Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NO SEX, PLEASE -- WE'RE VAMPIRES; the Creepiest Thing about the Second Adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Books Is Its Obsession with Teenage Celibacy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NO SEX, PLEASE -- WE'RE VAMPIRES; the Creepiest Thing about the Second Adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Books Is Its Obsession with Teenage Celibacy

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew O'Hagan

FILM OF THE WEEK NEW MOON Cert 12A, 131 mins **

ITWASF Scott Fitzgerald who said everybody's youth is a dream, "a form of chemical madness". When you read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books, you see how that madness can be forced to conform to a creed of abstinence. Meyer is a skilled storyteller with a talent for metaphysical tension but her stories are as Mormon as she is -- little wish-fulfilments, in which beautiful young people are doomed never to satisfy their sexual longings. This has played brilliantly with hundreds of millions of adolescent girls, who specialise in wanting what they can't have, and it has also proved appealing to their mothers for more reasons than any of them would care to relate.

The first Twilight film made squillions at the box office and turned its heartthrob leading man Robert Pattinson into a global star. Not in a long time has such an effort been made to render a generally blessed young person as being totally unavailable, not only unavailable in real life (whatever that is) but inside the narrative as well, playing a haunted young god who sells seduction but can't enjoy any.

The books and the film adaptations are ingenious but they are hobbled by their message. Already, we can witness the series being scooped in quality by its own offspring -- the vampire TV show True Blood proving both more sophisticated and more exciting in nearly every respect, as well as less cute.

But the film franchise won't let Twilight fans down. New Moon, the second release in the series, is nothing if not an international advertisement for the hungry virtues of virginity and, for some reason, young people can't get enough of it. I think it has something to do with the impossibility of yearning, especially among young people who don't know who they are.

In this picture, vampires and werewolves are forever taking their shirts off but, in doing so, they merely underscore one of the most basic truths in the movie business: no man ever went skint by fastening his commercial hopes to the value of the prick-tease.

New Moon is told from the point of view of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a 17-year-old siren with a mane of dark hair and a ready palette of moody expressions. As we know from the first chapter of The Twilight Saga, Bella is a mortal in love with a handsome vampire called Edward Cullen (Pattinson), and she turns 18 at the opening of the new film. Edward is even more pouty than she is but, despite not exactly having one, he's a good soul and he worries that Bella will constantly be in danger if she sticks with him.

With this fear in mind, Edward decides to dump her. At this point, Bella becomes like your typical Twilight fan, screaming into her pillow every night and dreaming of Edward's absent kisses. …

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