EW: Melissa Rosenberg Onto Breaking Dawn and Religious Overtones

melissa-rosenbergheadshotThis is probably the best answer to a reporter that I have ever seen regarding the books tyring to be some type of religious message or conversion text.

Do you find it challenging to deal with the religious overtones in the books?
What’s always kind of amazed me is that Stephenie and I probably are polar opposites in terms of our political and spiritual beliefs. I’m raised in a hot tub from Marin County, [Calif.]. I couldn’t be further left. She’s a very religious Mormon. In truth, we’ve never talked politics. We’ve never talked religion. We just haven’t. It hasn’t come up. The only thing that comes up is that I swear like a truck driver and she doesn’t. And I drink and she doesn’t drink. But she doesn’t ever judge me for either of those things. It’s important for me that I not violate my own beliefs and I won’t write something that does. It was interesting that within all of these movies, certainly within Breaking Dawn, you can peel away some of the stuff that is more to the right and some of the anti-choice stuff and there is a core, real human experience. You don’t have to go there. You can tell the story without doing that. That was important to me, but I had to respect her beliefs as well. I can’t violate her beliefs. It’s kinda where the blue and the red come together. At the core of it, it’s about a woman choosing to have a child. That is as pro-choice as you get. That doesn’t violate anything that Stephenie believes in, and that doesn’t violate the story. It’s about finding the common ground. What’s really important: These are Twilight movies. This is entertainment. It is not the forum to be making political commentary. It’s just not. Nobody wants to turn this into a referendum on abortion. It’s inappropriate.

See more on EW. Melissa is also trying to get more Facebook followers.

Comments

  1. I agree that a movie is for entertainment and should not have a political agenda BUT that is where I stop agreeing! I am so tired of her talking about her beliefs and not writing she doesn’t believe in. It’s not about her, it’s about the character’s beliefs. She has turned Bella into her, and that isn’t fair. Bella is just not the way she has made her out to be and it makes me sad that she can’t come to terms with the fact that it’s a story about a character and her beliefs on religion, love, girl power, etc don’t matter. It’s not a story about Melissa Rosenberg… it’s a story about Bella Swan. While I did like this last movie, I despise what she turned Bella into and I feel she still just hasn’t captured what the fans fell in love with with these books. She leaves out some crucial lines that just pull it all together. David Slade did great though with the screen play he had to work with and the cast really stepped up. I just hope the next director puts her in her place and reminds her it’s not about HER!

    • That was a perfect statement, could not agree more.

    • I love your comment. It is right on…. i have a copy of the screen play and didn’t read it because I wanted to see the movie. But I’m afraid of this woman who thinks she is the character and she really is the one screwing up the whole story. I loved Eclipse it was alot better, but Slade is an out of the box, yes he read the book and I hope they bring him back for Breaking Dawn 2….. :)

    • Uhm…who do you think “Bella” is?? If you write fiction any, you realize that many times our characters are simply manifestations of ourselves. Maybe not completely, but we can’t help but write some of our core being into them. Especially a character like Bella, who was intended to be one of those characters any female could relate to (a girl in love for the first time.)

      Simply said, Bella IS Stephenie Meyer to some degree. The character does not stand in isolation. Bella came from her heart, her mind, her dreams and her soul.

      • Okay…I read your comment again Laura, and maybe I misunderstood it. Are you saying that SM is trying to mold the character to her beliefs OR is Melissa trying to?

        If you meant Melissa, then I agree. She should write the character that SM gave her and quit talking about the author’s religion or their differing views of the female experience in our society!

        Sorry if I misunderstood…

    • Stephenie wrote as Bella and Melissa has to do the same. What do you think writing is? You’re obviously not a writer.

  2. My God, I hate this lady. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BELIEFS, MR. This isn’t about you! Stop turning the characters into something you think they should be. Leave Stephenie’s masterpieces ALONE.

    • I definately don’t care about her, but you really don’t hate her. You are right on one point, who cares about her beliefs…she is suppose to be bringing ‘Stephenies’ books to life. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what she feels comfortable or uncomfortable writing. ugh

  3. Teemeah says:

    It’s true she made bella a lot stronger than she is in the first three books. she becomes strong when she turns into a vampire, before that she is a fragile girl protected either by jacob or edward. Melissa Rosenberg made Bella a female terminator who expresses her “fragileness” by biting her lips and looking dull. But the latter one just has to do with Kristen Stewart’s emotionless acting… I mean, Bella is CRAZY about Edward, she’s totally in love, and you just don’t see that in Kristen’s expressions… I’ve no idea whether it is only her acting, or Melissa’s script, but they just totally missed this part. I wanted to scream out loud when Bella was “seducing” Edward in the bed scene that “jesus christ kristen have you EVER tried seducing ANYONE?”

    But I agree with the religion/politics part, a movie like this one should leave this topic out. Leave if for Roman Polanski and the other artistic directors to make films with political/religious messages.

    • I don’t know many 18 year olds who know how to “seduce” well… I think that Kristen played the part very well. But, that is my opinion. We can disagree.

    • But Bella DOESN’T know how to seduce anyone. Hello, she is an awkward teen that has never had these experiences. And I hope MR doesn’t make this into a religious or political thing. That was never introduced into the books.

    • I couldn’t agree more with the majority of the posters here. MR seems to believe that anything that goes against her views is obviously religious/political. I hate to inform her, but strong women can make mistakes, grow up in their teen years, have no problem cooking dinner for their fathers, get week in their knees when they see a pretty face (at least Bella is commited), oh and can fight for the life of the child in their womb. Strong women who aren’t religious or political. It really bugs me that she changed things and the integrity of the story, so the movies fit her agenda. Talk about political! Wow, I never realized how she was until I read this interview. I have actually stuck up for her.

      • HELLO!!! Did any of you actually READ the article? How did you get anything from that indicating that she wants to make the story about her beliefs? She was merely answering a question how she handled what is perceived to be religious overtones. Stephenie has said over and over again her books did not have any religious or political message. Melissa stated the movies shouldn’t either and she didn’t. Jeezzz.. wah, wah, wah!

    • in all fairnessbnot supposed to be good at it – she explains in the book tat she haSNT GOT A CLUE HOW TO GO ABOUT SEDUCING EDWARD SO IT MAKES SENSE FOR THAT TO SHOW IN THE FILM – ALTHOUGH I CANT FAIRLY COMMENT ON WHATS IN THE FILM AS I WONT SEE IT TILL SATURDAY AS THATS WHEN ITS RELEASED IN THE UK – pardon the caps i just realised they’re on and cant be bothard to go baCK AND REWRITE EVERYTHING lol :)

    • purlgurl says:

      Bella is a “female terminator”? Seriously?

      I think that the movies *really* need to be viewed as separate from the books. As MR stated in this interview, “passive Bella” might work really well in the novel (debatable), but “movie Bella” really works better as a more active participant in events. Also, I am a fan of the books, and I have defended them in various contexts (i.e. for actually having Bella be unapologetic about her desire for sex – you go, girl!), HOWEVER, there are some unhealthy elements to “passive Bella” (and “domineering daddy Edward”) that I would not care to see a hypothetical daughter, or younger friend/family member emulating. Given the immense popularity of, and influence of, the movie portrayals – you can call me crazy, but I’m really really glad that Bella is more of a well-rounded person, and a true partner to Edward right off-the-bat (also, very glad that Jacob’s sexual assaulter tendencies were toned down – I can get around some of that stuff in the book, but seeing it on screen, and if Jacob had made some of the same comments he made in the book…well, I think I would have had a really visceral negative reaction…)

      • But again that’s your opinion, it’s not Bella. Wether you agree with her choices or not, they are hers. I know she is just a character, but the fact still remains it doesn’t matter what we all think, it is a matter of being true to the character.

        • purlgurl says:

          I would argue with you on two fronts, Laura – the first is that the books are narrated by Bella, so we’re not necessarily getting to see “real Bella” or “true Bella” – just “Bella’s perception of Bella”. Is she a reliable narrator? I wouldn’t have been a very reliable narrator of my own life (and particularly my own strengths) when I was 16. Maybe “movie Bella” is closer to “real Bella” than “book Bella”? (Post-modernism for the win!) My second “front”, if you will, is that Bella is arguably a fairly underdeveloped character in the books. And I’m not prepared to argue that the moviemaking team should have no creative agency in trying to figure out who Bella is.

          • [Scratching my head] Wow that is an ummmm interesting comment. You’re making a lot of assumptions here… 1) that Book Bella isn’t the real Bella 2)that she is an underdeveloped character??? 3)That the ‘movie team’ should /could have creativity to figure out who Bella is? I could give you that on other characters, like other vampires or some of the wolf pack, but Bella? I think she was pretty developed.

            We’re gonna have to agree to disagree here.

  4. I agree with the 1st two comments. The one thing about all these movies that just hasn’t been “quite right” has been the script writing for Bella. Especially after reading this, it’s clear MR tries to tug things in the direction of her beliefs or at least tries to “even the playing field” in her view. But the problem is that when it comes to adapting the book to the movie, it changes something in the characters and it loses its fidelity. The endearing innocence that makes the books so appealing to everyone is lost. Is it so hard to find a scriptwriter that will just adapt the characters as they are portrayed in the books? It shouldn’t be!

  5. Wow.. yet again I am amazed by MR. I completely agree with everyone has said so far. MR doesn’t want to violate her beliefs… Well, Melissa, that’s why they call it FICTION. It’s not about you. How self absorbed can someone be??

    And what is all this crap about pro-choice??? Never once while reading Breaking Dawn did the politically, religious issue of pro-choice enter my mind. That’s what pro-choice is right?.. a big politcal/religious issue?? Or am I wrong? I am confused, MR is like a big, tall, walking oxymoron (especially the moron part).

    Also, I still think that she is confused about BD. Everyone wants rid of the baby because they don’t want it to KILL Bella, not because they just don’t want it. My oh my.. Is she reading the same book that everyone else is????

    • DING DONG! DING DONG! IS ANYONE HOME??!! Many religious people/anti-abortionists feel that abortion should still be illegal even if the mother’s life is in danger.

      Have you been hidden under a rock? Absolutely groups have questioned whether this story is making statements about abstinence and abortion. Melissa is merely answering the question. Have you been under a rock?

      • Actually no, I have not been under a rock.. unless you consider a house a rock. Do you live under a rock?? Just curious.

        The point I’m trying to make is that the political/religious issue of abortion never entered my mind once while reading the book. It’s not like this is SM’s big plot to force religion/politics into people’s minds. Its a fictional story for crying out loud!!

  6. Summit please give BD to Mr Condon and fire her. What she has done to Bella and Edward has ruin these movies

  7. Oh man, I just read the rest of the interview and wow.. I feel like screaming. At least now we know why Alice’s kidnapping scenes were left out.. grrr.. she totally misses the point.

    • ITA…and she obviously doesn’t know the books! Jacob doesn’t show up at her work!!! He shows up at school! HELLO?!?!?!

  8. Krystol says:

    How in the heck is choosing to have a baby pro-choice??? Honestly, choosing to have a baby even though it endangers your life is most absolutely pro-life. I swear, this woman is a complete idiot!

  9. Bella Swan isn’t a religious character. It has been awhile since I’ve read breaking dawn, but I thought Bella was more pro-choice, at least that she was before she was pregnant herself. So, I think her decision to not abort her child was not because of a religious view held. It was more about the intense love she felt for this baby she held inside. And about her sacrificial love for her daughter…. Even to the point of her own death. What is love without sacrifice???
    I am 100% pro-life, but I can’t put my own beliefs into Bellas character. However, do think that bella’s sacrifice does make a beautiful prolife depiction.

  10. suzyquzy says:

    We are three fifths done with her now. She has
    been writing the Breaking Dawns and they will be what she and Stephanie want them to be.
    I feel that the fame and fortune of the Twilight
    Saga has had good and bad influences on everyone
    involved…It would be so hard not be swayed by
    the money, power, and popularity. My only wish
    is that since they started with the true love story
    in Twilight I do so hope they do it justice and
    end with it being the major theme of both
    Breaking Dawns.

  11. This is just more example of where MR is not getting the point. Maybe she should actually READ and get the point of the books instead of skimming over them in 8 hr sittings like she has mentioned in interviews.

    Bella is not political or religious, and does not impose any set of values on anyone. Though Edward has virtues and “rules” that he would like to stick to, he still does not come off as high and mighty or preachy. The only reason I learned about SM’s beackground is from interviews, she’s definitely not preachy or seemingly spreading some sort of agenda in the books. If MR thinks so, she’s definitely missed the point.

  12. Jesse and others, good points. Those are important thoughts to consider. Yet they need to balanced with the demands of screenwriting. So first, as fans, we probably want to dampen down the vitriol. This is why Melissa Rosenberg doesn’t (usually) read anything on the Internet. She wrote the screenplays (it’s hard work reducing 600 pages to 120), and they are well done. (In the first concept of the first film, Bella and Edward make love, the end, just like most movies.) So thank goodness MR connected with Stephenie at all. She’s promoting herself on her own mini-tour. And she actually is an old-school feminist. Younger people view women’s issues a little differently these days, yet those are her sincere beliefs — the beliefs of her time and place and culture in which she grew up. So, good luck with the tour Melissa, thank you for all you’ve done, and God bless you now and in the future.

    At the same time, Jesse and others, these are major concerns among fans. I talk for hours about this with Stephenie’s fave BYU professor, Steve Walker, and the authors of “Twilight and History” and “Spotlight” in the podcasts on my site. So I’ve been considering these issues a lot. And there seems to be some miscommunication between various groups, and Summit’s party line right now is exacerbating the problem. Hence the vitriol.

    So here’s some free consulting, Summit. IMHO, you should try to get in front of the issues and lead the discussion. When you don’t, you fail in your campaign, in any campaign. So you divide and conquer.

    There are really *3* questions here about Twilight in the public mind:

    1. Fans: Does Twilight offer deeper meaning for my life? (Or am I wasting my time, money, and affection?)

    2. Feminists: Is Twilight some kind of right wing plot for the hearts and minds of young girls?

    3. Scholars: Does Stephenie’s LDS culture effect the story line in some way?

    Question 1, the Meaning Issue. Obviously it does. It’s seriously deep. Bella is an unreliable narrator (hence all the preoccupation on lying and misleading) who doesn’t see herself clearly (until the end of BD). In the broadest sense, this YA romance is in a framework of a god-man allegory, where the human seeker (Bella) yearns for the divine (the angelic Edward & family). Intentional or not, while this compelling metaphor is masterfully handled and notably rich in meaning, it is ultimately a literary device. Not a religious one. It’s about going for the gold. (That’s your spin. It also happens to be the apparent truth in the minds of many. YW.)

    Having Twilight principles deny any meaning is not only putting out the fire with gasoline, it’s extremely hurtful to your deepest fans — the ones who carry the books with them always, listen to the audiobooks when they go to sleep… They are finding meaning via Twilight. Denying that is tantamount to telling fans that the meaning they’ve discovered through Twilight for their own lives is plain wrong, i.e., that their lives have no meaning. Please, don’t go there anymore.

    Question 2, the Feminist Criticism Issue. Saying the books are meaningless exacerbates the second issue. Haters have latched on to that presumption — that the books are devoid of meaning, and are simply a frighteningly effective money grab. That results in serious questions by critics: Is Bella (a) weak, (b) immoral, or (c) a “zero?” (Get out front on this:) She is neither: Bella saves everyone, including herself; Spending time with your error-prone guardian angel is hardly sleazy, and; SM transmutes normal teen concerns (“Am I embarrassing myself right now?”) into a wealth of opinions and ideas on life, including how to discover nobility within ourselves through commitment, sacrifice, and love (how Bella learns to rule her world).

    A key concern though is the conservative plot complaint, because that may be getting traction. Hence MR’s response. Making Bella (and the other) characters more active is great. Focus on that. Yet she said elsewhere, right out, that she inserts her “feminist agenda” into the films. That isn’t helping. Feminists won’t trust her anyway, real conservative fans will be incensed, and everyday fans will freak out that the films aren’t true to the books. And Truth is a resonant issue for Twilight fans. Hence the comments here.

    Question 3, The Cultural Issue: First, don’t have actors who haven’t read the books comment on the metaphorical content of the books. Not helping. Because it’s kind of obvious that there’s a cultural influence, and scholars will go to enormous lengths to prove you are “lying,” which is a never good thing. I deal with this cultural issue often doing media stuff here in Utah. The key thing is to distinguish between religious beliefs, and cultural mores. People fight wars over religious beliefs. Cultural things are minor, no big deal, we live in a melting pot, deal with one another all the time. Take the demonization out; these are just people we’re talking about, who we live, work and play with everyday.

    MR’s comments on whether a woman can choose to keep her baby are helpful with this, and are fine in pop cultural contexts (e.g., “Papa Don’t Preach”). So acknowledging SM’s “background” is good. Yet when specific beliefs are called into question as evidenced in the books, don’t argue that the religion doesn’t believe such and such. Instead, gently point out that in a free society it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to consider the pros and cons of various philosophical questions on what makes life most worth living. SM does that in authentic and sincere ways in her books, intentionally or not. And everyone agrees with Bella — that love is a key part of life. It’s meaningful and fulfilling. And that is what these films, books, and fan excitement is all about… and so forth. Now you’re out front, and shifting the focus on where it needs to be: the beauty, magic, and wonder of Bella’s story.

    For Summit, Little Brown, and Bella, love is the answer.

    • Luthien says:

      Interesting thoughts, James. However I want to comment on several things. First, I don’t think it is the place of Summit or any other production company to dive into fan discussions of any sort. I don’t know what ‘campaign’ you are referring to on Summit’s part. I don’t sense any attempt to further some sort of agenda.

      Re: #1, I think your assessment that this is a God-man allegory story is, while interesting, missing the point. Perhaps this is because you’re not a female. Bella’s attraction to Edward and her wanting to become a vampire is not her search for the divine, nor her desire for immortality per se. It’s her love for Edward, her wanting to be with him forever, and the only way that’s going to be possible is if she becomes a vampire. I believe you are over-thinking this.

      Re: #2 – Bella obviously changes through the series. She starts out in a ‘weak’ position only in the sense that she lets herself be manipulated by Edward, who himself is overbearing and controlling at first. However,there is the fact that she basically took care of her mother, or looked out for her,and in some sense was the mother to her mother. So not a position of weakness, but of loving and caring. There is always the fine line between looking out for someone’s best interests and being over-bearing and manipulative. Psychologists have a field day with this. Back to the story though. Bella is, in the books, represented in a rather ‘old-fashioned’ way compared with current feminist standards. So what? Some feminists may disagree with Bella being a role model for today’s young women because she’s not independent enough in the light of her relationship with her man. If MR has made her a bit more assertive in the films, well and good. I don’t think she’s changed Bella’s character fundamentally.

      Re: #3 – Of course SM’s LDS beliefs influence the storyline! When does your religion – not your cultural mores – NOT influence everything you do? In this case in particular, SM’s values are woven into the fabric of her characters. To me, it is obvious, but she has done it in a very non-preachy, subtle way which is very much in keeping with the heart of her characters. Did I care, when I was reading the books, what SM’s religion was? No. Twilight is a romantic love story, simple as that. This is what everyone I know has been drawn to. There are many issues within it that people can and do discuss ad infinitum (or ad nauseum depending on how you look at it), much to SM’s credit. Certainly all the things you have brought up give evidence to that.

      Thanks for the stimulating talk, James. One thing SM’s books are for sure, whether you love or hate them, and that is food for thought, and that’s always a good thing.

      • Thanks for the well-written and well-thought-out response!

        Sorry for being unclear. By “campaign,” I meant their overall marketing campaign for the series, which can be as planned out and managed as any political or advertising campaign may be.

        #1. I agree with your point of view on Bella’s love being the driving factor for her. It is. Underlying that storyline though is this archetypal pattern that can be found in Moby Dick, Great Gatsby, and many others — including Bree Tanner. SM is brilliant in how she was inspired to use that in a YA romance. In Twilight, Bella wants to be part of an angelic, eternal family, and by discovering the divine with herself — and helping others discover their own divine potential (esp. Edward and Jacob who get past their “but I’m a monster” fears) — she becomes as divinized as they are (more so, in fact). And you are right in that it is her profound love for the divine Edward that drives that dramatic momentum forward, and makes the allegory possible. (Check out the podcasts at TwilightNewsSite.com if that description doesn’t explain things very well.)

        #2. I totally agree, including about the loving aspect of Bella’s strong character. I think Bella understands that love may require sacrifice, which she is prepared to make, but some readers aren’t, so they have trouble getting that point. And I agree with your aside that while psychological “field days”/assessments of literary characters can be interesting, they often get off track. Fictional milieus are not exact replicas of reality. They’re not supposed to be. So, from Oedipus to Bella, very different things are required of fictional characters than are of us out here in real. Jumping off cliffs is necessary in fictional Forks, and downright insane in real Forks. And we all get that, obviously. The purpose of noting the god-human seeker allegory above is your point that Bella is faulted for not being “independent enough in the light of her relationship with her man” point; to be true to the allegory, she is (in a sense) seeking God, not a man; hence her extreme devotion — she’s not merely seeking a hot boyfriend, she is seeking to learn how to live in harmony with the divine. Which is hard to do when the stand-in for God is “not a tame lion,” or in this case, a vampire.

        #3. I agree with all your points, which you summed up very well. So, it can be aggravating to some when SM, RP, MR, and others deny what you rightly describe as “obvious”; to scholars, it is infuriating.

        Thank you again for your response! Awesome to chat with you!!

        • Luthien says:

          Ah, well this is quite a profound point that you make, James; the search for love is the search for the divine. And I would completely agree with you. But I would qualify that as agape love rather than the baser human variety and all its permutations that we are more accustomed to seeing. “Further up and further in,” as Aslan said. It’s certainly something we could read into this story, or take this story as the jumping off point for such an allegory. But you know, I suspect we are both wrong. We do have to consider the possibility that Bella was indeed just “seeking a hot boyfriend”! LOL!

          • LOL! Quite right about specifying which love we’re talking about. I won’t feel too bad since Jacob seemed to have a similar semantic problem with “love.”

            :)

            Thanks again! And Luthien, you may want to check out more about Steve Walker on that podcast at TNS or elsewhere, since he just published another Tolkien book (about how he’s underrated, a la SM). He’s so awesome.

    • katesinlove says:

      Thank you James for you comment. I am a mormon or LDS as you pointed out in your comment that Stephenie is also. If any of you have questions as to what we believe or if it is interfering with the overall context of the movies and books, it really doesn’t. If you don’t believe me visit mormon.org. The cultural standpoint isn’t really ‘shoving’ our beliefs on others. It is how we live our life and may come into context in the books and movies but it is because it is what we know and how we live. I just appreciate you comment because it is the most just information and no side taking.

  13. Chrissy says:

    I’m not getting why everyone is so angry. What did she say that is pissing you guys off?

    • Where to start??..

      Feminism, selfishness.
      Pro-choice/Pro-life has nothing to do with BD.
      She refuses to follow the story as it is told because it doesn’t comply with her own personal beliefs, even though its fiction and this is a story-telling business.
      She doesn’t get the story or how to portray the characters.
      There is plenty more.

      • Chrissy says:

        Again, where are you getting these ideas from?

        She acknowledges that her and Stephanie have different beleifs, and explains that what’s important is the story and that by focusing on that, she is able to respect both viewpoints. And she specifically states that it isn’t appropriate to infuse a political/religious commentary into this story.

        Am I reading a different interview? Because I don’t see anything to indicate that she is forcing your list of viewpoints into the story.

    • In mult. interviews she has said she won’t write something that isn’t true to her and her beliefs which is why she has changed Bella. If you can’t seperate yourself from the characters you are writing then you have a real problem. She isn’t supposed to be writing her story, she is writing Bella’s.

      • FWIW, one of MR’s recent interviews in question is http://bit.ly/buyenY. Don’t read that one Jesse.

        My $0.02 worth on that interview is here: http://bit.ly/bjECiM

        • Don’t worry, I’ve already read both of those before. I know I can be a little harsh on the lady, but I just don’t understand, like Laura said, why she can’t separate herself from the characters that have already been molded into what they are. You all have very different, but wonderful points. I just can’t see why anyone would want to change the characters, because they are so perfect the way they are. I don’t even have that much of a problem with what she’s done with Bella. My problem is Edward and how the love between B & E is portrayed. My husband actually liked the first movie (coming from a man who hates movies and TV, this was very shocking, although he fell asleep during it 2 times before he finished it). When I took him to see New Moon I got the ‘practically softcore porn speech’, the ‘what a wh*re’ speech, etc. When I read the books, none of that ever crossed my mind. I didn’t think of Bella, EVER, as two-timing Edward (although I hold an animosity towards the Bella/Jacob kiss). But for me, this all got twisted around into Bella playing a bunch of supernatural dudes, and clearly, that’s not what’s happening. Maybe I just interpret things differently, and I know that I have a completely different mindset than everyone in today’s day and age. (And probably yesterday’s day and age)

          Now all this being said, I don’t in anyway hate MR and I don’t even dislike her. I have no doubt she’s a genius. I just don’t like the decisions she’s made for these movies. They are always seeming (to me) to be missing the bigger picture. I really wasn’t trying to open Pandora’s box.. maybe I should have waited an hour or so before commenting :)

  14. Bethany says:

    I actually didn’t feel that the movies strayed that far from the books (yes, I read them before seeing the movies and I’ve re-read “Eclipse” and I’ll be seeing the movie this weekend). I don’t feel that Bella is more “girl power” in the movies than she is in the books. I just feel some of the passion is more restrained. You have to remember…what we’re reading is Bella’s thoughts and some of her thoughts don’t even become actions. Since the movies aren’t just what’s in Bella’s head, but things going on around her (things she might not even know…like when they showed Victoria, Laurent and James hunting) it’s going to be different. That’s just how it happens. They’re condensing 400-600 page books into 2 1/2 hours. That’s not an easy task. I’m not saying it’s been nailed, but I will say it’s some of the more “truer” adaptions of books than some movies (For example: “The Runaway Jury” was quite a bit different than the book). In a way we’re lucky “Twilight” is as big as it is. People are trying harder to be true to the book than they usually are. (At least from what I’ve seen so far…like I said, I’m planning to see “Eclipse” this weekend). I really liked “New Moon”–I thought it was 10 times better than “Twilight”. “Twilight” just felt really slow…not like how the book felt to me…”New Moon” just felt more like the book.

    What I fear with “Breaking Dawn” [based on M.R.'s comments] is that the whole reasons people choose what they do will be lost. (I actually don’t feel that Bella is more “girl power” than in the book…but, that’s just me).

    Melissa’s comments annoy me…like everyone else says, Stephenie didn’t make it about politics or any kind of abortion argument (although it did feel pro-life, but again, that’s my opinion).

    The reality is Stephenie made it about people being
    worried about Bella’s health, and Bella wanting to have the baby based on the fact it was her and Edward’s child and she loved that child already even before Renesmee makes her out-of-the-womb appearance. I don’t want either of those things taken away. They’re important because they show what is driving each character’s decision and fears and hopes and dreams. Also showing what changes Edward’s decision is important too. (To me that was an incredible scene, when he hears Renesmee’s thoughts…I liked seeing him develop fatherly feelings–it was another side to him).

  15. My main thoughts when I read all of the bad reviews about the movies are that critics just see Bella, Edward, and Jacob as angsty, lacking complexity, and brooding. While there is some of that in the books, there’s a lack of depth and complexity in the movie’s version of the characters that is definitely present in the book’s characters. I can sort of understand why people who haven’t read the books feel the way they do about the movies, because the characters aren’t nearly as developed and complex as they are in the books. And that all goes back to the screen play and script writing. It’s disappointing in a way, because these characters have so much to offer and so much to them that audiences who don’t read the books will never know. Okay I’m stepping off my soapbox now! :)

  16. You guys are lame for arguing about this. Blow never once declares herself religious or prolife and for that matter not even prochoice. The baby was to move the plot forward. The one that did express religious beliefs however did want to abort the baby. People just need to enjoy it for what it is and get over it. All of you people who are getting mad about her saying she won’t write against her beliefs need to think a little more closely about how you can’t get past your own beliefs if your offended by what a writer says in an interview. It’s not like she wrote that into the script. By the way Bella did establish herself as an individual when she decided to keep the baby against what Edward wanted and this was while she was still human. Get over it. I never once considered these books as political or about religion and I really don’t want to now.

    • I agree I never considered these books reigios or political either, that’s not what I’m arguing. I’m arguing that she should write the character not her beliefs

  17. It is absurd that she wants to agree with everything she writes. She is ADAPTING something; she didn’t write it from scratch herself. This is Stephenie Meyer’s masterpiece, not hers. Having read this before I saw the movie, I thought that it stood out like a sore thumb when Bella made a comment about hyphenating her name. I was like “Really???” That is so against the book, and such an unneccessary line that adds nothing, but takes away so much. Keep your politics out of Stephenie Meyer’s stories, and don’t even TRY butchering Breaking Dawn like that. Fans will be furious.

  18. And just to play devils advocate…. Considering that Edward declared himself to have some sort of religious beliefs and he wanted to kill the baby wouldn’t that speak about how Christians want to kill or destroy things they don’t understand?

    • Emerald says:

      Hardly. Edward has thoughts on souls and some sort of afterlife, which are in nearly every religion. Though he was raised Christian, and is the adopted son of what is hinted to be a religious man, there is no connection between Edward’s spiritual (and these are “spiritual” things) and religious beliefs.

      Also, devil’s advocate, you may want to take off the anti-Christian glasses you seemed to have been wearing when reading Breaking Dawn. Edward wanted to kill the THING that was sucking the life, literally, out of the woman he loved more than anything on earth. He didn’t know what was inside her or how the situation was going to turn out; all he knew was that Bella was dying and the demon baby inside her was the cause.

      Edward is prone to extreme reactions, as we see in every book he’s in. That aspect of his character, more than any religious belief of his, influenced his wish for abortion.

      And yes, if you hadn’t noticed, I am offended that you accuse Christians, aka about 1 billion people, of wanting to kill and destroy things they don’t understand. As if that’s unique to Christians. As if all Christians are like that.

  19. Green Lily says:

    Who gives a care about YOUR politics and religion, Melissa! Just write the dang story (which I feel you have failed to do in some cases)! IF YOU FEEL YOU CAN’T DO THAT THEN RESIGN YOUR JOB!

    Gah!

  20. I agree the especially at the end of eclipse it wasn’t a Bella thing to say but I don’t think that was for Melissa Rosenberg as it was for trying to expand the appeal. I also agree that Melissa Rosenberg hasn’t done the best job with the scrits but I think the message of te interview was that stephenie and Melissa have very different beliefs and the situation worked out okay because the books weren’t about religious messages.

  21. I think that Stephenie Meyer obviously likes what Melissa Rosenberg does with the scripts or else the franchise would have gotten rid of her a long time ago. If Stephenie is not concerned with melissa politicizing the script then I trust that it will turn out okay.

  22. Luthien says:

    Whoa! what a Pandora’s box! While I don’t think MR is the greatest scriptwriter in the world, I don’t harbor this level of hate for her. Furthermore if you read her response to the question posed by the interviewer well, she’s not advocating her viewpoint over SM’s. In fact, she is doing just the opposite, stating she won’t violate either of their beliefs, which I think is fair and probably a good thing for the script. If the script swayed heavily to the left or right either way, the films would probably turn off a lot of people. And although SM is obviously of a specific religious background, she doesn’t hit you over the head with it in a blatant manner. It’s there for sure, reflected in Edward’s values, but it hasn’t been stressed as much in the films. Anyway, I figure if people hate the script so much, why bother to go see the film? I know that if I already have issues with some content of an upcoming film, I just don’t go see it. But I don’t bad-mouth the scriptwriter too. Again, I’m not defending MR’s expertise, that’s for sure! But I just think it weird that so many people say they love the films but hate the script. Go figure.

  23. Also if you really think about it, Bella saying that the decision wasnt only about edward and being a bit more independent was more of a quick way of Bella trying to eliminate some of Edwards guilt about “ending her life” because as everyone knows bella was a people pleaser. A large portion of eclipse was about edward and bella both coming to terms with her becoming a vampire and understanding how the other felt about it. The its her world and not only about edward just summed it up a lot faster and offered closure. I think the evolved bella really started in twilight with Catherine Hardwick. She is the one that originally started with the changes like making bella a vegetarian and not being charlies housekeeper/personal chef. That set the tone. The only political statement I ever recall would have been that bella is switzerland and that mean that she was nothing more than neutral territory.

  24. Okay, my 2 cents. Bella, in the book, did try to seduce and get Edward to make love to her, especially the night they were alone in the house. The only thing that bothered me about MR’s interview is that it appeared she took credit for that part. Bella, in the book, was always trying to have her way with Edward. Who could blame her?

  25. Exciting discussions here. I love it! Personally, I didn’t see Bella as pro/choice or pro/life. I saw her as PRO-EDWARD! She was pregnant with his baby AND she wanted to hold onto any part and all parts of him. Even if she was in danger she would do everything to b closer to him. He on the other hand thought it was a threat to her and he wanted to keep her safe. All part of the mad love that is PURELY Bella and Edward. Love it

  26. RANT.. sorry:)
    I’m confused at the reasoning behind most comments. The big argument is that people are saying, “It’s not about what YOU think MR, but it’s about SM!!” I am personally not a big fan of MR, but I am also a film student and long ago I made a promise to myself that I would never go into the industry willing to compromise what I believe. I completely 100% agree with MR that she shouldn’t be write something she doesn’t disagree with. And I would also like to comment that movie making is a collaborative process and once a book becomes a film, it is no longer just SM’s job to tell the story. Movies are their own art form and have to be treated that way. Just as SM was able to do what she loved through telling Bella & Edward’s story, doesn’t MR deserve to find her own joy in the retelling of that story? She doesn’t just do her job because someone told her to — she does it because it’s a passion and an art, and so many people here are acting like she’s only a medium between the books and films. Besides, if we treat her role in this as so small that she should just “write what SM gave her”, how can we at the same time blame her for the crappiness of the script?
    However… there is a difference between refusing to participate in something that would require you to tell a story that doesn’t comply with your values and INJECTING your values into something. I’m willing to bet that I’m a lot more conservative than MR so maybe this is just my slanted view, but there is no shortage of liberal and left leaning stories being told in Hollywood that she could opt to work on if BD was too against her beliefs. The problem that I mostly have is that Bella is not an anti-feminist character to begin with — the whole point of feminism is giving women the equal opportunity as men to do what makes them happy, despite what their choice ultimately is. Bella does what makes her happy, even if that didn’t manifest itself through “active” feminism. I don’t think that MR needed to change Bella’s character just to forward her agenda… mostly because I never saw feminism as a problem in the first place. It just ends up taking away from the character for those of us who relate to Bella’s feminism in a less “I-AM-FEMINIST” way. Also… the whole pro-life/pro-choice thing shouldn’t even be brought up because it’s not a political or religious matter in the story and so there shouldn’t have to be a “finding of common ground” or cutting down to basic nature of the story. The basic nature of the story is that choices are made for reasons that aren’t associated or tied to political/religious stances.
    Again, maybe this is just me being irritated that SM can’t be a religious/more conservative woman telling a story without it first being picked through so that it matches perfectly with the values of the industry. Sigh:/

  27. Breaking Dawn is the best of the series and to stray away from the book because of Melissa’s beliefs and views is wrong in so many ways and on so many levels. If Melissa does not understand the characters then let someone who has read the series and understands the characters write the movie. Stephanie Meyer is a genuis in what she does and that is write book after book with all of her fans fully engrossed wanting more and more. Staying true to the characters and the book is what needs to be and has to be done to complete the Twilight Saga. Bring the true Bella back from such a wonderful series of books. Oh yeah can not wait for the honeymoon(pillow biting and all) also the birth scene and the Bella transformation from human to vampire finally. Breaking Dawn is awesome and please dont ruin it by ur views and political stance keep it true or let someone else more talented and understanding of the book write the screenplay.

  28. *Slight Spoiler*
    This review explains to me why Rosalee’s back story didn’t go into how much she loved her friend’s baby and how her main complaint was that as a vampire she is now sterile.. I thought it was a mistake as how are they going to explain why it is Rosalee that Bella turns to for help to keep her baby? As it went in Eclipse, I don’t see why Bella would know that Rosalee was the one to call to help her in Breaking Dawn…

    • I didn’t even make that connection before, but you’re totally right! I was just so annoyed about the hyphenated last name comment, but I didn’t even connect the dots with MR and Rosalie. That was definitely a key part that they left out and just leaves more explaining for BD to do.

      • I guess it doesn’t go well with MR’s beliefs that someone would want a baby so badly or regret not being able to have one.. But I guess we will see how Breaking Dawn explains why Bella turns to Rosalie or if it even will..

  29. suzyquzy says:

    I have reread MR interview several times.
    My take is that she is getting heat from
    outside the fandom ….. in the Hollywood
    far left political scene. She made a point
    of saying she was born in a hot tub in sunny
    southern California. This saga is showing both
    sides of hot issues. Most activists have a
    hidden message in everything, and they won’t believe
    that SM could possibly not be sending religious
    messaages. I think she is just telling a story.
    We know where MR has come from. Stephanie is a producer now and has always been vocal on correcting thingsshe deems not fitting the “Twilight” canonand characters as she sees
    it. Let the gals deal with each other.

  30. I don’t think SM was making any religious or political statement in the way Edward feels about love, sex ect.. He’s morales are true to the character of someone who was raised in that era.. If MR can’t get over that, she is the one using the movies to forward her agenda and I really hope she doesn’t do so in Breaking Dawn… I agree with the other posters… It wasn’t about being pro choice or pro life at all. Just what Bella wanted for herself because of the way she felt about Edward.

    • I agree…she’s a professional, and if she can’t handle writing a script with “religious” undertones, then she shouldn’t be writing the Twilight movies. Because the characters are obviously influenced by SM’s religious beliefs (and there’s nothing wrong with that). MR seems like she needs to keep an open mind.

  31. Twilight9009 says:

    I think you guys are letting your hate for MR blind you. She isn’t saying anything worth getting mad over.

    • Did you read the same article everyone else did?

      • Twilight9009 says:

        Yes I read the article and I think everyone is blowing it out of proportion. The reporter asked her a question and she answered with her opinion. I don’t think she is trying to say she is writing the scripts to fit her beliefs. She is just saying she is making the stories universal.

  32. Emerald you cleat didn’t read everything…… Wouldn’t expect that much from you anyhow considering your whole sense of self confidence appears to come from large numbers of people haring similar beliefs. I first stated that ther books were neither political or religious but because everyone was jumping on one side of it I thought I would bring up another or atleast consider it. Since you look and see only one thing maybe you should reconsider your own eye wear, or does it matter because 1 billion other people are wearing the same goggles?

    • Twilight_News says:

      Mod stepping in to say let’s attack the ball and not the player, and for that matter gross sweeping generalizations about about groups’ religious affiliations and how they therefore must all think the same will will not be tolerated. I don’t care if we are discussing Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc. you can’t white wash an entire group with the “they all think brush”. Seriously, not looking to preach on Godwin’s Law, but that is where this conversation is heading. No one has to agree, but I will not stand for personal attack on a person or a group of people.

      Also while you are at it, you might actually want cure your multiple personality disorder and use one standard online name every time you post. It hardly gives you any sense of credibility that you have used at least three names in the last 60 days. If I feel strongly I sign my name consistently and in the same manner. I don’t hide behind salacious monikers like “uh oh”.

      As for the rest of those here, carry on as you were. Passion is fine as long as it does not delve into the personal with other posters. Attacking theory is fine, not people.

      Pel

  33. Luthien says:

    HEY MODERATORS, are you there? It’s one thing to have diverse points of view being expressed, but it’s quite another to have personal attacks being made in replies, no matter what the topic. This thread is getting ugly.

  34. There is no need to go tattling, the devils advocate comment was to show that everything is subjective and people take what they want from things. It’s not fair to consider only one aspect and I was just showing people how easy it is to take something and make it something it isn’t. I doubt stephenie meyer would want anyone to be offended by her work.

  35. Also….doesn’t it matter that Stephenie meyer herself says it’s a love story that started from a dream and nothing more?

  36. Here’s what I don’t get and haven’t seen someone say yet. I think that MR picks and chooses what she wants to have. She writes for a show where a man kills people and has a family. he’s a murderer. Yet she has an issue with things in the Twilight books? Can we say MORON? oh sure killing people is fine, yet having a female character like Bella is wrong or having a male character like Edward is wrong. He is not controlling, yes in todays standards where most men couldn’t care less what a woman does, or wouldn’t stand up to protect her in any circumstance, yes he would be considered controlling. Most men don’t open doors,want to give gifts, want to protect their woman and won’t tell them they think that they shouldn’t do something.

    I am not a feminist and I’m not an old fashioned wife, however, if my husband thinks I shouldn’t do something b/c it’s for my best interest then I’m not going to do it, does that make him controlling? In the end I have the ultimate say as did Bella, she at any time could have left Edward, she could have done what she wanted to do, he never FORCED her to do anything. So I’m so over all the people claiming that it’s anti feminist, he’s controlling, Jacob’s not etc… I see MR putting that in the movies soo much and it’s not what the books were about. She obviously favors Jacob as time and time again in each movie (including Eclipse) she puts Jacob in soo much more than he should/needs to be. The movies are not the same as the books and YES it can be done, look at Atonement, it was 99% to what the book was, read the book then watch the movie, you will be blown away and it didn’t take forever, it’s all about screen writing and it was a book that was narrated by someone other than the main characters, yet we saw the main characters the way that they were and even then some. It can be done, it’s a matter of having the right screenwriter to do it and MR is NOT it. She has never been it.

    • You are so right Dania and for people who just see the movies, I think it makes it hard for them to understand why Bella chooses Edward in the end… Your comment was right on!

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