Saturday, July 27, 2013

TWILIGHT (2008): The 103-Year-old Vampire & the High School Student

He uses his young looks to infiltrate [high] schools.

I wrote in The Allure of Nymphets that the Twilight series of books have sold over one hundred million copies, were translated into over thirty-five languages, were successfully adapted to the big screen, and earned the author, Stephanie Meyer, over $50 million dollars. 

However, did you know that Twilight, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Amazon “Best Book of the Decade…” and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, is based on an age-discrepant relationship? And did you know that Edward, the vampire, who was played in the movies by the heartthrob Robert Pattinson, was over 100-years-old when he courted the 17-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart)?

Here's an excerpt from The Allure of Nymphets:

In the novel, high school student Bella asked Edward, “How old are you?”
“Seventeen,” he answered promptly.
“And how long have you been seventeen?”
“A while,” he admitted at last.

Interestingly, the way Bella asked the questions and the way she reacted to Edward’s answers were markedly different in the book and movie. In the book, the tone of Bella’s questions was relaxed, and she appeared to be relieved and even pleased with Edward’s answers. However, in the movie, Bella (Kristen Stewart) was extremely tense and distraught, both in her questions and in her reaction to Edward’s responses. In the book, Bella smiled when she found out that Edward had been seventeen for “awhile,” but in the movie she looked like she had just found out that her entire family had been killed in an airplane crash.

It turned out that Edward’s vague answer did not satisfy the seventeen-year-old Bella’s curiosity. She pressed on, and maintained a soft tone, this time in the book and the film, for a more specific answer.

“Are you ever going to tell me how old you are?” I asked, tentative, not wanting to upset his buoyant humor.
“Does it matter much?” His smile, to my relief, remained unclouded.
“No, but I still wonder…” I grimaced. “There’s nothing like an unsolved mystery to keep you up at night.”
“I wonder if it will upset you,” he reflected to himself. 
“Try me,” I finally said.
“I was born in Chicago in 1901.”

Bella feigned an unsurprised look on her face, and braced herself for more information about the much older man she was, as the back cover of the book describes, “[…] unconditionally, and irrevocably in love with […]”

My initial response to Edward’s birth date was shock, but then I passed it off as a sub-plot that was probably missed by most of the fans of the series. That was until I took an unscientific poll from a variety of teenage fans of the series. I asked a number of them if they were aware of Edward’s age and every single one of them replied in the affirmative; however, the knowledge of Edward's age did not sway their opinion of the books or the movies in any way. 

Rupert Sandars (41) & Kristen Stewart (22)

Talk about art imitating life, Kristen Stewart, 22, and Robert Pattinson, 26, developed a relationship on the set of the Twilight film series that continued over the years until Kristen began an affair on the set of Snow White and the Huntsman with Rupert Sandars, the 41-year-old married director of the film.

In Jack Kerouac's On The Road, Dean (Neal Cassady) reminisced about a three day liaison in the Ace Hotel with 15-year-old Marylou, whom he described as being, “[...] so sweet then, so young, hmm, ahh!” Guess who played Marylou in the film adaptation of the novel? You guessed it, Kristen Stewart.

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