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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘Breaking Dawn’ potentially best comedy of 2011

Published: December 2, 2011
Section: Arts, Etc., Top Stories

The “Twilight” series has a negative reputation, and for good reason. On the surface, it appears to be somewhat exciting, revolving around a woman’s interaction with an elusive vampire family living among humans. Upon reading the first pages of the novels or watching the first minutes of any of the four films, however, it is quite clear what it is—a teenager’s deliriously hopeless fanfics that somehow ended up becoming best-selling books and high-grossing films, the latest of which is “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.”

I confess that I am part of the reason that “Twilight” is so well known at this point. I have seen each of the movies a week within their release dates, but mostly to enjoy the teenage girls squealing every time Taylor Lautner removes his shirt (which is quite often, faithful to the books) and to wallow in how awful the films are. Needless to say, after watching the first three movies, I was excited and had the lowest expectations for “Breaking Dawn,” but was pleasantly surprised!

In short, “Breaking Dawn” is one of the funniest and most hilarious movies I’ve seen this year. To recap the “Twilight Saga,” Bella Swan (played by oh-so-pale and oh-so-sulky Kristen Stewart) moves to Forks, Wash., the dullest and dreariest place in the world. She sulks and expects to be as much of an outcast as she has been her entire life but, surprise! Everyone loves her there! They all want to be her friend! That is, everyone but oh-so-sparkly Edward Cullen (the awkward Robert Pattinson), the only single member of the Cullen clan. After the longest video montages of ignoring someone, Edward and Bella start dating, and Bella finds out he’s a vampire. Some other stuff happens afterward, though nothing quite as interesting: There are continuous threats to Bella’s life, a game of vampire baseball, a love triangle ensues between the couple and Jacob Black (the continuously shirtless Lautner), and Bella begs to become a vampire.

Now, Bella begging to be a vampire is where the movie becomes interesting. As Bella begs to become immortal, she is also begging for Edward to put out. But Edward, with his Stephanie Meyer/Mormon-inspired morals, refuses to do the dirty unless she marries him first. It is hilarious and silly and, essentially, “Breaking Dawn” is the movie about Bella getting married and becoming a vampire just so her 18-year-old self can finally get some.

It is this reason and this reason alone why “Breaking Dawn” is so successful. The other films were attempting to be taken seriously as “vampire films” by having constant threats to her life related to Edward being a vampire. With the end of “Eclipse,” however, it appeared that all other threats to her life were momentarily gone, leaving the plot to focus on my favorite part: Edward and Bella’s silly relationship. The fact that “Breaking Dawn” is broken into two movies (a la “Harry Potter”) is a testament to how much ground parts one and two have to cover (in addition to how ridiculous this whole thing is).

In fact, “Breaking Dawn” opens with Edward and Bella’s wedding. How does this differ from any other rom-com that we pretend to hate? There is some “drama” here involving this indicating the end of her human life and the beginning of an immortal life that possibly involves the damnation of her soul, but for now, it’s just a fun wedding!

This becomes even funnier when Bella tries finally to have sex with Edward on their honeymoon. Even though they are legally wed, there are some aspects of human-vampire coitus that are apparently really dangerous. Whether the danger is in the fact Edward literally broke the bed, Bella got bruised up or that we had to see Kristen Stewart awkwardly wearing lingerie is never quite made clear. It was funny though, and made doubly hilarious when Bella gets knocked up with a half-vampire, half-human baby that slowly kills Bella unless she drinks blood with a straw.

“What about the crazy love triangle?” you’re probably asking yourself. Does that ever resolve? By the end of “Breaking Dawn – Part I,” this resolves with the birth of Bella’s demon-child. Apparently werewolves have another word for “awkwardly obsessing over someone” called “imprinting.” Once a werewolf “imprints” on someone else, they always have to be around them and continuously guard them no matter what. In other words, because it’s abundantly clear that Bella isn’t single, and the main characters always have to be some sort of strange and no one’s allowed to be in a normal relationship, Jacob falls for his former love’s just-born daughter, the curiously named Renesmee.

There is no lack of ridiculous happenstance in this film, and knowing that another equally ridiculous film is coming out in a year brings me a good amount of glee. My advice, howevery, is to watch it only if you have absurdly low expectations for the film. Nothing can keep “Breaking Dawn” from being a truly awful movie other than the lowest of expectations and the best attitude—and maybe a theater full of prepubescent girls watching a post-marital sex scene.