The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Sex before marriage becomes a hot topic in the latest Twilight movie
Contrary to what is strongly suggested by my bald head and inability to grasp predictive text, I was once a teenager. While it was about half my lifetime ago, the days of swirling hormones and answering back still can vividly play out in my dusty, creaky brain.
Whenever I see a Twilight movie, I find myself transported to a hugely influential stage of life which many of you are experiencing right now. No, I was never a teenage girl attracted to a vampire and a werewolf, but… Twilight’s bubbling cauldron of first love and wrestling with huge choices that will impact the future remind me of similar stuff I went through at school.
Having not read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels because, well, I’m a bloke, the movie versions have been something of a surprise. Embarrassing as it is to confess, the first Twilight film was a shockingly good flick about the agony and ecstasy of falling head over heels for someone you’re sure is The One. Even if they are immortal and have a thirst for blood.
The sequel, New Moon, was a disappointing and soulless exercise in milking money from the pop-culture phenomenon that Twilight had become. But the latest instalment, Eclipse, is a meatier offering which has a welcome sense of humour, reasonable battles and some substance beneath its super-mushy moments.
Hardly in contention for “Best Movie Ever”, Eclipse does expand Twilight’s teen romance fantasy world better than boring New Moon. Although, plenty of fans of the books believe Eclipse (like the other films) doesn’t
have the depth of what Meyer wrote.
That may be so, and your parents are also right to raise an eyebrow about a popular series centred upon the darker arts of bloodsuckers and hairy monsters. But considering all the debatable elements of the Twilight franchise – including how it has generated worldwide worshipping of sex symbols - it’s amazing how different it is to so many other forms of youth “entertainment”.
In everything from movies to magazines, music to the internet, mainstream attitudes to sex have changed dramatically in the past few decades. So much so that when a teen boy in a movie decides NOT to sleep with his girlfriend, this stance can seem revolutionary. Especially when we’re talking about one of the so-called hottest screen couples on the planet – vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and human Bella (Kristen Stewart).
In Eclipse, when Bella lustily throws herself at Edward, he turns her down. While this unusual abstinence has a lot to do with how Edward would not be able to control his vampire tendencies when aroused (he doesn’t want to “turn” Bella into a fanged female), it also stems from his belief in virtue and – gasp – what some describe as “old-fashioned values”.
Despite his hip clothes and haircut, Edward was born in 1901 and has been a vampire since 1918. As such, he’s an old-school gent who remembers how previous generations used to uphold sexual purity – even if they weren’t practising Christians. This “no sex before marriage” stance clearly befuddles Bella, who is keen to ignore Edward’s virtuous approach and get down to what mainstream society considers normal for teens these days.
Much has been discussed about Meyer being a Mormon and her Twilight series being a thinly veiled commendation of abstinence. The outraged or mocking reaction to this, probably from many people you know, says a lot about how difficult it can be to maintain your beliefs when the majority disagree with you.
But, just as Edward sticks to his guns in Eclipse, so can you. Unlike Edward, you’ve got a powerful ally to rely upon when temptation threatens to overwhelm you (like it does to all of us). From the pages of The Bible to your encouraging Church community, from Jesus’ understanding care to a beloved Christian friend, you can be fully armed to do God’s will. No vampires or werewolves can beat that.