Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reviewed: Rob Pattison in GQ

I know, I know. Two Twilight-centric posts in one day. Slay me. 

But this Rob Pattison interview has got to be one of the most hilarious interviews ever. Love him. 

90 Stars.

I Am Almost 30 And I Love Twilight

Since Christmas I've been wondering what it was that made me read all four of the books in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series.

The truth is, I didn't just read them, I voraciously read them. It was the most fun I've had reading a book since I discovered JSF's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I read the first book over the Christmas holiday, swearing that I just wanted to see what was up, swearing that I wouldn't enjoy it, or read the next one--but then I read the next one. I finished it completely unaware of anyone else at the laundromat, my clothes waiting already done in the dryer. And then here's where I get a little fuzzy on the third and fourth books, because I'm pretty sure I read them both--all 1380 pages of them--in three days. I remember particularly, towards the end of Breaking Dawn, that my eyes had gotten so bleary I could hardly see the words.

I should have known I would like them. I'm an unapologetic romantic; I practically live on a diet of The English Patient, Atonement, and Cold Mountain. I'm pretty much a 14 year-old girl and always will be.

Which is why this explanation of the Twilight phenomenon in The Atlantic really explained a lot for me.

And recently I read this critique in Bitch magazine, about why Twilight is really just abstinence porn. (This is a good read.)

I agree with both articles even though they contradict each other quite a bit. Bella and Edward's love is both saccharine and dark, delightfully appealing in every way. The books appealed to the pre-teen dreamer in me, the girl who daydreamed crazy fantasies about a particular high school senior that involved emotional rescues ("But how did you know I needed you right then?" "I just knew. I know everything about you.") and odd locations I thought would be romantic (e.g., the middle of a cornfield at night.) I remember once in the locker room before gym class, a girl a few years younger than me stormed in visibly upset and threw herself against the lockers, practically stage crying. She gripped her fists against her heart and said, "Why does he do this to me?" I turned my head and laughed to myself at her over-drama, but that girl was seriously who I was inside my own head.

Of course now I'm completely ashamed of how I behaved in my head--that silly, romantic girl--which is also how I feel about Twilight. I love the books, but sort of hate that I love them. I try to tell myself, you have a master's degree.

Because most of the great love affair is quite silly, particularly the unique abstinence between the couple--Bella continually gets "carried away" and longs to be taken by her vampire prince, while the stoic Edward again and again keeps both of them under control.

And maybe that's who we all wanted to be back when we were 17 years-old; the girl who wasn't a buttoned-up prude, but really quite fiery and sexual. And just so we wouldn't have to give in to being terrified of actually doing the deed, there would be a guy there who wouldn't let us do it, retaining for us our image of being wildly desirable carefree vixens, so that we'd never have to show we were ever scared.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Reviewed: Smashing Pumpkins, making apple pie, snow

It's snowing today, a swiftly falling pelt-you-in-the-face kind of snow. This weekend I did all kinds of things for once. On Thursday, when Joe said, what do you want to do this weekend?, I said, I want to watch a whole bunch of movies at the theater. My ambitious plan was to watch all the Oscar movies I had meant to watch beforehand, maybe even two-a-day if I could handle it. 

We ended up seeing one a day (like vitamins!) with my friend Ellen replacing Joe on Sunday night's Wrestler date. All in all, I was kind of...blerged out. Milk and The Wrestler certainly were better by far than The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (undeserved best actor nom, Brad Pitt, undeserved!). But nothing was surprising, or even particularly transporting (Sean Penn excepted.) The movies were...okay. I want another Grindhouse! Or, at least, something like The Departed! I want something that makes me forget I'm in the theater, but also, thanking god that I am seeing such an amazing movie as this in a theater. I want to see a movie that makes me want to watch it a second time the minute its over.  

We also wandered the Village and got some books for my new sexy book club (Murph, you WILL join) and also--my favorite of the weekend--Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream on LP. 

Which I am listening to now, while I make an apple pie out of the apples I bought on Friday and didn't have time to make (since I had more than my hands full blackening shrimp and simmering red beans and rice, on top of the brussel sprout, tomato and fresh corn salad!) I was ambitious this weekend, and it kind of worked out. I cooked food. We slept in. We watched the season 2 finale of Dexter. I went uptown. We walked back home from the BAM down 5th Avenue. We ate John's pizza. We tried to get in to Rissoteria. I caught 20 minutes of Alive on HBO. Since I minused out the normal weekend couch-lounging and General Hospital-catching-up, it felt like having a week of vacation unzipped from a weekend's worth of time. So nice. 

But this music makes me think about how idiotic of a teenager I was. Ah, Smashing Pumpkins. Sophomore year of high school. The guy I crushed on was uninterested, heart-breakingly so. My sister and her HighSchool boyfriend (the worst of the lot, perhaps) went to a Smashing Pumpkins concert, and I stayed home inwardly pouting for not being able to go. I tried so hard to be cool back then, that when they got home I questioned my sis and her HS bf about all of the songs I was able to name ("Did they play 'Whir'? How was 'Disarm'?") and when HS bf confessed that he had gone to buy a t-shirt during "Disarm" I scoffed and said to all my friends later, "I mean, who would leave during "Disarm"? It's only the best SP song ever." 

My oh my. Memories.

75 Stars for today.