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This Chick’s Flicks: BREAKING DAWN PART 2

Dear Readers,

When thinking about what I could possibly add to the immense body of writing about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, it seemed somehow wrong for me to write about Breaking Dawn – Part 2, or any other member of The Twilight Saga, without first sharing something with you. It’s a fact that may shock, given my general proclivity for chick flicks and the November 12-16 #TwilightWeek recommendation tweets that replaced my usual #ChickFlick recs. Please also know that I mean no disrespect to Stephenie Meyer, the films’ cast members, and/or Twi-hard fans, and that I have nothing but sincere admiration for what The Twilight Saga has accomplished.

So, here it is:

Not only have I *never* read any of the Twilight books,
but I had to be *literally dragged* to see Twilight in 2008,
and could not believe I was spending $$ to see such a movie.

I know! I know!

Thinking about how much I have enjoyed The Twilight Saga movies, I began to wonder why I still haven’t read the novels. Could it be that I have some sort of aversion to them? Do I simply lack the time to become fully engaged in a series like Twilight? Or was there some other as-yet unidentified reason?

As I explored the possibilities, I thought about similar novel-and-film franchises like Harry PotterThe Hunger Games, and three other 2013 movies I’m looking forward to: Warm Bodies (February 1, 2013), Beautiful Creatures (February 13, 2013), and Ender’s Game (November 1, 2013). Of these, I’ve read all the Harry Potter novels, The Hunger Games trilogy, and Ender’s Game.

Warm Bodies: © 2012 – Summit Entertainment, LLC.
Beautiful Creatures: © 2012 – Warner Bros. Pictures.
Ender’s Game: © 2012 – Summit Entertainment, LLC.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: © 2012 – Lionsgate.

Except for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I read all the Harry Potter books before seeing their film adaptations. For each of the remaining movies, I inevitably found myself sitting in the theater comparing book to movie instead of just enjoying the fan-tastic atmosphere of midnight showings. Ditto for The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Harry Potter movies and The Hunger Games, and own them all on DVD. But sometimes I wonder:

Would I have enjoyed them more (or less) if I hadn’t read the books first?

And then I realized why, for me, The Twilight Saga was different in a good way:

I loved being surprised by plot twists and
not being distracted by the urge to compare book and movie.

All I had to do was remember to buy tickets a month in advance, get on line a few hours early, grab some snacks, and find a good seat from which to enjoy the angsty-teen/vamp melodrama. I rarely knew what was coming next, made no comparisons, and enjoyed each and every collective gasp and sigh from the Twi-hards seated around me. I could simply enjoy The Twilight Saga for the film franchise it was, rather than wonder about what it could have been.

While I may or may not read the Twilight novels in the future, and have no regrets about reading Harry PotterThe Hunger Games, and Ender’s Game, I am definitely looking forward to the opportunities presented by Warm Bodies and Beautiful Creatures: the chance to simply enjoy a movie, without expectation or comparison, as I was able to do with each installment of The Twilight Saga.

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P.S. Having now seen it twice in theaters, here are some mostly-spoiler-free thoughts on Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Photo by Andrew Cooper, SMPSP – © 2011 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 provides a new beginning for the familiar franchise by drastically altering the original relationship dynamics established in Twilight. Director Bill Condon and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg took full advantage of this opportunity and added a number of new layers to the characters, story, and tone.

For the first time, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are on even ground and are not mired in a multi-species love triangle with Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Each is content in their respective relationship, and has an interest in ensuring the other couple’s happiness. This allows each to explore new facets of their personality, rather than playing the same old tunes—i.e., angsty Bella, withdrawn Edward, and whiny Jacob. Other enjoyable firsts include an exceedingly happy Rosalie (Nikki Reed), and a grandfatherly and romantically-inclined Charlie (Billy Burke).

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is also quite funny, thanks to the well-timed delivery of verbal and physical jokes by a number of characters not previously known for their senses of humor.

Having spent months reading about the super-secret plot twist—and worrying that it wouldn’t live up to the hype—I can honestly say that it did not disappoint.

Overall, I really enjoyed Breaking Dawn – Part 2. I’m sorry to see The Twilight Saga end, but I like the style in which it went out.

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Leave a comment below and tell me…

What Twilight-like flicks are you looking forward to in 2013?

Is your excitement is based on the book(s) or just a trailer?

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Check out Sarah’s Author Archive for her Reviews, Interviews and News posts,
and her feature column, This Chick’s Flicks, for pieces on the chick flicks of now and then.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 image: © 2011 – Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.