From R-Patz and K-Stew’s on-screen chemistry to Taylor Lautner’s bad wig, ten reasons why we’ll miss the Twilight series.
This week’s release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2 marks the end of one of the least-praised franchises in film history. Sure, there are hordes of Twi-hards out there who adore the Bella and Edward chronicles—the four previous movies of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novels have earned a combined $2.5 billion at the box office—but no other wildly popular series has been so steadfastly maligned at the same time. Most critics and feminists loathed it. And yet, as Twilight fades, even its detractors may feel wistful. Here are 10 things we’ll miss about Twilight:
1. R-Patz and K-Stew’s on-screen chemistry.
While frustrated virgin Bella Swan and moody vampire Edward Cullen were nobody’s idea of a fun couple, stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson never let us doubt the characters’ powerful feelings for each other. It was evident right from their first scene together in 2008’s Twilight, when they were paired as lab partners in their high-school biology class. Stewart/Bella’s shy, infatuated glances at Pattinson’s Edward, in particular, were either great acting or the real thing. Which leads us to…
2. R-Patz and K-Stew’s off-screen romance.
When the two actors revealed that they bonded by watching the erotic classic Last Tango in Paris, we should’ve known it would only be a matter of time before they paired up for real. They managed to keep their relationship discreet until this summer, when Stewart was caught dallying with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, and issued a tearful plea—via People magazine—for Pattinson to forgive her. A month later, Stewart arrived in Toronto to promote her film On the Road at TIFF, wearing what appeared to be Pattinson’s old T-shirt. In the end, their breakup and eventual reconciliation almost outdid the movies for overwrought drama.
3. Taylor Lautner’s bad wig.
As Native American teen and soon-to-be werewolf Jacob Black, Lautner spent the first Twilight film, and part of the second, rocking some serious raven tresses. That would have been fine, if his wig didn’t look like a dead raven had perched on top of his real hair. Lautner admitted that he hated wearing it; we thought it provided great comic relief.
4. The Edward/Jacob rivalry.
Edward may have had the brooding looks of a Romantic poet, but as a rival for Bella’s affections, Jacob also had a lot to offer: a ripped torso (usually bare), a ripped torso (did I already say that?), and a high body temperature that on one occasion—in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse—kept Bella from freezing to death. “Let’s face it,” he told cold-blooded Edward, “I am hotter than you.”
5. Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen.
Greene’s sexy-gamine Alice, with her pixie cut and cool wardrobe, was the live-wire of the Cullen clan, always eager to throw a grad party or plan a wedding. For a clairvoyant vampire who was constantly seeing dire things in the future, she was remarkably upbeat.
6. Anna Kendrick as Jessica.
If Stewart’s mopey Bella sucked the air out of the lunchroom, Kendrick as her valedictorian classmate compensated by exuding chipper teen spirit. Cute, and a tad clueless, she was Molly Ringwald to Stewart’s Ally Sheedy.
7. Michael Sheen as Aro.
Perhaps the only prominent British actor not to appear in the Harry Potter movies, Michael Sheen made up for the oversight with a vengeance. As Aro, one of the snooty leaders of the Volturi vampire coven, he had a high old time, purring and grinning like a Cheshire cat—a fun flourish of intentional campiness.
8. The inevitable Twilight/Buffy comparisons.
Twilight, with its weak damsel-in-distress heroine, made many of us nostalgic for the girl-power exploits of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One Buffy fan, Jonathan McIntosh, was inspired to create a hilarious YouTube remix, in which the no-nonsense Slayer refuses to tolerate Edward’s creepy stalker-boy behaviour.
9. Those swoony soundtracks.
Like an emo kid’s iPod, the Twilight films were an orgy of sensitive, angst-y songs by the likes of Iron & Wine, Florence and the Machine, Radiohead, and Metric, to name only a few. Best melding of music and mood: In The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Bella’s catatonic phase after Edward dumps her unfolds to Lykke Li’s breathy dirge, “Possibility.”
10. The essential innocence.
Underneath all their sturm und drang, the Twilight tales were really just a teenage girl’s fantasy of true love. Compare that with the next chick-flick franchise waiting in the wings, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. E.L. James’s novels turn a Twilight-style romance into an exploration of sadomasochistic sex. We should be thankful that Twilight never gave us the spectacle of Edward spanking Bella.