You read the headline correctly: I like “Twilight.” The over-dramatized gazes, the love triangle, even the soundtrack — I can’t help but appreciate it all. At the risk of eternal social ostracization from my peers, I would like to explain why the “Twilight” universe holds such a special place in my heart and memory.
In a 2018 poll from Ranker, “Twilight” was voted worst movie of all time. As a 12-year-old, I would have been ready to square up at such a statement. In my early teenage years, I thought “Twilight” was pretty much the height of cinematic and literary achievement. I genuinely doubt I would have been able to criticize a single aspect of the movies or books during my middle school years.
As an adult, I recognize my beloved “Twilight” has some flaws — especially the movies. At times, the acting performances are subpar, and the sparkly skin just doesn’t translate well on-screen. And we won’t even discuss the ever-present blue tint over the camera throughout the entire first movie. I am willing to swallow my pride and admit to you that these movies are not perfect — perhaps not even good.
However, I love them anyway. I can’t help but watch or read “Twilight” without thinking about my mom. These stories were some of the first “grown-up” books and movies I was allowed to experience. It was also the first book series my mom and I both read. Being able to talk with her about the characters and relate with one another over the plot twists made me feel undeniably grown-up.
Watching the movies with her was even better. With Mom’s permission, I saw the first “Twilight” film in the back seat of my grandparents’ minivan on a family road trip with my older cousin. I begged her to let me watch it — this fabled PG-13 movie all my friends were raving about, and she agreed after a brief consideration that felt like an eternity. From then on, I was hooked. (I think we both were.)
The four “Twilight” films to follow were always opportunities for mother-daughter bonding. Watching through Edward vs. Jacob drama with her was more than just family movie time, because it was just me and her. These were some of the first instances in which I felt like my mom was my friend as well as my parent. When our plans to go to the midnight premiere of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2” were canceled due to a playoff football game I had to attend as a freshman in the marching band, I was heartbroken — not because I had to wait to see the dramatic conclusion, but because my plans for a fun night with my mom had to be postponed.
It sounds silly, but one of the most hated film franchises of all time played a big role in my relationship with my mom. The “Twilight” craze hit when I was the age that many girls have all-out brawls with their mothers. That wasn’t the case for us. Something about those sparkly vampires made us grow closer in a way we never had before.
This weekend, my mom is coming to visit for no particular reason. It’s not for a football game or band performance or Spring Sing. She’s coming just to spend time with me, and I am over the moon. I’m lucky to have a mom who is also a friend, and I’m thankful that Edward, Bella and Jacob somehow played a role in that.
So from now on, I refuse to be ashamed of my love for “Twilight.” It may not be the best from a cinematic standpoint, but it’s a winner in my book. If you need me this weekend, you can probably find me hanging out with my mom, watching the worst movie of all time.