Breaking Dawn: Part 1


It’s bad form to review a movie or play (or anything, really) without seeing it.  Walter Kerr famously reviewed “Oklahoma!” without seeing it; he knew it had to be terrible, but he was afraid that if he saw it, he’d like it.  He wanted to retain his own personal purity of soul.

Well, I have not seen “Breaking Dawn: Part One.”  I am not, ahem, part of its target demographic.  I have seen the first two movies, and have read the books, et cetera, but nothing more.

I do, however, know someone who is a fan.

Apollonia is a rabid Twi-hard.  She owns (as I’ve mentioned before) a life-sized cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson, which she keeps at home; she used to keep it in the office, but I kept putting baseball caps on it, which she considered sacrilegious, so she took it out of my reach.  She has been trembling with excitement all week.  “When are you going to see it?” I asked her the other day.

She looked at me incredulously.  “Are you kidding?” she said.  “Twelve-oh-one on Friday.  Midnight show.”

“You’re doomed,” I said.  “Either the crowd will kill you, or you’ll collapse of exhaustion.”

“Or I’ll die of ecstasy,” she said rapturously.

She showed up for work right on the button at eight-thirty on Friday morning, with a feverish light in her eyes.  “It was wonderful,” she managed to sputter.  “Kristin Stewart – well, you know I don’t care so much for her.  Or that Taylor Lautner.  But – oh – Robert Pattinson -“

(I will spare you the rest of her ravings.  In case you’re wondering: she was amazingly clear-minded for most of the day, but the exhaustion began getting to her by Friday afternoon; she’d been up until at least 3:00am the night before, after all.  I suggested to her at one point that she lie down on the floor and go nighty-night, but she resisted.)

I’m being mean for no reason.  Manohla Dargis in the New York Times liked it; it’s a love story, she said, and it’s well-filmed and reasonably well-acted, and the cinematography and direction are both very good.  (The Financial Times, my other favorite newspaper, was very snarky about it, but then again, they are British and snobby and supercilious.)   

But, let’s face it, the great love stories in Western literature are mostly pretty silly: Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, Cathy and Heathcliff. 

And “Twilight” is a silly love story about a small-town girl who falls in love with a small-town vampire, and marries him, even though there’s a small-town werewolf who carries a torch for her. 

So what’s the matter with that?  It happened all the time when I was in high school.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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