As I'm sure you've all been biting your nails and waiting anxiously to read what I think of Catherine Hardwicke's movie version of the Stephenie Meyer book, I finally sat myself down at 10:35 this morning in sweet anticipation for that one "scene of sensuality" and Robert Pattinson's cornucopia of intense looks.
I have to say I was impressed with the choices of all the secondary characters. The high school kids, Bella's Dad, Jacob (yes, Jacob), Billy, Mike, Jessica, etc., all do a wonderful job of bringing a natural humor to the film. I did find myself chuckling at scenes that were not perhaps intended to be humorous, like when Edward first "smelled" Bella in Biology class. In fact, most of my untimely chuckles were unfortunately based on the expressions of the two main characters. Where most of the actors/actresses seemed comfortable in their roles, it felt a bit like Pattinson and Stewart were told to attempt to cram thousands of emotions into a 3 or 4 second closeup and the result was Stewart's facial features running through about six emotions in painful succession before muttering, "Um, yeah." Or Pattinson morphing from intense stare to angry intense stare, confused intense stare, and/or mildly amused intense stare.
Don't misunderstand, I love the movie, love the casting even, but I hope the director eases up a bit in the future (and yes, there is most definitely a future!) on pushing the actors to put so much emotion into one scene that it seems over the top ... even more over the top than is the norm for a vampire movie. You see glimpses of how well the two actors can be together when the intensity is toned down a notch, as in the scene in Edward's bedroom that ends in a genuine (read, not overly intense) Pattinson grin before he whisks Bella out the window. And, of course, that one "scene of sensuality" could just be put on repeat and most fans would be entertained for days. Oddly, my little sister's description of what she thought was goofy in the movie (a twinkling sound when Edward's sparkles make their appearance) was not at all as distracting or cringe-worthy as I expected. In fact, I found some of the flashbacks a bit more comical. I'm sure I'll think of other particular examples after I've seen the movie again (or a few more times).
We should all expect now that a movie will never be able to tell the complete story, that certain aspects are changed to make things easier in movie land. Two scenes I personally would have loved to have seen were Jasper and Alice coming into Edward's room to suggest the baseball game, when Alice quips that she thought Edward might share Bella (as a snack), and seeing Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmet dancing at the prom. *sigh* But, overall, Hardwicke does an excellent job sticking with the book, and I think most fans will be pleased with the adaptation.
What about a sequel? It seems the studio was simply waiting to see if the hype of Twilight lived up in monetary terms on the theater screen. The result was the biggest opening for a female director ... ever. And so a New Moon, based on Meyer's second book in the series, will soon be shining (sure to have thousands of females throwing popcorn at the screen and/or growling within the first 20 minutes - if you don't know why then read the book).
After my fear that Hardwicke would Eragon *shudder* this movie, I am highly pleased. If you are a fan of the books, or even of just pretty pretty people, you'll find something to enjoy.