James Franco Reviews Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One

December 13, 2011 By Mike B

Since James Franco is a famous actor, and has quite a number of fancy graduate degrees, he got to write an essay about movies for the Paris Review. The most recent film he reviewed is Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One.

Does he put down Twilight? Well, yes he does, but he does so with some reserve, possibly to not anger the teenies that much. For the record, he did show interest in starring in Twilight way back when.

“The movies are in many ways very different. But both use sex as a submerged theme while on the surface promoting a wholesome idea of family values; both seem to devalue motherhood; and both deal with characters who are so financially secure that they are almost impossible to identify with. The Descendants is a much better film, but that is because it is not hampered by the precedent of an extremely successful book, a rabid fan base, and a studio that is out for green (so much so that they are willing to split the product into two films, even if it means stretching the material thin to the point of vapidity).”

Twilight and the Descendants are two different films, but he actually does a solid job of juxtaposing the two. Mixing in talk about the Descendants makes the whole putting down of Twilight more interesting. He could’ve easily said “Twilight sucks,” although I must admit that would have been entertaining in its own simple way, coming from him.

“ The protagonists finally marry, having waited until the wise old age of eighteen, and since the book and the film dutifully show them being wed, they are then allowed to f*ck each others’ brains out. For a film that claims to be sexually responsible, the “Twilight” movies are awfully dependent on teenage sex to attract viewers. The actors prance about like pieces of meat, their disturbingly developed bodies on full display; Taylor Lautner’s rippling teenage chest is just a little better than the child beauty-pageant stars at the end of Little Miss Sunshine. The fans have divided themselves into teams (Team Jacob and Team Edward) and, considering that they already know the outcome of the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, the choice of a team can mean little more than—well, you can imagine. [ParisReview]

Franco states the obvious, highlighting the importance of sex in the Twilight films, as well as the ridiculousness of the fan base. Franco keeps it real.

“Not that sex leads to anything splendid when it finally does happen: Bella (spoiler alert!) becomes pregnant with a vampire that apparently develops to birth size within weeks, requires her to drink blood, and is eating her from the inside. This terrifying picture of pregnancy culminates with Bella’s rival lovers giving her a C-section, as if they are playing some perverse adolescent game of doctor.”

They give her a C-section? What the hell is up with these films? Anyways, solid essay on Twilight. By the way, there’s a spoiler or two up there.

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