Breaking Dawn Part 1 Is The Best Installment Of The Twilight Series Yet. Which Doesn’t Mean It’s Good…

Unlike every woman I know the Twilight phenomenon hasn’t really impressed me so I wasn’t keen to see Breaking Dawn Part 1. I read the books because everyone else was reading them and they weren’t bad. Sure, most of the time I wanted to slap Bella for constantly letting men dictate her life without ever acting on her own initiative but at least the concept was interesting.

Even though I didn’t care to see the movies, I’ve been dragged to every single one of them. Breaking Dawn Part 1 was inflicted on me last weekend. I admit, this one had me curious. Creepy half-human baby, the much anticipated sex scene, Bella’s transformation…and it was my favorite book in the series.

If you haven’t watched the movie or read the book and want to keep the mystery alive, stop reading here.

Breaking Dawn held true to the films in that the vampires all have terrible wigs and rarely sparkle in the sun like they’re supposed to and the werewolves looked just as computer animated as ever. It also held more or less true to the book- at least the first half of the book, which was all it addressed.

Bella and Edward get married while Jacob throws a fit because they’re actually going to have sex on their honeymoon. No big changes there.

Speaking of which; the sex scene. The movie’s rated PG-13 and is aimed at preteen girls. The books themselves were written by a woman who practices the Mormon faith. Did anyone really, honestly think these scenes were going to be hot?

If you’re a preteen or Mormon maybe the sex scene is everything it was talked up to be. The rest of us are harder to impress. Devotees of the books got what they were looking for though. Bella loses her virginity, the bed gets broken impressively at some point we don’t get to see and there were feathers everywhere the next morning.

People applauded at this in the theater I was in. I couldn’t decide whether this was sad or annoying. Sad if you look at it from the point of view that they’ve never broken a bed. Annoying because, well, they applauded after a mediocre sex scene in a movie theater.

Following the ‘big night’ Bella is supposed to be covered in bruises. I’ve gotten worse bruises bumping into a door frame.

The rest of the movie features everyone doing what they do best. Bella gets pregnant and sits around letting everyone else guide her, Edward broods, Jacob throws another fit, the vampires stay basically calm, the wolves don’t, Bella’s father remains clueless, the formula doesn’t change. Rosalie got a little more camera time as Bella’s new BFF, but I expected her to be creepier about the whole baby thing.

There were a few things I really liked about this movie. The awkward wedding toast montage was funny. Everyone was exactly as awkward and inappropriate as they would be in real life. Right down to Charlie’s speech, some of which my Dad used to use on my high school boyfriends.

Boo Boo Stewart plays Seth Clearwater and he’s fantastic at it. I love any scene he’s in just because he’s clearly so excited to be there. The same goes for all his scenes in Eclipse. Julia Jones is also good as Leah Clearwater. She’s just the right mix of obnoxious, annoying and hurt. She also gets to deliver what I think is one of the movie’s best lines while her character discusses the werewolf practice of imprinting with Jacob.

Bella’s pregnancy was also really well done. I’ve never seen why people think Kristen Stewart is so attractive. To me she looks like she’s forever in need of a nap. But wow did they dull her down during the pregnancy. She very convincingly looked near death.

The transformation was kind of cool too. Especially they bones knitting thing. It did go on a bit longer than I would’ve liked. I was sort of waiting for all the screaming pain and agony but it didn’t come. Maybe the director thought he’d used up the film’s screaming pain quota during the delivery. He certainly used up the fake sweat quota.

All in all Breaking Dawn was exactly what the other movies in the series have been. A love letter to the fans of the books, and a nod to everyone out there who believes Taylor Lautner should never wear a shirt again. Anyone who walks into the theater expecting a deep story, developed characters and a layered plot clearly hasn’t seen the other Twilight movies.