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Friday, January 21, 2011

MLIT: Real Wedding Planners Plan Bella's Fake Wedding

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt. 1: First Blood will be released to theaters on November 18, 2011, in sha' Allah. If you are interested in the boring black-and-red "title treatment" to the film, which was released to much fanfare this morning, then, well, fuck you. But here it is. Spoiler Alert, but Breaking Dawn more or less opens with a wedding scene. Edward Cullen, the mind-reading vampire who is also a skilled negotiator, has basically argued Bella into a corner and she agrees to make their love legit in God's and the state's eyes in order to achieve immortality and an orgasm.

(That god's wishes matter to vampires is a little weird, no? Religion is strangely grafted-on to the Twilight Saga. The drama over impending nuptials eclipses a majority of the ostensible plot of Eclipse [see what I did there? You're welcome] which is theoretically mostly about an attack from an army of zombie-like newborn vampires. That book is the most galling example, but it's present in earlier ones, too. Marriage and souls and Jesus and they way all three relate raise up their ugly heads at odd intervals. It raises questions about Stephenie Meyer's brain, or editor, or both.

Kira recently brought my attention to the Mormon practice of professionally editing out the sex and violence in feature films, and the article she linked me to felt weirdly relevant. The Salt Lake City-based company ClearPlay apparently slices and dices popular films with no regard for continuity or coherence, which is just fine with their LDS clientele so long as they don't see a pubic hair or hear a curse word. ClearPlay customers, then, experience narrative media in a radically different way than I do. What must their list of priorities going into a feature film look like, if narrative coherence is near the bottom and absence of skin and swears is at the top? I mean, that is literally the exact opposite of what I look for! The article, Kira said, "made me seriously rethink all of the logical inconsistencies in [Twilight]," which is a rather astute observation. That the intermittent presence of religious values in a paranormal teen romance novel feels wrong may not have occurred to the author.

That Edward and Bella have to register their love with the state of Washington is similarly out-of-place in a series that chiefly involves immortal vampires and werewolves; where we're going, we don't need marriage certificates! It's compounded by the fact that rule numero uno for vampires is to keep a low-profile; The Volturi, which are sort of the vampire police/Vatican, enforce keeping it on the hush with deadly force. And Edward doesn't have a valid Social Security card, given that he was born before the advent of Social Security. Getting married would therefore involve the submission of forged documents to the government. The Cullens have enormous wealth, and also would be wont to avoid attracting the attention of the IRS. This marriage has "joint federal investigation" all over it, which would be bad even if the Cullens would likely be able to hold out longer than David Koresh. But I digress.)

The point is, there's going to be a wedding! AWWWWWW! YAYYYYYYY! WEDDINGGG! (Try to put all of the morally troubling shit out of your mind and get in the spirit of it, okay?) InStyle magazine has a slideshow on their site where various wedding planners propose what Edward & Bella's wedding should be like. The sky is the limit, since Stephenie Meyer writes about Bella's major life events with such a startling lack of detail that the wedding scene passes in the book almost unnoticed. A few highlights:
  • The Invitations! "The color palette symbolizes the chemistry between them: red is passion and a nod to the vampires, while espresso is mysterious and gold represents luxury and elegance." Espresso is mysterious?
  • Uh, this:
Are they getting married on that space bubblefrom Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain?
  • The way they cite textual precedent for their decisions, as if Rosalie wearing "a shimmery silver dress" is something that really NEEDS to be adapted faithfully.
  • "“The inspiration for Bella's garter was 'understated pretty meets vintage elegance.' It's a hybrid of Bella and Edward's distinct qualities: Bella is pretty, natural and classic. Edward is sparkling, vintage and captivating.” Uh-huh.
  • Re: hairdos: "Also, there's a complexity and duality in texture, much like Bella's own complexity." HA HA HA. And how do you convey Edward's stubborn religious fanaticism with a haircut?
  • Edward's wedding band has hidden rubies to evoke his "secret powers." When they touch rings can they summon whatever the vampire equivalent of Captain Planet is?
  • The "Celebrity DJ" playlist, which includes Tegan and Sara (?) and "Thriller," for reasons that apparently do not need articulating! How does "Walking With A Ghost" exactly "enhance the early 1900s aesthetic of their wedding"?
I mean, I don't know what I was expecting going in, but it was somehow worse than even my worst fears. And I'm sure the film will somehow set the bar even lower. Reserve your tickets today!

I'm not a Twi-Hard, well, okay, I guess I sort of am.

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