Goth at the Movies: Obligatory Twilight Post

Whenever a vampire movie comes out, I feel somehow almost contractually obligated to go see said movie. You know, just to stay up on all the crap I’m supposed to know because I have a lot of black clothes. Sooner or later, sombody’s going to ask you if you’ve seen ______. You might as well be able to give an informed opinion. Besides, I had some free passes.

Yes, Twilight was beautiful to look at, and not just because the film follows the vampire convention of making all of the vampires “really, really ridiculously good looking,” to quote Zoolander. OK, so the Cullen vampire family does seem to have an unsettling taste for blonde highlights that only Edward seems to have escaped. Whether this is meant to present him as “guy who doesn’t fit in with the family” or whether it’s just because Robert Pattinson is rather attached to his hair and rather unwilling to put color in it, I don’t know. What I do know is that Pattinson is right to be so into his hair, as it is an entity all its own and may have had its own separate contract.

I have to give Twilight props for color palette (washed out colors, saturated greens, and warmed colors toward the super-cuddly ending). I give props for wardrobe. Thank you, wardrobe people, for not dressing the vampires in the predictable pseudo-goth palette. Thank you for dressing Robert Pattinson in clothes that say “I’m trying to be James Dean, even though my character’s foster parents are loaded.” In other words, his character is a teenager with a taste for well-tailored, strategically-wrinkled, jackets and dress shirts. Thank you for there not being a single fang in sight. Hell, wardrobe, I’ll even forgive you for the lacy cravat that was worn by the quasi-Haitian dude and the special effects contacts. Nobody’s perfect.

If this post is such a love fest, why am I not out buying Twilight books? Because of the trouble that I have with the first thirty minutes of the movie, and the general convention of the guy on the white horse. Or, in this case, the vampire in the silver Volvo.

The first thirty minutes of the movie are questionably-acted and questionably-scripted. I don’t expect 100-year-old vampires to pull off realistic teenage dialog, but I doubt that any vampire who acted like Pattinson does during the first 30 minutes of the movie would escape the attention of vampire hunters for very long. Or, in this case, the local Native Americans. Why is it that there’s always a Native American around to give you the history of the area when you need it? Why is it, again, that vampires always seem to have a jones for falling in love with humans? You’d think that they would find us slow, stupid, judgemental, and generally frustrating. It would be like being 30 and dating a 15 year old with an 11:00 curfew. Better yet, it would be like a butcher falling in love with a cow. Like, hi. That’s your FOOD. Not your girlfriend. The “vampire loves human” convention is almost as predictable as a pregnant woman getting trapped in an elevator.

I can understand why teenage girls would eat this up: hot guy, story about a guy who swoops in and protects you, immortality, fantasy. But anybody who had trouble swallowing the love story of Titanic is going to have serious trouble not heckling this movie. It’s a bit of fun if you’re able to tune out the “yeah, right” factor. Teenage girls beware: the guy on the white horse is almost as fictitious as vampires. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

What does the goth in me think of this? That it, thankfully, doesn’t much apply to her. We have avoided the common vampire movie conventions of darkness, coffins, velvet frock coats, 50-cent words, and black hair dye for another movie. The only thing that is particularly goth about Twilight is the ever-present concept of eternal (and courtly) love. See also: Queen Victoria wearing black for the rest of her life after her man died. Sentimentality, chivalry, and all that other crap that will ultimately bite you on the ass. No pun intended.

Being from a different planet which we shall henceforth refer to as Planet Jen, Jen loved the movie. She still believes in the fairy tale, God love her. I don’t know how, and I’m not sure if she’s ultimately helping or hurting her, but it is what it is. She still believes, and nobody (not even me) can pee on her parade. Maybe this is how we’re such good friends. They say that misery loves company, but I venture to say that misery loves a mirror more…something that shows you your world in reverse, just so you can see what it would look like. Besides, we both really enjoy shiny things.