

    I'm frankly shocked that your fiancé hasn't been snared by the books. No woman appears immune to the Twilight virus. Should she become infected I recommend taking a shot every time Jasper makes a weird face, or someone becomes inextricably drawn to Bella. You'll be hammered and grinning in no time.

    Personally, I love the fact that Jacob spends so much of that film running around secretly with a group of shirtless guys as everyone talks about how much he's changed. Bella, Jacob has something to tell you, but it's not what you think...

  4. Oh, Twilight. I don't know if I'll ever understand the appeal, but I thought the first movie was pretty funny with the awkward amount of time characters spent silently staring at each other and crazy camera swooping.

    I'm am kind of weirded out/perplexed by the number of middle-aged women who lust over the teenage guys in the movie, though.

  5. It's not very surprising to me that an easily accessible movie about hot shirtless boys running around is popular, but I'm always pretty shocked when more middle-aged conservative women talk about how hot the 18-year old Lautner is. I guess since everyone is doing it, it's less strange, but usually that demographic isn't very vocal about their animal lustings.

    I read a synopsis of the last book online...I guess it's good that it gets people reading, but man...it sounds awful.

    And I like your Jacob-is-gay theory. By the way, my girl saw the second movie free as a joke, and came away so horrified she said she'd never see another one again, even as a joke.

  6. By the way, Ebert's also aboard with your theory. He tells Jacob to "get in the brokeback spirit."

  7. Morse, I won't tell her this, but frankly I'm surprised she isn't in to it, either. She's been known to embrace her share of "trash," and she particularly likes vampire stuff, from Anne Rice to those Sookie Stackhouse books (we're both big "True Blood" fans, by the way). But "Twilight" is a few sparkly vamps too far for her.