Love bites

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Call it a stereotype, but the average teenage girl isn't exactly burdened with an overabundance of depth. At least it seemed that way whenever Robert Pattinson popped up on screen during a recent showing of Twilight.

Playing tortured-yet-hunky vampire Edward, Pattinson has been christened as the newest teen obsession, a classic Tiger Beat cover model for the next generation. Fortunately, Pattinson isn't a bad actor either, even when he and his excellent co-star Kristen Stewart are forced into simple, slightly cheesy dialogue exchanges.

When Stewart's Bella moves to a small town to live with her dad, she immediately draws the attention of Edward, mostly because she's the only person he can't read. For her part, Bella can read Edward, and quickly deduces his bloodsucking background.

A second storyline features a less-noble vampire named James (Cam Gigandet) who's obsessed with hunting down Bella for fraternizing with his kind, but it's mostly an excuse to show more of the forbidden Bella-Edward relationship.

It's one sign that novelist Stephenie Meyer is a romantic at heart, not a master of horror; though her version of love often resembles bad teen poetry, it's also full of the kind of angst the target audience is bound to relate to.

Director Catherine Hardwicke, who earned her tormented-teen cred with the underappreciated Thirteen, mostly triumphs over the material. She turns Twilight into a realistic portrayal of the messiness of teenage love, and the demons it sometimes involves.


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Grade: B