For those of you who are not Twi-hards and who would not know, the phrase OME has long dominated the Twilight fan sites as an appropriate substitution for OMG. Yes, feel fee to roll your eyes (I do.) Though Breaking Dawn managed to permanently quell my obsession, far be it from me to pass up the opportunity to post, now that Summit has released the film.
Yes, I stayed up until midnight with other fans to be one of the first to get my hands on Breaking Dawn, but I did not do the same for the movie. I do have plans to see it soon, but this time, I can wait. This decision has nothing to do with that wet blanket, that rain on my pseudo-teenage thrill parade, Breaking Dawn; it has much more to do with my own innate nerdiness.
As is true of nerdom, I usually prefer books to movies. And, what red-blooded female can deny that the interest fueled by the Twilight series is generated by none other than superlover Edward Cullen? Edward, as a character, manages to be the every(dream)man to everywoman. So how did Stephenie Meyer manage to create a character that women of all ages and from all walks of life find so finger-lickin' good? (Thus begins my doctoral dissertation)
I'm going to start out by setting aside the obvious Edward assets: the hair, the wealth, the six-pack, the hot taste in cars, the great clothes. (At this point, I could be describing Jack-the-Ripper and I'd already be in love.) But no, the character of Edward does not stop there. Part of what really hooks the womenfolk are his deeper qualities (guys, take note). Edward always makes Bella feel beautiful, even if she's wearing holey sweats and has spinach lodged in her front teeth. He always places Bella's well-being at the top of his priorities. He would never forget Bella's birthday. He is chivalrous, traditional, and respectful. He is intellectual and talented. He has smooth lines, smoother moves, and a crooked smile to boot. However, I submit that even those traits are not the core of Edward Cullen's appeal.
What makes Edward truly irresistable (and where my problem with the movie lies) is found in what the readers do not know about him. While developing the character of Edward, Meyer merely throws readers bits and pieces to hint at his past. She leaves him just enough of a tabula rosa that readers can make of Edward Cullen, anything they want. He is mysterious and just dangerous enough. The beauty of reading a character like Edward is that the reader can assign to him any preference in music, any taste in clothes, any daring past she desires. (My Edward was somrthiing of an unrequieted lover.) In short, the reader can mold him into her custom lover (something we have been trying, with little headway, to do to our husbands for years.)
I do not want to suggest that Rob Pattinson was not a ideal actor to play Edward or that I would cast anyone else in his stead. The difficulty is that he is mortal and, as such, has defined personality traits and physical qualities. The only analogy I can use to describe my hang up with Twilight in movie form relates to Plato's Allegory of the Cave in which Plato describes the "form" and the "thing." The "form" is god's perfect idea; the "thing" is mankind's removed, imperfect interpretation. In the case of Edward, Meyer has created the "form" and Rob Pattinson, I fear, is the "thing." (My apologies, Rob.)
And so, on that note, I can wait to see, but cannot completely resist, the movie. I will save myself the throngs of teenage girls and the long wait in line until I have time to decide whether or not Rob Pattinson is my dream man. I could have taught him in high school, so that's one strike right there (one I was able to overlook while reading Twilight.)