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November 22, 2011

Breaking Dawn draws fresh blood

[img id="90371" align="left"/] The only time I’ll ever claim to have thought, “Where the hell are the preteens so I can stop feeling so lame?” was this past Thursday night.

I would call myself a veteran of the Twilight genre—I’ve read every book and seen every movie (most of which were midnight releases or premieres) in my hometown of Iowa City, Iowa. I say this hesitantly because I know that I’ve probably just lost 50 percent of the friends I’ve made at the University of Chicago. Goodbye, guys, I’ll miss you too. Sigh. Anyway.

From my attendance at all of these supercharged Twilight events, I’ve come to realize that stereotypical girls of the “oh-my-gah, he said whaa?” sort actually do exist. It’s called being a preteen girl. This category of girls dominates the Twilight world, and I’ve come to expect to see these perfectly mock-able girls at every event.

Actually, they’re what keep me coming back.

Midnight premieres are fun. Twilight midnight premieres are hilarious and fun. In convincing people to go with me to the Breaking Dawn: Part 1midnight premiere, my main argument was, “You don’t understand how funny those preteen girls are! Come with me? It’ll be fun!”

For those of you who have managed to escape the Twilight craze, let me give you the low-down. Stephenie Meyer’s four-part book series follows Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) epic love story. The catch? Edward is a vampire who doesn’t want to turn Bella, a human, into a vampire. But their love is so extraordinary that nothing can keep them apart. Complicating the love story is Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a werewolf who captured part of Bella’s heart in the second book, New Moon. This film marks the beginning of the two-part finale, Meyer’s fourth book, Breaking Dawn.

After finding a committed group of attendees, my friend bought our tickets and we began the mental preparation... by which I mean we did our homework like good kids. Then Thursday night arrived.

We entered the theater around 11:30, thinking that we had missed the rush of wildly enthusiastic teen girls who were probably waiting around the corner. But then we went upstairs and…silence. Calm. Confusion. No preteens. My interest was slowly waning, as my itch for mockery began to subside, an itch that was just not being scratched. I couldn’t help but think, “Damn those responsible parents who just want to see their children succeed….”

As my bitterness grew, we began inching toward our theater—number seven, slated to begin at 12:01 a.m. My hopes for a hilariously excited audience ballooned as we approached the doors, and were promptly popped after taking in the view.

Normal people. Freaking normal people. All ready (I could tell) with ripe witticisms on their tongue. Dammit.

Theater seven’s audience consisted of an unimaginably diverse group of people, a group that so defied stereotypes (racially, gender-wise, personality-wise) that I felt like every person had been handpicked to sit with me through the experience. We were all clearly there to mock, so that when the lights went down I didn’t know what to do with myself.

But then my hopes soared when two distinguishable screams of unrestrained joy filled the theater as a Lautner shirtless scene came literally within the first 15 seconds of the film. My disappointment with the make-up of the audience immediately decreased and was more than filled by the content of the film and the snide remarks coming from either side of me. This was fast becoming one of my favorite movie-going experiences of the year. As absurdly emotional scenes followed only more absurdly emotional scenes, my group and I fell into endless bouts of laughter punctuated by commentary on the choices of the lovesick Bella and Edward. It was perfect. Nothing but alcohol could have made it a better experience.

Now, I’ve read the books, so I knew what horrible things were to come before going in. Not everyone in my group did. There were some horrible, horrible things to come, and I couldn’t wait to see how Bill Condon, the director of this particular Stephenie Meyer-driven flick, was going to deal with them in a PG-13 context.

Want a taste of the comedic gold that is sure to disgust/amaze you? Robert Pattinson using his teeth in helping with a live birthing. Still not convinced? Hilariously stale acting courtesy of, well, every single actor and actress besides Billy Burke, who plays Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) dad. He has maybe 10 lines.

Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is an epic journey into the absurd, a film that tested my conception of reality (mostly because of the intensity of the story line in conjunction with how poorly everyone was acting), and worth every cent considering how much fun I had.

Will I be paying $10 more for the sheer entertainment value that is sure to be Breaking Dawn: Part 2? Yes, I will. And I hope you’ll join me.

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