We knew it was coming sooner or later. James Fraco spent the better part of 2010 and early 2011 making obscure Twilight references, and even made a pitch to be in the movie, and now he’s commenting on it.
Check out his thoughts on Breaking Dawn and the Descendants in Paris Review:
Death comes pretty simply in the latest installment of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, too: the conceit allows the filmmakers to get away with murder, literally. Meyers has set her vampire story in adolescence (never mind that Edward is more than a hundred years old and could probably be Bella’s great-great-grandfather), and the constraints and abilities of the vampires become a metaphor for the emotional chaos of high school. In the first “Twilight” installment, Edward can’t kiss Bella because he is afraid that he will get so excited he’ll loose[SIC] control of himself and suck her blood; for them, sex is tantamount to death. Not that this sense of decorum prevents Edward from killing evil vampires, or nearly murdering a group of young men whose rape-fixated thoughts he can psychically overhear. Edward has murdered, and in Breaking Dawn we learn that he has murdered lots.
Of course, a few other forbidden territories are broken in as well. The protagonists finally marry, having waited until the wise old age of eighteen, and since the book and the film dutifully show them being wed, they are then allowed to fuck each others’ brains out. For a film that claims to be sexually responsible, the “Twilight” movies are awfully dependent on teenage sex to attract viewers. The actors prance about like pieces of meat, their disturbingly developed bodies on full display; Taylor Lautner’s rippling teenage chest is just a little better than the child beauty-pageant stars at the end of Little Miss Sunshine. The fans have divided themselves into teams (Team Jacob and Team Edward) and, considering that they already know the outcome of the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, the choice of a team can mean little more than—well, you can imagine.
Not that sex leads to anything splendid when it finally does happen: Bella (spoiler alert!) becomes pregnant with a vampire that apparently develops to birth size within weeks, requires her to drink blood, and is eating her from the inside. This terrifying picture of pregnancy culminates with Bella’s rival lovers giving her a C-section, as if they are playing some perverse adolescent game of doctor.
Motherhood is the fall guy in The Descendants, too. It’s revealed early on that the daughter hates her mother because she caught her mother cheating; it is the daughter, in fact, who reveals the affair to her father and aids in the hunt for the other man. The mother remains comatose, and the movie suggests that the adulteress got what she deserved. Not even her lover, when he finally surfaces, loves her.
Bella initially fares little better; despite the boys’ best efforts, she dies in childbirth. But not to worry! She can be saved by being turned into a vampire, a recourse not available to most teen moms. But then again, those “Twilight” creators know how to get their blood—and eat it, too.
One would have hoped that the Yale MFA program would have afforded him the opportunity to discern the difference between lose and loose…alas, no.