By now, everyone is well aware of "Twilight" mania, but last night, I experienced it firsthand. Oh yes, that's right ... I attended the midnight showing of "New Moon," and somehow, I made it out alive.
Guest Blogger Janine: Let me preface this by saying, I am sort of a fake "Twilight" fan (shhhhh!). I only read half of the first book but, I did see the first movie -- and after seeing it, completely "got" why it was such a huge phenomenon. Hey, I was a tween once too! So, knowing this would be the biggest premiere of the year, I bought tickets back in September because I knew, if anything, this was going to be one hell of a crazy story. And to really do this thing right, I showed up in my official Hot Topic New Moon Bella and Edward hoodie -- newly released, might I add. I bought it that day at lunch as a joke.
I arrived at the theater and there were 8 different lines for 8 different showings wrapped around the block. Everyone was decked out in Twihard garb -- complete with blankets, sweatshirts, hats, and, let's not forget, the handmade, puffy-painted "Team Jacob" headbands. The 15-year-old girls at the front of the line told me they had skipped school, not telling their parents (of course), to set up camp at 9 AM. As this is something I obviously would not do, being the only one in line with a paying job (other than the Coldstone Creamery kids), my place in line was, of course, at the very end. The attendance was made up mostly of girls, except for a few pissed-off boyfriends/husbands, creepy 60-year-old grandmas (with flashing light vampire jewelry), and freaky Goth teen misfits who wore trench coats and had huge earlobe-stretching gauges. It was quite a cast of characters.
Everyone looked cold and hungry, but as soon as they opened the doors, the Twilight Hysteria Brigade paraded into the theater with full force! "Team Edward!" "Team Jacob!" "Shut up, Bella is Hot!" Everyone ran for their seats (mine was surprisingly in row three, not row one, as expected), and the chants continued. "Team Edward!" "Team Jacob!" "Why can't the movie just start?!" A beach ball somehow showed up, and suddenly I was transported to a deranged high school pep rally. The random shrieks continued for the next 20 minutes as I waited for my impending death.
Finally, the previews started, and every tween in the theater felt the need to yell their response to each upcoming movie (all vampire/romance-themed -- except for the Meryl Streep/Alec Baldwin one, which was clearly to amuse the moms). Then, it began ... [SCREAMS!] 120 minutes of never-ending screaming.
Experiencing this insanity was kind of like attending a rock concert -- except instead of girls cheering for guys holding guitars, they're screaming for shirtless, prepubescent boys. Every time one even entered the frame, the crowd exploded. "You're HOT!" "I want your body!" "Kiss Her!" And, of course, throughout the movie, I heard the occasional "Shhhhh!," "Shut up!," "You're ruining the movie!" I made the mistake of giggling at the wrong time, and I was scolded with a "Fake fan alert!" shoutout.
So, with all the continuous shrieking -- was the movie actually any good? Your teen/tween will say yes (because Jacob's abs are unreal). The truth is, no. From a typical moviegoer's perspective, there's really not much of a story arc, there is no way Bella even crushing on Jacob is believable, and, what I found most confusing, there is no explanation whatsoever as to why wolf boys don't like clothes.
Don't want to see "New Moon," but want to experience the insanity? Listen to the live footage I got ... I dare you.
For parents bringing their kids to see "New Moon," I have a couple pieces of advice: earplugs and cocktails.