It’s worth comparing a current box office smash—The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, a Mormon teen vampire romance—to a dud—Knight and Day, an expensive Cameron Diaz-Tom Cruise thriller parody.
Knight and Day is expertly made and consistently entertaining, while the Twilight episode is talky and amateurish. Yet, the public’s preference makes sense, because Eclipse’s bizarre ambitions and common passions makes it more memorable than Knight and Day‘s facile technique.
Both movies revolve around a young woman’s struggle to choose the man who will protect her in a savage world.
Eclipse is the adaptation of the third of Mormon housewife Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels, the biggest bestsellers since J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Bella (pretty Kristen Stewart from last year’s Adventureland) is a human schoolgirl whose (follow me closely here) especially tasty-smelling blood drives vampires wild with bloodlust. Her lively scent has won the heart of the undead Edward (tween heartthrob Robert Pattinson), a gentlemanly vampire who strives manfully to keep his lusts under control. When a less civilized vampire army from Seattle comes hunting for her, however, the icy Edward realizes that Bella's safety requires him to seek assistance from his warm-blooded rival for her heart, Jacob, a weightlifting American Indian werewolf.
I realize that this previous paragraph will likely strike you either as old news (if you are a 9 to 17-year-old girl) or as gibberish (if you aren’t). And I must admit to being baffled for long stretches of Eclipse.
A weaker novelist than Rowling, Meyer doesn't so much understand the adolescent girl’s mind as share it. Her Bella epitomizes female teen self-absorption, the desire to have every boy fight over you and every girl hate you for it.
By the way, Stephen Dawson points out the that on IMDB, Eclipse is rated 6.9 by females and 3.6 by males. Is that the biggest gender gap ever in IMDB ratings for a hit movie?