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Kids Watch: The Twilight Saga: 'New Moon'

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Rhianwen Benner: Get ready for the second installment of the latest thing your teens are obsessed with.

After her vampire boyfriend Edward (played by Robert Pattinson) leaves town, Bella (Kristen Stewart) starts hanging out with Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Oh, and funny story, Jacob turns out to be part of a werewolf clan at odds with Edward's vampire crew. Can't this girl find a nice non-monster boy to go out with?

new moon twilight saga movie poster
Devoted "Twilight" fans will be gasping and squealing with delight over the second installment of the series. Newbies may enjoy the movie too, but not nearly as much as the devoted. If you're new to the series, expect more than a few things to fly over your head.

The characters in the film demonstrate abstinence. Of course, their motives for purity may differ from your children's, unless vampirism is a bona fide threat in their high school. Teens are bombarded with sex in everything from threesomes on primetime TV to even ordinary jean commercials, so it's a welcome change of pace to see these vampires keep their pants on.

The intense emotions and sexual tension between the characters is just so teen. There is a certain sweet earnestness that is captured by the film that may jog your memory back a few years to high school, when the fate of the world seemed to hang on every interaction with your boyfriend.

Bella has a sweet relationship with her bachelor father, Charlie (Billy Burke). Though at times it seems more of a peer relationship than a father-daughter one, it is touching to see Charlie try his best to understand and help his angst-ridden daughter.

In the world of "Twilight," friendship and loyalty are placed at a high value. Edward and his family are extremely protective of one another, as are Jacob and his pack of friends. Knowing Bella is merely human, both groups protect her at all costs.

And not for nothing, but the hunky leads are shirtless for most of the movie. Should this fall under "love it" or "hate it" is your choice.

Given all the above, what messages are your kids going to glean from this film? While there is no presence of drugs, alcohol, and barely a foul word uttered, what we do see are some pretty unhealthy relationship dynamics. After suffering a three-month depression over Edward leaving her, Bella opts for self-destructive and nearly suicidal behavior, hoping for a glimpse of her beloved. Bella's platonic relationship with Jacob is wrought with sexual tension, and she admittedly leads him on for the purpose of distracting herself from losing Edward. On Edward's part, he attempts suicide over his unrequited love, taking direct cues from "Romeo and Juliet." It is love? Is it lust? Is it obsession? Whatever it is, your teens are going to imitate it.

Be aware that there's a decent amount of violence in the film, though it's not overwhelming. At one point early on, Bella is unexpectedly thrown across a room and smashed into a wall "for her own protection." We see a fleeting moment of a decapitation. There are several fights between werewolves, vampires, and werewolves and vampires. And, this being a vampire movie, there is some blood.

Did I mention the film is about two and a half hours long? Because it is. And it feels that way, especially if you're not a "Twilight" fan.

Considering all the hype surrounding this movie -- and the fact that your teens are probably already begging to go -- you probably won't be able to avoid "New Moon" for long. But it does present an opportunity to dialogue with your kids about love, infatuation, and genuine relationships. Just keep in mind that the PG-13 rating is right on with this one.

next: Has Michael Jackson Come Back to Life ... as a Girl?
3 comments so far | Post a comment now
qonto November 20, 2009, 10:00 PM

i really like The twilight saga:new moon movie. i and my brother went to watch it yesterday. it was lovely story. i have read all twilight books and i can not find any mistake from the movie.

c.g. November 25, 2009, 11:13 PM

vampire garbage. so what they “keep their pants on” it’s a shame we cannot just have wholesome encouraging entertainment that makes a person feel good about themselves and the world in general. nothing chaste, or pure about any of it. it’s all just another form of spiritism, something our creator condemns. A hairy spider is still a spider even if it is dressed up like something harmless and given a cute name.

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