Sigh... it's going to be a rough time at the multiplex for anyone old enough to legally drink this weekend. The last pre-Thanksgiving movie releases are always typically family-friendly, but, this year, there are only two real choices if you want to see a new movie (and have already seen Quantum of Solace), and both have their baggage, particularly for audiences over twelve years old. First, there's Bolt, which has had good trailers and Pixar's resident genius John Lasseter working behind the scenes (big pluses), but it's also a Disney movie featuring Miley Cyrus, so there's a definite chance that adults might start wishing they'd just seen James Bond again, especially if there's a song ("Hanna Montana's Bolt Jamz 2008: Featuring Timbaland and Ne-Yo").
The other big release this weekend is Twilight, the first movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's beyond-popular teen-vampire novels, books that have somehow found a way too turn the pent-up angst of emos and cutters into something cool, which we're not exactly sure is a good thing. Granted, the term "the next Harry Potter" gets thrown around a lot when fans discuss Twilight - it has a lot to do with the sheer level of obsession that Meyer devotees exhibit - but we're simply not convinced that Twilight can tap into the universal appeal of the Potter books (and movies). However, that's not to say that Twilight isn't going to make enough cash to bail out the U.S. auto industry in its first two weeks alone. People are already camping out for tickets, early shows are sold out - there's something about Twilight and its story of a loner girl falling for hunky high-school blood-sucker that people want to see, and it's not just the tweens.
Admit it, adults. Even though you recoil at memories of your own brooding adolescence and can't identify at all with The Hills generation, you kind of want to see Twilight anyway, don't you? We're not judging, we're just here to help. So, as a service to our readers old enough to know better, here are six excuses grown-ups can use for going to see Twilight this weekend:
Excuse #1: After seeing Let the Right One In (which is easily one of the coolest and best movies of 2008) and becoming obsessed with HBO's new hit series True Blood (which has convinced us that there's no word in the English language more fun to say than "Sookie"), you understandably assumed that we're in the middle of some kind of pop culture vampire renaissance, and you didn't want to be left behind like when you refused to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it sounded lame.
Excuse #2: Thanks to those jerks at Warner Brothers who shifted the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from this Thanksgiving to next July, your deadly-serious J.K. Rowling addiction has you tweaking worse than a junkie on A&E's Intervention, and the only possible cure is pretending that Twilight is about the after-life adventures of Cedric Diggory (Twilight's Robert Pattinson played Diggory in Goblet of Fire) who, after he was murdered by Voldemort, apparently became a vampire and transferred to a marginally less-dangerous high-school in the Pacific Northwest.
Excuse #3: Forget about the kid-vampire stuff. You're just a big fan of Twilight's director Catherine Hardwicke, ranging back to her days as a production designer - she designed Tapeheads, I'm Gonna Get You Sucka, and Tombstone! - to her more-recent career as a big-time director, helming movies like Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. (OK, she's a much better designer than director, but what are you going to do?)
Excuse #4: Right after Hardwicke directed the Oscar-nominated youngster Keisha Castle-Hughes (who so ruled in Whale Rider) in 2006's The Nativity Story, the teenager became pregnant and gave birth to her first child at the age of seventeen. So, as a fan of schaenfreude, you just have to see Twilight because, who knows, maybe Kristen Stewart will go all goth or start dating Marilyn Manson afterwards. (It's probably too much to hope that she actually thinks she's turning into a vampire, right? Sure, it would be great TMZ fodder, but it's probably look less like Kate Beckinsale in Underworld and more like Nic Cage in Vampire's Kiss, don't ya think?)
Excuse #5: Either just come out and say that you're a HUGE fan of Stephenie Meyer - possibly qualifying with smaller lies like "I read the books with my teenaged niece" or "I'm trying to start a youth book group at our local library" - or try to convince your more film-literate friends that you just love Twilight's screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who has written for Dexter (very cool), The O.C. (less cool), and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman (Oh Dear Lord) and who also wrote the screenplay for 2006's dance-battle epic Step Up, which... OK, just say she wrote for Dexter and leave it at that.
Excuse #6: You're a cougar, and your group of red-hatted, Samantha-from-Sex-in-the-City-worshipping gal-pals are interested in checking out the new Hollywood meat, i.e. sexy vamp 22-year-old Robert Pattinson. WARNING: If you are a dude, this excuse does not work for you. Gathering a group of brohams to go scope out 18-year-old Kristen Stewart - whom you've had a crush on since Zathura - is very, very creepy. Yes, we know that's a double-standard, but we're just trying to keep you off the sex offender list. Please be careful.