twilight_movie_web.jpgStephenie Meyer is the next J. K. Rowling.  This may be the first time many of you readers have heard this phrase.  I’ve been reading about it in Entertainment Weekly for months now. 

Slowly and silently, Meyer’s vampire series has swept up hungry Harry Potter fans in droves, leaving them itching for the next great series.  They found it in the teen romance that is Twilight. 

There’s always been a series of books that teen readers cling to.  In my day and area, it was the Sweet Valley High and science-fiction novels.  I wasn’t a science fiction fan, so I stuck with my Sweet Valley High until I was introduced to historical romance novels by Johanna Lindsey.  I still own a collection of Lindsey’s books.

The latest generation went crazy for J. K. Rowling’s six-book Harry Potter series just when adults were fearful that their kids would never crack open a book again.  Libraries had been in dismay over the state of and MTV.  Like a beacon of light, Rowling’s dark series brought new mystery and magical experiences to many weary children. 

Those children have grown into teenagers who longed for more mature fare.  It was the perfect opportunity for Meyer to swoop in and give that generation a new mystery and a magical experience.

Meyer’s last book, Breaking Dawn, has been in the top three of the hardcover best-seller’s lists for months.   So naturally, Hollywood came a-knocking, and I’m writing a review of the film version of her first book, Twilight.

Destined to be a cult favorite, this first installment of three films, Twilight, is about the introduction of Isabella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullin (Robert Pattinson). From the moment the two lock eyes on screen, Edward can’t handle himself.  His weird behavior prompts Bella to ask him what his problem is, and the story takes Bella to places where she will no longer be the same.

I won’t ruin the entire plot for those of you who have never read any of Meyer’s books, like me.  But, I will tell you not to expect an ending.  You’ll just have to watch the movie to see what I’m talking about.

Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg did Meyer’s first book justice in my Twilight-novice opinion.  There was pathos, heart and dismemberment.  There was also some scenery chewing.  That made it obvious this film is based on a novel.  Pattinson does get some quotable material like, “I was angry with you because I wanted you so badly.”  Classic.

Director Catherine Hardwicke is good with playing with light.  The mood is dark, but the people are so pale, it’s not too dark.  No one in the movie has any hint of a tan, not even the few African Americans and Native Americans in the film.

Hardwicke did, however, make use of symbolism.  The house where the family of vampires lives is a glass house decorated in white, open to the woods; a fearful situation for anyone but this family. 
I guess if you’re a family of vamps, the things that go bump in the night are just your relatives.

Pattinson is still working on his acting.  Interestingly enough, he was a character in the Harry Potter movies.  But he’s still more of a heartthrob than a serious actor; which actually works for Twilight.
He’s good as a high school junior. His awkwardness, weird hair and crazy driving skills are about par for the film.

Stewart is good at being the new, strong heroine.  Her character is tough, but doesn’t emasculate Edward; though it’s hard to emasculate someone that strong, with that much presence. 

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter films, you will be a fan of this film.  And, if you like the film, you can always pick up the three books in the series to catch up on the action and find out what didn’t make the movie.  I, myself, liked this film, but not enough to read the books.