Eclipse Defended By a Guy Who Actually Gets It From BBC Radio

Lexicon reader Tess wrote in to tell us, “Hey, I know that this is a while after the fact, but I thought I should bring this review to your attention. I emailed you when New Moon came out with a review from Mark Kermode, of BBC Radio 5 Live, one of the few reviewers I have seen or heard of who actually ‘gets’ Twilight. I would have emailed this to you earlier, but I have only just been able to find this review online. In reviewing ‘Eclipse’, he puts up a very strong defense of the series, as well as criticising those critics who he feels did not understand the film. Very interesting, even if only for the fact that it is the best defense of the films I have come across, and its given by a guy.”

Here’s the link to his New Moon review.

Comments

  1. Great review, FOR THE MOVIES! I would say again, please read the books because its not that she feels more comfortable in the vampire world as opposed to a wolfs world- albeit with Melissa’s writing that would be what you get out of the movies- its because she loves him. Sorry Melissa, change the words all you want to, its not cause she always wanted to be a vampire. That said, I love that he enjoyed the movies, but wish he would take the time to read the books too.

  2. Fiiiiiiiiiinally, THANK YOU! :) An intelligent review of the movie, and buy a man, no less. Wonderful, thanks for finding this and posting!

  3. How Refreshing!!

    I think too often the Twilight series (books and movies) are dismissed as nonsense because they were written for young girls/teens and no matter how far we’ve come girls/women are still not taken seriously.

    I also get tired of the criticism of Bella whining and pining for Edward…..she’s a teenager and she’s in love. Who didn’t act this way as a teenager in love? It’s one of the main reasons this series has appealed to so many older women (myself included as a married mom of 4)….Twilight and Bella and Edward and the triangle with Jacob take me back to my youth. And while my experiences may not have been the same as Bella’s, my emotions were. I remember what it’s like to be young and to feel awkward and in love and to ultimately be heartbroken. It’s very real.

    And while none of the Twilight movies may be of the Oscar calibur as movies such as Schindler’s List or Titanic it does not mean that they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    I will forever be thankful to Stephenie Meyer for the wonderful gift of Twilight and futher to Summit for bringing the story to life in movies.

  4. TwiMomGran says:

    Ok, it is nice to see a “middle aged man” get the Eclipse and Twilight movies and that it is about Bella and from her perspective. BUT if you have read the books you cannot really be Team Jacob. Jacob is really never a choice for Bella. She was always totally in love with Edward. She ends up having love for Jacob too but it is not the deep soul bonding love she has with Edward. If you read the books you will see she never actually even kisses Jacob except when HE kisses her or when she kisses him to get his head back in the game before the vampire fight. This guy gets a lot but it is obvious he has not read the books. The one shot he shows here is when Bella jumps on the back of Jacob’s motorcycle and rides off leaving Edward standing there, which is one of the HUGE wrong choices made in writing this movie. Bella would NEVER EVER do this. Even Kristen said so when she saw this part of the script. Anyone who has read the books will know this is not something Bella would do.
    Anyway, this guy only saw the movie so he is giving a good review of the movie which does have that scene in it. Actually, in the books, Bella briefly sees herself as she could be with Jacob, married with kids, which she knows she cannot have with Edward. But it is a very brief vision which she does not really consider. Her life is Edward.

  5. I’m playing this for my husband tonight! Finally, an intelligent review that says everything I think but am at a loss to express :)

  6. That was REALLY refreshing ! A real man finally.

  7. this guy is RIGHT ON, have read his thoughtful, insightful reviews in the past and really like the way he DOES ‘get it’. plus he’s fun to listen to, a great sense of humor!

  8. dazzled eyes says:

    It was nice that this gentleman is so enthusiastic about the series and tried to defend it, but I agree with the previous posters that he should read the book. Stephenie Meyer created such rich characters and I believe that they have just not had their due in this retelling on film.

    These movies and Melissa Rosenberg’s writing have butchered the central romance and made Edward into a day player instead of the lead. MR needs to read the definition of feminism because Bella Swan is not a weak character and creatively wiping away Jacob’s bad traits doesn’t make him THE choice. In the end, it was Bella choosing to be a vampire because of her love for Edward, not in spite of it.

    • I agree that Rosenberg took some liberties with the screenplay that she strictly shouldn’t have. Like giving Bree so much screen time. But she did accomplish one thing.

      I ended Eclipse the book pitying Edward. The vampire mating bond that had been alluded to throughout the Saga had him doomed to forever love a woman who (if Stephenie is to be believed…which I don’t) didn’t love him back same way. A woman who, supposedly was slated to marry him and leave on the honeymoon while still “in love” with another man. What is wrong with this picture? What man would marry a woman under those conditions…other than an utter fool, or a poor slob bound to her by a vampire mating bond?

      Thus I ended Eclipse the book wishing that Edward actually had the freedom to give Bella’s two-timing behind the well-earned heave-ho. I didn’t feel that way at the end of Eclipse the movie because Rosenberg cut out the worst of Bella and Jacob’s “greatest hits”; and Stewart’s Bella wasn’t *nearly* as conflicted as the Bella in the books was. The Bella in the books was embarrassed BY Jacob every time he would hit on her. The Bella in the movie seemed to be more embarrassed FOR him instead.

      One of the things that has me scratching my head from both the movie and the books is that mating bond thing that was alluded to. It Twilight and New Moon, Bella was acting, emotionally speaking, like a vampire. She was obviously Edward’s mate. Then we get to Eclipse and Jacob comes too within a hairsbreadth of taking Bella from Edward, only to be forestalled at the last minute by what appears to be said mating bond. Something “so powerful that it can’t exist in a rational world”.

      Here’s my problem. If the bond is strong enough to override Bella’s seemingly insurmountable desire for the puppy in the end, then it’s more than enough to have prevented all of that nonsense from ever happening in the first place. She shouldn’t have even been capable of being in LIKE with Jacob, let alone be in LOVE with him. I’d sooner believe that one of the other Cullen girls was in love with Seth Clearwater, which comes to the same thing. Which is it? It can’t be both ways?

      R.

      • really interesting points! here’s my perspective: i don’t think bella was in love with jacob like she was with edward. i think it was that he was the parallel. if she remained human, if edward never came into her life, she realized that jacob would be her love and eventually her husband, the father of her children. it was a huge epiphany for her. i think she simply realized that she could follow that path and really truly fall in love with jacob and be happy the rest of her life. BUT, edward did come into her life, and they are connected by a deeper bond than this rational world, and no matter what ‘proper’ choice was in front of her, she was meant to be with him. she would choose whatever world she had to if it meant they were unified.

        now that’s all based on the books. by the way, did anyone watch the commentary? i was SO surprised to see that kristen stewart agreed with what we’re all saying! that she was doing this because she loved edward not because she felt like she was meant to be in his vampire world. i thought that was cool! i don’t know why, but i assumed she felt the same way as MR. i guess it was because she acted it so well. :)

        • The problem with that is, if the whole “mating bond” thing holds any water at all, she shouldn’t be capable of those feelings for Jacob. If you’re correct, then she shouldn’t be marrying Edward anyway. After all that he suffered at her hands in Eclipse, he deserved better than Jacob Black’s emotional leftovers, better than whatever love Bella could spare from pining after the puppy. Bella could have had sex with Jacob right in front of him that night in the tent, and Edward would still have had no choice but to be hopelessly in love with her to the end of his days. It’s like she has all the freewill in the world, and he has none at all. “Trust me” she says, then betrays his trust at every turn with a kid who wanted Edward dead so he could take his place. I could almost swallow if Bella didn’t know how Jacob felt, but she knew. Jacob was open about it. And more to the point, she knew that Edward knew too, and she still went to Jacob.

          Not the nicest girl in Eclipse, our Bella.

          R.

          • This discussion is interesting, I never thought of Edward as a character to be pitied. I see what you’re saying about Edward’s vampiric bond to Bella regardless of her actions, but I don’t agree that Bella is bound by the same kind of attraction. She speaks of her love for Edward in these epic, larger-than-life terms and perhaps it’s a foreshadowing of her destiny as a vampire BUT she is still only human. And Jacob represents exactly that – the natural, human route her life would have taken if not interrupted by something outside the realm of the everyday. There’s no reason she shouldn’t love Jacob, he is exactly right for her, and she feels that and eventually sees that. He is the easy path, the sensible thing to do. Edward is the risk, the dangerous path, but also the right one because it’s where her true passion and her true self lies.

          • Dude. Really good points.

            Yes, two-timing is totally unacceptable.

            And in real, Edward wouldn’t stand for it.

            At.

            All.

            But in real, Jacob wouldn’t have been pushing things so far, or he’d wind up: (1) beaten up (badly), (2) heart-broken, and (3) EPIC LOSER FAIL. Which is why this doesn’t happen in real.

            But Twilight isn’t real, and it’s working on a metaphorical level, which is why the situation has it’s own internal logic — which is really appealing. And insightful.

            A couple points about the triangle:

            First, Bella is Jake’s mom. And they can feel it. His birth mom is dead. And he can’t face losing his future mom, too. So, aside from his immature girls-are-for-kissing confusion, he keeps refusing to give her up, and in the end, it works out like it was supposed to. So we have a semantic issue, where Bella “loves” Jacob as his mom (at least most of the time): she wants to protect him, tells him not to get hurt, comforts him when he’s sad, scolds him and tells him to play nice, etc., etc., etc.

            Simultaneously, Bella and Edward both feel that they are one. The one. And nothing will change that. So there’s all of that going on.

            Second, Bella is choosing between being totally human — going after Jake, who “feels human,” in more ways than one — OR seeking the angelic, god-like, immortal Edward, who represents either:

            (1) a person’s potential to become *more* than just-another-human; and/or

            (2) the path to becoming immortal in terms of either
            (a) the “immortal” impact of a life-lived-well or
            (b) immortal “immortal,” as in, living in heaven eternally; and/or

            (3) the immortal God-with-a-capital-G.

            So, Jacob is a nearly perfect *man*, but Edward is — or is a path to — God. You remember Bella already knows at the very start of Twilight that the human world isn’t enough for her; she never quite fits in. So when she realizes there is something more… well, Jacob never really had a chance.

            So after all these compare/contrast scenarios, especially in Eclipse, in the end Edward only “lies” to Bella to help her (actually he only withholds information, which God is known to do from time to time), whereas Jacob lies to Bella to help himself.

            Game, set, match. The immortal Edward FTW.

            There’s more to this (much more) but I’m trying to focus on the book right now, and it should explain a whole other side to these issues. The plan is for the upcoming about-Twilight-book to be available free as an ebook. So, I’ll try to alert you on twitter when it’s ready, and make sure you get a copy.

          • Sylvia: Sorry, I can’t buy it. The fact that SM pulled a deus ex machina and *made* Edward be happpy with his fate in no way mitigates my observation that, if Eclipse was Bella acting of her own free will, then Edward got screwed with his pants on, and Bella and Jacob totally skated on the consequences of that. They got a happy ending. Edward got what SM *made* him be happy with. That pesky vampire mating bond that apparently works on Edward, but which only works on Bella selectively wouldn’t allow himto feel any other way.

            And sorry, but barring Edward’s presence, the natural course of Bella’s life was to die in Forks High School parking lot, before Jacob ever laid eyes on her. The idea that Jacob was the “natural course” of her life is ludicrous and adds major insult to Edward’s already serious injury.

            R.

          • True enough about the parking lot death, but let’s assume for a moment a nearly-parallel universe where the butterfly’s wing set her on a course exactly the same but without that car crash and without the vampire. Jacob and Bella’s fathers are best friends, they’re bound to meet the same way, presumably enjoy each other’s company just as much, and likely end up together with no obstacles in their path. When I say “natural course”, I mean the course her life would have likely taken without the introduction of a supernatural element. He’s the “right” choice because he is the safe choice, the choice that lets her keep her life, her family, her humanity.

            That being said, please understand that I am VEHEMENTLY Team Edward. I acknowledge that Jacob is the safe bet, but I would NEVER condemn our Bella to a mundane life on the path of least resistance. Nuts to that. She is bound for much greater things. And for those things, she must suffer. She knows that, and she is willing to make her sacrifice, but here comes her good friend Jacob with his warmth and fun and promise of a safe, contented existance. Who wouldn’t be drawn to that temptation?
            It was a perfectly viable option and all Jake had to do was make her see how green that grass was to set her teetering on the fence.

            Could she have really been in love with them both? I absolutley believe she could. Imprinting attractions aside, Jacob was a love based on friendship and shared experience. Edward is passion and sensuality and a metaphysical connectedness. Fate. A much greater risk and a much greater reward.

            I can’t feel bad for Edward because to me he was so obviously the right choice from the beginning. It took Jacob’s constant persistance to even get her to acknowledge her feelings for him BECAUSE they were part of life that she didn’t truly belong to. But he forced them to the surface, and to see the heroine be so torn between two good options and have the honesty to confront them and be given the space to do so was remarkable to me. But it was only an interesting twist in the main theme of this saga, which reamians Bella and Edward’s romance. He may have to had sit back and suffer in wait for a few uncertain months, but in the grand scheme of his infinite lifespan, it’s nearly insignificant. It was Bella who had to forage a path of broken bones and broken hearts to get to him. The obstacle of Jacob only served to strengthen their relationship in the end, in my eyes.

          • Sylvia: Sorry, I don’t buy it. Too much of what Bella and Jacob had between them was dependent on the stresses they were under, and on Jake’s wolfy change, which required vampires. Simply put, without the wolf Jacob was an under-developed kid two years younger than Bella physically. He was less mature, not her intellectual equal, he had little future beyond the Rez, and he lived in a place she detested…until she met Edward. Aside from their fathers they had nothing in common. I see higher odds of winning the lottery than I do of Jacob winning Bella in some alternate universe.

            We’ll have to agree to disagree on the in love thing. Let me quote something a therapist told me once. “Show me someone who’s in love with two people, and I’ll show you a fool or a liar. Either a fool because they have no clue what being in love really means, or a liar because they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re victimizing two people in cold blood. I could believe Bella a fool, but not a liar.

            I’m sorry but “in love” doesn’t seem to work that way. Being in love with one of them is exclusive of being in love with the other. Either/or…not both.

            R.

          • About the two loves, I think of it this way: what if the love of your life died or was lost or something tragic happened, and you believed with every fiber of your being that you would never see them again, you would be devastated. Eventually, out of that melancholy, you may start to move on with life, to develop friendships, to even develop genuine feelings for someone else. Does that mean the first love does not co-exist? Would there not, in some way, always be a remnant of that love? Now, what if, that person whom you believed to be essentially dead to you forever, miraculously came back into your life? It makes sense that the initial desire would be to maintain both relationships, to have the best of both worlds…until it became obvious that such imbalance and emotional conflict was destructive and unfair, that a choice had to be made. So, yes, I can understand a world where Bella would have love for both, albeit different in quality and intensity. And a choice would eventually have to be made between those two loves and the futures that came with them. Would it hurt to give one up? Undoubtably. Would it negate or cheapen the truth or depth of the other? No.

            All that to say, I can wrap my head around the conflict Bella endures, because I don’t believe she would have pursued a connection with Jacob that would have resulted in such mixed emotions if Edward had never left her. But he did…and what happened, as he admits, was a product of that. While he may not like the way she handles it at some points along the way, he does not blame her for it…although she blames herself for not realizing where things were headed sooner and making the hard choices earlier, before so much hurt had been caused.

          • By the way, just because I concede it is theoretically possible to have two varying degrees of love at the same time, does NOT mean I think, in ANY sense, that the way Edward was treated by Bella was right or fair. As soon as he came back into her life and they declared their love and commitment to one another, she should have cut off contact with Jake the minute he announced his intentions and took their relationship off the platonic level.

            Edward would have been well within his rights to tell her that her continued attentions to Jake were not fair to him or their relationship and ask her then, early on, to stop seeing him. SM even said in one commentary that Edward could easily have done this, and he wouldn’t have been the obsessive, over-protective boyfriend for doing so and standing up for himself. BUT, as SM has also said, Edward has a tendancy to extremes. In Twilight, he felt like he had to protect her all the time. In New Moon, he felt like he couldn’t protect her and the best way to demonstrate his love was to remove himself, and all dangers associated with the vampire life, from her world forever. In Eclipse, he’s trying to right some of those wrongs and trying to be more mature about the way he goes about it. One recurring theme of the book is “compromise,” something somewhat foreign to Edward.

            So, while he doesn’t like that Bella continues to see Jacob and feels that it is unwise for her to do so, for all involved, he has resolved to let her chart this course and to refrain from being heavy-handed in the way he was previously. He COULD have been, but chose not to.

            All in all, Edward suffered. But they ALL made mistakes. And I am COMPLETELY Team Edward…I think the way that Jacob acts is immature, selfish and pushy. But I try to view the book as a whole, taking into account ALL the nuances of the characters and their decisions because, as fun as it is to speculate and theorize, that is what we have…

      • i absolutely loved his review. i don’t know how else to say it, but it was intelligent and refreshing and sincere. i loved hearing his perspective! i agree that the films and storyline need more credit. they are marvelous!

      • Oh Rick! You are still suffering over what happen at the end of Eclipse. Yeah when i finish Eclipse i was angry too because it seem like she was in love with and wanted tobe with Jacob and Edward was second best and she truly did not love him. Ms. Meyer screwed up big time with the ending of the book. Read her faq and what she had to say about Eclipse the book and you will feel better and she did redeem herself with BD because bella totally in love with Edward and made the ultimate sacrafice to have his baby so it all came together in the end. MR did us a favor by not puting the mess that happen at the end eclipse in the movie. We have beaking dawn to look forward to. So be happy.

        • Oh, I have read Breaking Dawn, and Ms. Meyer’s FAQ, including the blurb about her “original ending” to Eclipse that would have had Bella end up with an ugly chimera of Jacob and Edward. Nobody wins there.

          Ms. Meyer still vehemently maintains that Bella was in love with Jacob, despite the fact that it would require her to NOT be in love with Edward anymore. You canNOT be in love with two people at the same time. Emotionally speaking it’s not possible.

          Breaking Dawn seemed to be more about Bella, Jacob, and Nessie’s happy ending that it was Edward’s happy ending.

          Stop and think about this. Jacob made certain that Edward knew every sloppy detail of that kiss up on the mountain. Every thrust of Bella’s tongue in Jacob’s mouth, every moan of pleasure he elicited from her, broadcast directly to Edward, and preserved in his perfect memory for eternity. A human’s memory might fade with time as new layers of experience overlay it. Edward’s won’t. It can’t. It will be his to cherish forever. A thousand years from now it will be like it just happened, the love of his life giving herself to another man.

          Now, what does that prove, except that there’s nothing that Edward Cullen loves that Jacob Black cannot taint (Bella) or outright steal from him (Nessie)? (shakes head) Say what you will, but much after New Moon SM lost Edward’s voice entirely and showed her hero no respect at all.

          R.

          • She kiss him. You act like Bella had sex with him. It was just a kiss. She was a 18th year old girl who had never had a boyfriend or been kiss by no one but Edward. How would you feel if you could not kiss the one you are in love with like you wanted too. She could not “shove her tongue” in Edwards mouth because of his Venom and Sharp teeth and his lips were hard and cold and when Jacob kiss her it was different because she could kiss him in a way she could never kiss Edward when she was human. If she had sleep with Jacob then you would have something to be upset about but she did not and she never express the desire to do so either and at the end of the book she did say that everything in her world was about Edward. To me she can be forgiven because in the end she did prove her love for Edward. I understand where you are coming from. I think we are on the same side.

          • Interesting point again, though I must say one thing – Edward as the “hero” is not nearly as important as Bella as the heroine. This is her story. Everyone else is a supporting character, even her hubby.
            And besides, that whole love triangle unpleasantness in our 4-book saga is just a little hiccup in their eternal life together as one big happy family. I’m sure our man Eddie’s doing fine ;)

          • gevans: You don’t have to have sex to be cheating on someone, which is what Bella was doing for much of Eclipse. Cheating on Edward with Jacob. Any couples therapist worth their diploma will tell you that. It’s referred to as an “emotional affair”.

            Sylvia: Edward is doing fine, because he has no choice. No freewill at all. A human man would have been a hole in the air long before the second kiss, and absolutely after it. Listen to the commentary, RPatz agrees that he’d kick a girl to the curb that treated him like that. Edward didn’t have that option. To balance that, Bella and Jacob both should have paid a much higher price for that than they did. Instead Bella gets a happily ever after with the man she betrayed in her heart, mind, and soul (that’s in her own thoughts, mind you…she called Jacob her soul mate, a term that she never applied to Edward Cullen in the entire run of the Saga), and Jacob walks off with Edward’s miracle daughter. And Edward gets…what exactly? Oh, yes, he’s happy because he can’t not be happy. Because he can’t not be totally in love with his betrayer for all eternity.

            As it is, it felt like Bella truly regretted being with Edward at the end of Eclipse, so badly did she want Jacob; and that she was “going through with” the the wedding and her future with Edward as some sort of penance, and rather than choosing Edward because she loved him with her whole heart. Like it or not, after Eclipse that’s a statement she can never make again. Because she made it clear (in her own thoughts again), throughout the wedding and honeymoon that Jacob was still haunting her. She was still “in love” with him.

            Poor Edward.

            Of course, if it was all the imprint whammy affecting her, was SM sort of halfway implied in Breaking Dawn, then freewill is out the window for Bella too and she’s no more at fault for what she did to Edward than some poor woman who got a dose of rohypnol dropped in her drink in a bar somewhere. She was a victim of wonky Native American magic. It’s only if Bella was acting totally of her own freewill in Eclipse that Edward got royally messed over for eternity.

            R.

          • KSmithGray says:

            Rick, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your insightful points.

            If I’m understanding you correctly, your hang up is that you’re not buying that Bella was truly in LOVE with Jacob and that Edward was sort of a victim of emotional abuse, in a sense. She must love one or the other, she can’t love Edward without hurting Jacob and thus doing a very un-loving thing.

            I have a psychiatric nursing and philosophical background, so this may be a bit far stretched. But, I don’t feel like the books adequately explained WHY Bella experienced the “love” she had for Jacob. Stay with me here…

            I think the pull that Bella has for Jacob is directly the result of the mystical love trap or vow you were referring to, however I think it was the trap caused by Jacob’s imprinting and not Edward’s vampire love vow. Renesme was inside Bella. This is why Jacob felt so strongly for her but never imprinted on her. Bella never loved Jacob in the way that she loved Edward, but her body was literally drawn to Jacob because of the Nessie egg. None of them could have ever predicted Nessie so that is why their draw was misinterpreted as love. It’s not something any of them understood. However, I think Edward came closest to understanding. He could read Jacob’s thoughts and I don’t think we’d be giving our hero enough credit to assume he didn’t think something unusual was up with Jacob’s feelings. I think Edward knew that there was something else going on there, it just never really made sense. This would explain why he sort of sat back and allowed Bella to have an emotional affair with Jacob. I think he knew there was more to it than teenage angst.

            It makes sense in my head… I think I didn’t do a very good job of explaining. It’s sort of like how a husband can still love a wife with a mental disorder when they know they’ve been sexually acting out. The husband is wise and mature enough to realize that the person they care so deeply about would not intentionally harm them and that something else must be going on. Mental illness is just as uncontrollable as imprinting. Does it make it that person’s fault? Absolutely not. And when you make a commitment to someone, in sickness and health, that is all encompassing. Just because Edward didn’t understand the draw between Jacob and Bella doesn’t mean that he’s a fool for waiting for her to figure it out. I think he’s an admirable manpire for being confident enough in her feelings for him to allow her to explore feelings she didn’t understand for someone else.

            Someone give me a life preserver, I’ve gone off the deep end…

          • KSmithGray: No no, you haven’t gone off the deep end at all. In fact that’s pretty much what my wife and I believe, SM’s protestations of Bella’s heartrending “I want a life with him” love for Jacob notwithstanding.

            The imprinting instinct/magic, lacking the wolf’s imprint, will latch onto the closest genetic match available and force a connection. An attraction that two clueless kids could easily mistake for love. The reason for this is because close genetic matches are likely related by blood, and thus the wolf has a better shot at meeting the real deal because the person he’s hanging onto is blood kin to his imprint. Like with Leah, Sam, and Emily. Poor Leah was only a stand-in. Note, at this point Nessie had nothing to do with it. You’d be surprised how many people think that I’m saying that Jacob imprinted on Bella’s ovum. That isn’t the case at all. The imprint mojo had a, for lack of a better word, blueprint of Jacob’s imprint. Bella met more of the blueprint’s requirements than any other female short of Nessie herself…so the mojo forced her into an orbit around Jacob that she couldn’t escape until it was almost too late.

            If this is the case you have to admit there’s an irony to the situation. The magic that was trying to secure Jacob his imprint drove him to extreme ends to try and destroy the relationship that was supposed to give him said imprint, under the mistaken notion that he was “in love”. Catch-22.

            And while it’s plausible that Edward could have suspected that something was off with Bella and Jacob, thus leading him to handle her with kid-gloves, the ending of the night of tears, when he offered her the freedom to be with Jacob yet again, makes me think not. Had he believed that she was under some outside influence, he wouldn’t have done that. I would prefer it your way, because towards the end Bella’s bias was so blatant that it did seem to border on mental illness, but the evidence doesn’t support it. It would make a good fan fiction though.

            My own mother was mentally ill all her life, all of my life certainly, and eventually it killed my father, though I think he was actually dead a good ten years before he finally stopped breathing. I believe there are limits to how much nonsense the sane should put up with from the mentally ill, no matter how much we love them.

            The only flies in the ointment of the “Bella was never in love with Jacob” theory are these. 1) SM says that she was in love with him of her own freewill, loudly and often, and 2)”love” is an emotion that you can feel to varying intensities. “In love” is a state of mind in which someone else’s happiness is essential to your own. Whose happiness was Bella most concerned with in Eclipse? It certainly wasn’t Edward’s. Anytime she had to do something to make Edward happy, she was like a four year old confronting a helping of boiled cabbage.

            So, to all outward signs she was in fact in love with Jacob Black, was NOT in love with Edward Cullen, and married the wrong guy. Throughout the book, she said one thing and did another, with both men.

            Yeah, SM went *way* overboard with the Jacob and Bella thing.

            R.

          • Rick, I can’t deny that you’re right that any human would (no, unfortunately, make that *should*) leave a relationship where the partner has significant feelings for someone else. But Edward is not human. He is an idealised character in every way. His vampire nature may dictate the permanence of his bond on his mate, but I think his personality and characteristics have much more to do with what we’re discussing – his patience, his rationality, his capacity for understanding are all superhuman. Or at least, like that of an abnormally patient, rational and understanding human…
            He finds himself in a relationship with a human girl that he must struggle constantly to keep safe from her own near-fatal bad luck and his own raging desire to kill her. Such an inconvenient set of obstacles to overcome, your average human probably would have cut and run right there (metaphorically, I hope) In Edward’s case, the simplest and most instantly gratifying course of action would be to just make her a vampire, as the more human-tempered Rosalie does with Emmett. But he doesn’t because his moral compass points unwaveringly in the direction of what he perceieves to be her best interests – a human life. In this foolish yet well-intentioned quest, he attempts to remove himself from her life and leaves her genuinely believing that he no longer loves her. It is only here that she turns to Jacob, a family friend, and it takes months before she even begins to entertain the idea that this smitten teen could be a viable Paris to her Romeo. After Bella saves Edward’s life in her first act as the saga’s true heroine, Edward sees the damage that he has done upon his return. Though he does play the jealous boyfriend for a while, his kind nature prevails in the end and by the time the physical act of infidelity finally comes around, he’s resigned to the fact that he played a part in creating this monster. He has enough compassion and very un-humanlike restraint to let her work out her pain and respect whatever decision she makes.
            Taking that a little further; remembering that a vampire’s specialized powers are supercharged versions of their most prominent human characteristics, we can assume that even as a human Edward had a feeling for what went on in the minds of others. Though he can’t simply read her mind, he knows Bella’s intentions were never malicious. He sees the goodness in her from the very beginning and he allows her to go through her process and make her mistakes and not let her actions taint his vision of her. You say it’s a lack of freewill, I say it’s a lack of reactionary human emotion. Even without the vampire bond, his countenance would be too rational and he is simply too old and wise to give up so easily on what he knows is an unparalled love.
            When I look at the story from his perspective, I just can’t see a shafted husband who has to settle for some other guy’s sloppy seconds and would be so much better off if he didn’t have this pesky vampire link holding him down. He was a century old telepathic who was resigned to spending eternity alone and damned. He comes out of the other end with an equal mate – a bond he had believed himself incapable of – and a child who no one even dreamed was a possibility. Though the ‘other man’ is still in the picture, it would appear he’s counted in these blessings as a “son” (Edward’s words)… I really can’t pretend that part of the story doesn’t weird me out but fine, for our purposes let’s go with it. Even if I accept your theory that his vampire bond makes him immune to seeing any injustices from Bella’s direction, it doesn’t mean he has to like Jacob. He can read Jacob’s thoughts, and apparently he’s cool with whatever’s going on in there concerning his daughter. And let’s not forget the last proof-of-happily-ever-after-purchase – when she lifts her shield and lets him into her mind, he sees nothing but love (and porn!) And with the Volturi threat dampened for the time being, nothing but an eternal stretch of wholesome family hunting trips and hot vamp sex and lavish trips to private islands in front of them. I just don’t see this “poor Edward” you speak of.

          • Right on the mark Sylvia. Excellent analysis. Edward played an equal part in the total of the story, just as Romeo and Juliet both contributed to their demise with a myriad of choices and misunderstandings. Lucky for us, instead of heartbreak, Bella and Edward are bound for reconcilliation, redemption and happiness. Some of it was a mess along the way…but I doubt Edward would look back, with all of his perspective and understanding, and regret any of it…and I also think he would have the maturity to put any resentment to rest, especially, as you pointed out, when in the end, Bella “shows” him the unwavering love and committment she has ALWAYS felt for him and which will never change!

          • Sylvia: Well written and argued, I even agree with some of it, with respect to Edward’s patience and maturity. But we have to remember that vampires are frozen at their change…and at Edward’s change he was a hormonal 17 year old boy. With all of the issues that go with that. I think, if we go to the wall, he’d have preferred to simply forbid Bella from seeing Jacob…and make it stick by any means possible, but he saw the game that Jacob was playing. He manipulated Edward into playing the heavy, and forcing Bella to rebel against him. Jacob tricked Bella into starting to treat Edward as “them” to her and Jacob’s “us”. Faced with that, what could Edward do but accept what was to come and hope for the best? That, and remember what happened the last time he made a choice for Bella without her consent.

            While I agree with you about Edward’s finer qualities, I’d like to *know* that those really WERE what led him to forgive Bella. And I don’t. Thus I’d like him to have at least had as much freedom to choose as Bella apparently did (in direct violation of her own bond to Edward…until the last possible minute) when she betrayed him with Jacob. But he doesn’t. It isn’t that the bond makes it impossible for him perceive what Bella did to him and be hurt by it. I think he saw it. Jacob made certain that he did. And I think that it hurt him, bone deep. Something that Bella and Jacob never paid the consequences for. It’s just that the bond-enforced overwhelming adoration for Bella prevented him from choosing any other course than to forgive her and swallow his pain.

            That makes Edward Cullen a tragic figure.

            Bella suffered no long term consequences for her actions. She didn’t even really give up Jacob. Just sort of swept him and her feelings for him under the rug, to be hauled out later when the coast was clear.

            And Jacob made out like a bandit. After spending months using every underhanded manipulative stratagem at his disposal in an effort to get Bella to betray Edward…and finally succeeding, he walked off with Edward’s daughter in Bella’s stead. Effectively “marrying” her before Edward ever gets to hold her.

            That makes Edward a tragic figure.

            The fact that he’s “happy” is irrelevant. What exactly does he have to be happy about, aside from the fact that he apparently got whatever love Bella could spare from her overwhelming tragic passionate need for her true soul mate Jacob Black, who would be her future if Edward would just conveniently cease to exist so she could be free? Bella who suddenly, once she’s changed, is totally committed and never really loved anyone but Edward. Ah, there’s Bella’s mate bond, which was fortuitously turned off whenever Jacob was around for most of Eclipse.

            Edward may have played a role in creating the monster, and he may see what Bella did to him as some twisted form of justice for that, but I don’t buy it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. What Edward did, he did because he loved Bella more than himself. What Bella did she did because she supposedly (and temporarily) loved Jacob Black enough to betray Edward’s love.

            Again, this makes Edward Cullen a tragic figure.

            Yeah, I’m laying it on thick but that’s how I feel about what we see on the surface in the Saga. SM way overdid the Jacob and Bella thing, to the point that Bella simply wasn’t believable as Edward’s one and only anymore. Not without some major redemption, which never took place, and which SM covered by simply ignoring what Bella had done and making Edward insanely happy with what he got…as if Jacob had never happened at all.

            It comes down to three possibilities.

            1) It was the imprint whammy, in which case Bella, and yes, even Jacob, are mostly blameless for what they did together. Edward’s trust is vindicated and all of the above nonsense is unnecessary, because it wasn’t their fault.

            2) Bella wasn’t in love with Jacob Black, but did have an oops where he stumbled and she caught him with her mouth. Okay, she never suffered any consequences, but she accepted that it was a mistake and moved on…sort of. As long as she wasn’t in love with him, I’ll deal.

            3) SM is right and she was in love with Jacob Black while being in love with Edward (an emotional logistical impossibility) and accept that Steph is either sloppy with her use of language, or doesn’t understand what it means to be in love.

            Love is an emotion with all kinds of room in it for things, people, and varying degrees on intensity. I can love a good steak. I can love a sunny day. I can love my wife. None of those degrees of love are comparable to each other. Then there’s being in love. “In love” is not the emotion itself. It’s a state of mind induced by the emotion, and it’s exclusive, not inclusive. If you’re really in love, there isn’t room for two or more people in there. Just one. It’s a state of being in which your own happiness is validated by the happiness of the one that you love. As I pointed out further down the thread, if it was really possible to be in love with more than one person at a time, polygamy and polyandry wouldn’t be illegal. They’d be the accepted social norm.

            Now, what part of what Bella did with Jacob was involved in making Edward happy?

            If Bella was in love with Jacob, she wasn’t in love with Edward.

            Either/or, not both at the same time.

            Okay, we’ve done enough OT damage here at Lexicon. If we’re gonna debate further, come on over to the Adult Twilight Fans board. It’ll take them a while to approve your membership, but it’s private, and frankly a little too quiet. ;-) They could use some fresh blood.

            R.

      • Rick weren’t you discussing this on Popwatch?

        Anyway I will give MY perspective. Bella was never in love with Jacob. I know she said it at the end, but that is mostly out of the guilt she felt because of the events of Eclipse, her father telling her how bad a person she was for not loving Jacob back, Rosalie telling her what she missed the most is the opportunity to be human and have babies, Jacob playing with her emotions…If you read the scenes with Edward and Bella apart of the scenes with all the other characters you see that Bella is truly herself when talking to Edward (she said that she never liked babies, she said that she rather not being a vampire than being without him) but her emotional turmoil came from everyone trying to convince her that she is making the wrong choice (Rosalie, Charlie in a way, Jacob and specially Edward) no to mention that Jacob never gave up, on the mountains when she was looking for Jacob she was telling him that she will dissapear from his life, she didn’t went longing for a kiss but for a way to make him feel better before leaving his life forever, when with Edward she just wants to feel herself better which is a HUGE different between the two. Everything that she ever did for Jacob was because he pushed and wanted it by force if necessary everything she did for Edward was because she wanted it naturally without Edward having to manipulate her into it. See the difference? If Bella would had really being in love with Jacob she would had been doing it for herself because that is the one she is, but she being young, impressionable and extremely gullible was practically pushed to spent time with him and consider him an option. Of course when it went down to it she stopped thinking on him and though of herself and the tears she shed were more the culmination of the emotional turmoil than real love. Take a look at how Bella reacted to Edward’s distance and how she reacted to Jacob’s. She barely survived while with Jacob she was okay a few hours later. I particularly share Kristen’s POV about the whole situation. Bella didn’t knew how to articulate the difference between loving Edward and caring for Jacob.

        I also think that deep down she had to convince herself to respond to Jacob because it was the only thing that will actually stop him from good. He obviously didn’t took any of the other times she told him no as a reason enough to accept that they will never be a couple so telling him that he loved him as well was the thing that put some distance…or not given how he continue with his meddling on her life even during the wedding. Some people never learn…

        Anyway this is my take on it.

        • I think I posted on a thread over there, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I post in half a dozen different venues, from Amazon to the Adult Twilight Fan forum.

          See my reply to KSmithGray up above.

          I can’t believe that she was in love with Jacob, because if she was, then she wasn’t in love with Edward, and didn’t deserve her happy ending with him. Edward deserved better than that for his suffering. So I look for loopholes. I think I have some good ones. However as I said, there are some flies in the ointment. SM says she was in love with him. Bella says she was in love with him. And Bella *acted* like she was in love with him, while not being in love with Edward. She may have wanted Edward, and needed him, but she wasn’t in love with him if she kept going to Jacob of her own freewill. Because she knew what Jacob wanted, and she knew that Edward knew what Jacob wanted. You don’t put the man who loves you through that…not if you really love him back.

          R.

          • Shoegal2547 says:

            I happened upon this site purely by accident, but was intrigued by the conversation. I comment on half a dozen Pattinson sites, and will add this one as well…mature comments.

            That said, Rick, I believe you miss the point that Bella’s affection for Jacob came to life because Edward left her, as he said to protect her from his world. However, if the movie had included that 3 minute dialogue when Bella returns after kissing Jacob, Edward said that his leaving Forks “left a mark on both of them (B/J).” He could not blame either of them for something he caused…although I never got the impression from reading that this was a love triangle, I think that was something Summit dreamed up for the sell of the movie.

            And, remember, Bella was 17 years old, never been in love before and didn’t understand the varying degrees of love…

            That said, I am TEAM EDWARD!

          • Shoegal2547: Hey! Hi! I do love a good clean debate. To the point that I think my wife wants to drop Edward’s piano on me at times. (Nope, I don’t know him at all. Never met the man in my life.) ;-)

            If you couldn’t tell, I’m Team Edward as well, even though I saw a Blog the other day that said the all real manly men have to be Team Jacob, and the us male Team Edward pansies had to be a little light in the loafers, if you take my meaning. ;-)

            Anyway, I saw Edward’s apologia for Bella. I read it in the books too. I’ve read the books so many times it isn’t even funny. Thing is, it sounded more to me like Edward was offering Bella an out, when she really didn’t deserve one. He was being “a nice guy” and hoping that he wouldn’t finish last….as nice guys are prone to do.

            He knew the game that Jacob was playing. Jacob had blackmailed Bella into what, in the relationship lexicon of most men, would be a deal breaker. He expected Edward to do what he himself would have done. Get mad, dump Bella, make demands that Bella would rebel against (like she had a habit of doing). Edward didn’t oblige him. He couldn’t.

            As he told the pup that night in the tent. The last time he tried to force Bella to do something it nearly killed them both. Never again. The mate bond would allow him to dump her, and hard experience wouldn’t let him try to hogtie her, though she certainly deserved it by that point. She demanded his trust and then abused it…repeatedly.

            That being said, I still think it was the imprint whammy. In New Moon, up to a certain point, Bella was fond of Jacob, and Jacob was crushing a bit on his friend. They really didn’t start to obsess on each other until he started to work up to phasing for the first time, at which point the wolf whammy turned on full blast.

            I think my wife is pretty much with you though. To her it never really was a love triangle, because Jacob was never really a serious contender. Bella’s head was just messed up by Jacob’s games and the wolf whammy.

            One thing to remember though in balancing the books. There are quite a few people who see what Bella did to Edward in Eclipse as his just due for the way he hurt her in New Moon. Edward would probably agree with them. I don’t. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and what Edward did in New Moon, he did because he loved Bella beyond his own life. What Bella did in Eclipse she did because she allegedly loved Jacob. The two acts don’t equate ethically or morally.

            R.

          • Rick, Bella never loved Jaoob. The reason why she kept went back to jake was the same reason how she could cope and felt almost whole with jake when edward left her in new moon; it was tht connection to nessi. When she kissed jacob back; she was totally confused, and she couldn’t make sense why she couldn’t stop it; so she took that as love. But when edward said the words ” YOU LOVE HIM” every cell in her body ached to DENY it!… there are so many points there in new moon and eclipse that point out tht she only loves edward and no one else.

          • I think the point of difference we have is that I never saw Bella acting in love with Jacob I saw her acting in debt with him, in pity and in guilt…In love? No sorry you don’t place excuses on yourself to see the man you are in love with. Neither you need your father to guilt you into seeing him. So I think that Smeyer might had a different idea of what human love means and guilt and debt are not part of it, IMO.

          • Harshi: It’s not what she says, it’s what she does. In New Moon I had no reason to doubt that she loved Edward. She said it and showed it at every turn. However in Eclipse it’s ambiguous. She *says* that she loves Edward, and she certainly enjoys making out with him, but her actions with regard to Jacob Black speak louder.

            You have a male friend who has repeatedly declared his intention, to both you and your boyfriend, to take you from said boyfriend. Said male friend commits various acts that are hostile to your relationship with said boyfriend, and he keeps escalating them, up to and including forcing himself on you physically.

            Yet you keep going back to see him. What message does that send to the male friend, your boyfriend, and any hypothetical observers (us)? Too me it says that the boyfriend is losing the battle. I’ll lay good odds that that’s what it said to Jacob and Edward too.

            It wasn’t until the end of Eclipse that Bella finally came out for Edward openly…yet even then it was clear, by her own thoughts, that she was still pining after the puppy romantically.

            R.

          • I knw what you are trying to say. But you have to understand the fact that bella and Jacob relationship began in a weird way. When broken hearted Bella went to his place for the first time ; she began to smile and realized that she could deal with the pain and as soon as she began to hang out with him she felt almost whole, she was alive. “isn’t tht weird out of every man in forks it had to be jake who could make her happy?? Why not mike newton?? Hehe.. So it was definitely nessie thing going on here.” anyhoo throughout new moon she didn’t want to lose him / make him unhappy but that was cuz she was afraid of having to lose her safe harbor. Bella knw what she was doing to jake and she was guilty of it but couldn’t help as she was trying to survive. At the end of new moon she knew what she had done to him and she saw how unhappy Jacob was so she promised herself to get her friend back and make him happy. And that was what she was trying to do in eclipse. Yes Jacob tried everything he got on her to win her heart and she couldn’t do the right thing by ending their friendship that cuz she had this irrational feeling that he belonged in her life too and that she couldn’t stand him to be unhappy. That was why she tolerated everything he did. “ remember she had two Jacobs. “ my Jacob and the other one, who annoys the hell out of her”. She loved him of course but as a friend/family. When bella kissed back, she thought she was in love with jake. “what went on between them weren’t something they could really understand at that point” But within her heart she knew who she belonged with that was why she never changed her decision to be with Edward. I knw what Edward had to go through in all this was unfair. But it wasn’t something Bella did on purpose. She just followed what she was feeling. She was trying to have everyone she loves in her life. The reason why she didn’t pause for a moment to think of Edward was cuz she thought she made it clear to him that it is only him she wants to be with. And that was why she didn’t think of her actions much while she was trying to keep her friend. Yeah at the end of eclipse she cried when she left Jacob. That cuz he was unhappy because of her and she was worried about him and she was sad that he won’t be a part of her life. “ again that irrational feeling… tht jake too belongs in her life thing”…

      • I never LIKED the fact that Bella developed feelings for Jacob, but I understood why it happened, and I believe Edward did as well.

        Jacob was her friend and support when she thought she had lost Edward forever. He brought a glimpse of happiness and rest into her life, where there had only been saddness and despondance. It’s understandable that that could develop into something more, especially when Edward was out of her life. If he had never left, those feelings would never have developed. The friendship may never even have developed beyond that of acquaintance! Edward knows all this.

        While I didn’t like how parts of Eclipse played out, it was understandable that Bella suffered some confusion and emotional conflict. Edward comes back and her world is righted once again, but now Jacob is in the picture, and she can’t make all the pieces fit. Even when she acknowledges that she has love for Jacob, she always accompanies that realization with the fact that she loves Edward more, that her feelings for Jacob will never eclipse or come close to what she feels for Edward and the way she needs him. Even after she breaks Jacob’s heart and makes the decision to let him go, realizing that she can no longer try to maintain contact with both men, she wants and needs Edward there. I never get the sense that she is settling for Edward. The heart-wrending need she has for Edward is so deep nothing but his return fully healed that void. The ache that she feels over letting go of a relationship with Jacob and any future that might have existed there pales in comparison.

        While I dislike that Edward had to watch her flounder around with those choices and realizations, he knows what caused them and knows that Bella is human. The struggles she faces are human. And when she chooses him, I don’t feel that she looks back. At the wedding, she acknowledges that Edward was right all along to want this to cement their commitment to one another. She has eyes only for him. The only reason she is even happy to see Jake there is the way one would enjoy sharing a momentous moment in life with someone who had loved and supported you. After that, she is emotionally devoted to Edward in every way.

        That she “needs” Jacob around, is a physical attraction born of the imprinting “pull.” She is always apologizing to Edward for the way she likes having Jacob around…but that connection is no longer anything but friendship. It’s merely a pull that she can’t explain…and once Renesmee is born, it dissolves completely. She is relieved to realize that any “need” for Jacob is gone, that it was due to Renesmee, and that she no longer has to feel unnaturally out of balance. I never question her devotion to or love for Edward. As she says, she kind of got sidetracked.

        But I don’t pity Edward for that rabbit trail…while he may not forget, he has the benefit of perspective and knowledge. And he can frame those memories with understanding, remembering that relationships are complex and that the road to “true love” isn’t usually smooth. Anyway, that’s my two cents. I have reconciled myself to the way SM developed those characters, and while I don’t like some of the things Bella did, I can understand what happened in the story and believe that, as SM believes, it doesn’t negate or belittle the great love Edward and Bella have for each other, in the end.

        • wow! Beauuutifully written!! Very well Said!!

        • Great insight. I don’t consider Reneesme pull active till she actually got pregnant though. I think the mess was more due to all the factors I said to Rick, plus the fact that Bella had recently got a clean break up from Edward that almost kill them both I really think she though that doing the same to Jacob after all he did for her would be waay to cruel and given that Jacob told her that they could be friends she decided to give him that chance. Of course she over did it, but its not like Jacob didn’t tried anything to keep pushing himself on her life whether she liked it or not, like after she punched him on the face he went to the party anyway and didn’t left when she made clear that he was no welcomed and then making the wolves being part of the fight to save HER life. Really at that point Bella telling Jacob to leave her alone would had looked even like an ungrateful prick…I actually pity Bella a lot on this book she was caught on an impossible situation. Also Edward never let her see how unhappy he was with Jacob trying to steal her till the very end. I’m pretty sure that if he would had sit with her and tell her that seeing Jacob on her life hurt him too much she would had stopped. Which is Edward’s problem he never asked her to make a choice between both so she though that she could make Jacob to accept Edward and be all friends at some point, till she realized that it was impossible.
          Finally I also think that the fact that the book was written after she wrote Forever Dawn in which non of this happened make Smeyer had issues developing a “love triangle” that never existed on the first place, fillers are always hard to do. if you read Twilight and Breaking Dawn they both make more sense with each other than with New Moon and Eclipse.

        • The problem with all of this is that, while Jacob may have been her friend in the beginning, once he phased, he started actively pursuing her. He didn’t want to be her friend. He wanted to be her lover. He wanted her for himself. Thus, everything he said and did was calculated for it’s affect on Bella and Edward’s relationship, finally leading her to betray Edward in his arms, hoping that by forcing her to hurt Edward, that Edward would finally have had enough and do what Jacob himself would have done in Edward’s shoes. Dump Bella right on her pretty behind.

          1) It didn’t work, because Edward was the bigger man.

          and

          2) The man who does that is without honor, and is no one’s friend, not even his own.

          R.

  9. Jazz Girl says:

    Can I just say I kind of fell in love with him a little bit? And, the fact that he truly understands what the TRUE choice involved in the “triangle” is, makes me forgive him (a little) for his canine leanings. When you look at it as a choice between Bella’s futures, I find it much more okay to say, “yes, she should choose to remain human and keep her life”. Afterall, that’s what Edward wanted as well, wasn’t it?

  10. It should be pointed out that a listener wrote in and told him out that fans dislike that part of the film (Bella choosing Edward not because of her love for him, but because of who she wants to be) as they feel it undermines the love between Bella and Edward. His reply:
    ‘David Slade talked specifically about that scene, and he was very proud of it, and was very clear that he felt it was crucial. Obviously there are certain departures from the book, just by the nature of it becoming a film, but he was very keen that, essentially, what that scene does is say something which is inherent in the book. Now obviously that is a point which is up for debate, but I like that scene very much and I think that if you start talking about adaptations as having to take literally every word from the book, then I think there are going to be problems.
    That is one of my favourite scenes in the film.’

    He then goes on to say that the first three Twilight films are better than the original Star Wars trilogy.

    • Each to his or her own. To me Bella’s speech at the end of the movie took an epic romance and turned into just another perk to being a vampire, along with great skin and super strength,

      R.

      • vampbball says:

        Not to mention that it’s completely unsupported by the books. Bella may have loved and admired the Cullens, but she was NEVER pro-vampire, especially not after her experience in Volterra. If Edward could have become human again, she and he would have wanted to be together as humans. The *only* reason Bella wanted to become a vampire was to be with Edward permanently. If Edward had somehow been destroyed by another vampire, she wouldn’t have chosen to undergo the change. And if she’d never met Edward, I don’t think she’d choose having superhuman strength and speed, and murderous impulses, over her parents and Jacob. That speech seriously warped Bella’s motives and character.

      • Shoegal2547 says:

        Rick, I agree with you…Bella wanting to become a vampire was always about being with Edward. In Eclipse, it’s just, well, being a vampire is who I am and if Edward’s there, then okay, icing on the cake. But in Twilight, she emphatically states she “wants to be with you (Edward) forever.”

    • I hated the speech tacked on at the end there, too. These revelations about her belonging in the vampire world are supposed to come in Breaking Dawn, only AFTER she’s joined the vampire world because of her devotion to Edward and her baby. Throwing in that “Oh, yea, it’s not you, I just think vampires are cool” thing was not needed. Maybe a backwards attempt at feminism? There’s nothing sexist or weak about a woman choosing to sacrifice and make hard choices for love and family. I agree, it cheapens the romantic element of their story.

    • I have to say that I actually LIKED her speech at the end of the movie. It’s not necessarily saying “wow I just wanted to be a vampire,” but more or less for me even in the books her choice wasn’t about “Edward or Jacob?” there never WAS a choice really…the love she had for Jake was there to show that she understood she could have and live this normal human life with Jake…but that wouldn’t be her…she doesn’t belong in that world with him so to speak…she belongs with Edward in HIS world. That’s what I got out of the book and out of the movie as well.

      • It’s not the speech itself I don’t like, it’s where they’ve put it in the grand scheme of things. In the books, she just doesn’t have all that figured out yet. I guess I just like the fact that in the books she’s still taking a leap of faith jumping into this unknown world without being quite so resolved regarding her position in it. And to me the speech didn’t seem to refer to *his* world as the one she wanted to be in as much as the vampire world in general since she feels so off in the human realm.
        Ah well, I guess I just worry that it changes the tone a bit for the beginning of Breaking Dawn. I’m sure it will be adjusted accordingly, it’s just an element I liked in the books.

      • I agree, the book was clear on this. Bella was no one had not ambitions dreams and though of herself as a coward before Edward appeared on her life. She was choosing to be a vampire because that was her calling and Edward’s love and her new life are one and the same. There is no difference between both. I always though that Rossemberg and Smeyer just spelled it out for the haters to actually understand it. Of course I didn’t liked it that they had Edward saying the same on the book when Bella didn’t even answered. So well one thing they can fix when they make a TV miniseries of the books :P

      • Thank you. I’m glad somebody else sees that that’s why Bella gives her reasons why she’s making the decision to be with Edwward. It wasn’t a choice in the first place. Her heat was always was and would always be with Edward. She knows that Jacob could give her a normal,human life,but that’s not what she wants. Hence her statement about who she should be and who she really is,tells the audience that she’d already made up her mind,when she first met Edward. Jacob had to see she wasn’t going to change her mind,no matter how hard he tried and I give him points for trying. The bottom line is there was never a choice for Bella to make and she wanted to be with Edward and be apart of the vampire world. She felt she belonged there and she proved in Breaking Dawn that she could better protect her family by joining them. Another great review by Mark Kerrmode and I can’t wait to hear his thoughts on Breaking Dawn part 1.

    • Shoegal2547 says:

      Of course, adaptatioms of books are somewhat different, but to change the meaning of the story altogether, I believe, cheapens Edward and Bella’s love for each other.

  11. Another middle-aged man here, and no I’m not gay, thank you very much. ;-) (There was an article a while back that stated that all male Team Edward supporters were gay by definition….)

    The review was intelligent and articulate, as far as it went. But a bit superficial. Yes, superficially Bella was choosing between two worlds, rather than two men. But over the run of the movies, the whole fulcrum that all of this rested on, the thing that brought them to this point, was Bella’s desire to be with Edward forever. It was Edward, first, last and always, period. Rosenberg’s wording of Bella’s speech reduced forever with Edward to the status of being a perk to being a vampire.

    Under those conditions, Bella has no business being in that world, and Edward would be a pile of ashes before he changed her.

    My wife (while disagreeing with me) remarked that the movie was almost a complete reversal from the books on that issue. In the books Edward doubted that she wanted him more than she wanted immortality, and Bella told him that wasn’t so and that he should trust her….even as she proved again and again that he was right to doubt. In the movie she flat out says that she wants to be a vampire first and be with him second. I like a good AU as much as the next person, but that’s not something you tell a guy after you just two-timed him with your best friend.

    In short, not too shabby if you’re reviewing a popcorn movie, but lacking a deeper understanding of the world and its characters. Even discounting the books entirely and basing your knowledge solely off of the movies, it was still somewhat superficial.

    R.

    • vampbball says:

      Oops, posted my earlier comment before I read this. Thanks for pointing out the “so you’re not just eager for immortality” bit. Edward was aware of that risk! And Bella was happy to reassure him.

      I didn’t closely follow the controversy you started above, but I don’t think it’s impossible to be in love with two people, and while I think Bella did wrong in Eclipse, I think her wrongdoing was unintentional. She’s very young and inexperienced, and it’s not right to judge her by the standard we’d apply to someone >30 years old. She’s still a kid, she made a mistake by not knowing her own feelings, and to my mind, her mistake was really no worse than Edward’s lying to her and abandoning her. In any case, they worked it out in the end. ;)

      • Sorry, I still can’t buy it. I can accept that there were men in my wife’s life before me, and that she might even have cared for them deeply. But NOT while she’s with me. Not unless she gives me my walking papers first.

        If Bella was truly “in love” with Jacob then she has no business being with Edward, and Edward is screwed for all eternity.

        Either/or, not both.

        If being in love with two people at the same time were actually possible, polygamy and polyandry wouldn’t be illegal, they’d be the social norm.

        R.

  12. This guy is AWESOME!! Thank you!

  13. Amazing review. A “middle aged man” to actually give the movies and the books serious discussion instead of saying, “Men, bite the bullet and just take your girlfriend/wife/daughter.”

    When Breaking Dawn comes out, going to have to hunt down his review!

    I’d so like to see him lead a panel at a Twilight Convention.

  14. Hasn’t anyone read John Granger’s great book on the Twilight series or read his posts at Forks High School Professor (fhsprofessor.com)? He’s a middle-aged guy, and, unlike Mark Kermode, who is famous just for saying something different from what everyone else is saying (hence his embrace of Twilight), Granger really gets why we love these books. He explains in his ‘Spotlight’ the four levels of meaning in the novels as well as Stephenie’s feminism and her Mormon beliefs, front and back. And Stephenie’s favorite teacher at BYU, Steve Walker, another middle-aged guy who loves Twilight, says Granger’s book is great.

    Stephenie’s biggest supporters in the literary criticism community — the ones that taker her seriously as a writer — are often middle-aged guys.

  15. blackbella says:

    i think..this is just me saying..middle aged men understand and like the books/movies better bc they have or know someone with a teenage daughter or son…and they are in the whole protect them teach them phase..and young guys are in the well..young guy phase.. its about having fun and living life…i dont think young guys can relate bc they feel edward not having sex with bella, who is practically throwing it at him, is not realistic to them..in their world that would never happen (unless u were gay or really devout in whatever religion u practice) which to me i think should have shown more of (like sam and emily) obviously they are having sex(in my mind), they live together and are not married (just engaged) show the other side, that they are protecting themselves (i figured since she isnt pregnant) young males today like to see something they can relate to (or things that blow up lol) and im sorry but edward is not a realistic male for today’s times (which isnt wrong) just doesnt appeal to the younger generation but the older…my husband informed me of this, he said thats why he prefers true blood because it appeals to his masculinity, whatever that means..but i love twilight but it is more for girls than boys…he thinks twilight is gay..but thats just him being a a**, i think lol..but i love true blood too. to me twilight is for the child in us, the innocent and true blood is for the adult in us, the fun and crazy..both are good but for different reasons

    • vampbball says:

      Interesting theory, blackbella. You could be right. But that’s a sad idea that so few younger guys lack the emotional maturity to relate to this series.

    • Good theory indeed. The Latin guys are a bit more into the movies than the American counterparts so maybe this idea is part of it. Many of them on relationships where the girl wants to wait (catholic/Christina upbringing) so they can see how that can actually work and still be a loving relationship.

  16. Allison Scanlan says:

    FANTASTIC INTERVIEW!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS SO MUCH!!!

  17. WastedGirl says:

    Thanks for posting this!
    Great review!
    cheerS!!

  18. The pingback above (#2) has an interesting post from Elizabeth Baird Hardy that sums up, “This is not to dismiss Kermode either, who seems like a thoughtful guy who isn’t ashamed of his faith or his love of horror films. Rather, we hope that readers will explore thoughtful texts and conversations on the books (not just the films) and notice that Kermode isn’t the lone voice of Twilight support; rather, he’s part of group hoping for better understanding of a text whose appeal is about far more than someone’s team.”

    Elizabeth’s own review of the Eclipse film is here: http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-golden-elizabeth%E2%80%99s-movie-thoughts-on-eclipse/

  19. Charlotte says:

    What a wonderful review. I usually avoid reviews of the Twilight films because I hate having to justify why I love them and I hate the condescending judgement they receive and how they are automatically dismissed by patronizing film critics. So thanks for posting this.

  20. This guy is insane; brilliant review. The other bloke, not so much.

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  4. […] out Mark’s latest and scroll down for links on his previous reviews.Check out Mark’s Eclipse opinion here and his New Moon Opinion hereCURRENTLY ONLY VIEWABLE IN THE UK< we are working on a USA […]

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