I finally saw Twilight last night. I watched it with my 17 year old son who has not read the book, and it was fun having the persepective of someone who is the same age as the protagonist. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would like the movie or not because I've read so many snarky comments on different blogs and on Twitter. So as I watched, I was influenced by these comments I've read, what my son thought, and my own impressions of how the story should go based on my reading of the book. My verdict...the movie successfully brought the book to life. If you didn't like the book, then don't bother with the movie.
First of all, the movie stayed very close to the plot of the book. Of course, with a massive built-in audience, the moviemakers didn't have a lot of choice. Alice looked different than I mentally pictured her, and I imagined the vampires' sparkly skin to be more rainbow-like, but overall the movie was true.
When I think about the snarky comments, I think they speak more to story than to movie-making. Paranormal romance is hot right now, and I read a lot of it. My favorite paranormals are edgy. Heros and heroines must find their way to one another through the most extreme situations. I like romantic suspense for the same reason. Twilight just isn't edgy enough for the adult paranormal romance reader. Of course, Twilight wasn't written for the adult paranormal reader. Yeah, I know...Meyer uses Edward's vampiric tendencies to enforce her own moral agenda, but as writers we get to make those choices. A whole bevy of teenage readers love it.
This brings me to my own teenager's reaction. "Too much lovey dovey...not enough action, but it was okay." He's a boy, so this isn't surprising. Given a choice, the men in my family would choose an action flick over a romantic comedy any day of the week. We did have a fun conversation about vampire powers, and he totally picked up on the fact that in this story sex=death. He wanted to know what powers I'd given the vampires in my story and why. I liked that he was interested.
Given that New Moon, the second book in the series, is heavy on angst and lighter on action than the first, I wonder how the movie folks will compensate. Honestly, I'll probably wait for the video again.