By Brianne Johnson, Daily Film Columnist
Published November 13, 2012
Fifteen years old and with only the odd cents of a wrung-dry gift card to my name, I released the contents of my Jo-Ann Fabrics bag, letting the last of my allowance — now a pile of felt letters — spill across the kitchen table. The T-shirt was black (the brooding air I so longed to emanate!) and the collegiate block font a last resort; the store’s selection of Comic Sans was short of the extra ‘L’ needed to complete my love’s last name.
Ironed onto the back of my extra-small Hanes T-shirt were two words: “Team Cullen.”
Clearly a trendsetter from birth, I wasn’t surprised that no one recognized the moniker, at times mistaking me for a player on a team that engaged in actual physical activity. But as a cool, sedentary high schooler, I dared to take the front of the shirt in a different direction: “Edward. Fucking. Cullen.”
Did I mention that I was cool? Cooler than a vampire’s allegedly marble-esque skin.
Five years later, “The Twilight Saga” (insert girlish scream) has come to an end. The Cullen clan meet their cinematic demise Friday with the series’ fifth installment, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2.”
As a sophomore in high school, I’d dreaded this day. “It seems like forever,” I’d lament to friends, counting down the days to eternity. I resented the movie trailers and hoodies that probed, “When you live forever, what do you live for?” What do you think, Catherine Hardwicke? Ask my preteen hormones such a question and receive only a sullen whisper: “Fan fiction.”
Yet as I entered adulthood and shed (see: ran screaming from) my title as Midnight DVD Release Party Prom Queen (bow down to me), I’ve come to long for the end. I beg for the day that my teen award shows redeem their dignity and the other contenders their trophies, or adorned surfboards, if we’re getting technical.
Dear “Twilight” series, all good — and not so good — things must come to an end. I present you with the last Will and Testament the immortal Cullens have no need to write, a goodbye truly worthy of the undead. What right do I have to pen this precious document? Well, I’m Prom Queen, damnit.
We gather here today to bid adieu this relic of our teenaged past, a beacon in the sea of rabid fan drool: the film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s story of inter-species lovers, Edward and Bella.
To any and all future boyfriends, I leave Edward’s grey pea coat, for it’s timeless, sharp and probably sticky with the remnants of Robert Pattinson’s hair gel.
Director Bill Condon shall receive a montage of every Kristen Stewart lip nibble, cross-eyed stare, fidget, stutter and strategically scripted stumble that once illustrated our beloved heroine’s ineptitude.
I bestow upon “The Hunger Games” the merchandise mountains of vampires and werewolves past. May the bracelets, pillowcases and life-size cardboard figures from which the characters’ eyes dazzle unsuspecting consumers aid you in dominating the industry and the shelves of Hot Topic. P.S., a simple strip of duct tape can easily turn a “Team Jacob” tee into “Team Peeta.”
I entrust the Quileute wolf pack to the East Quad dining hall upon its post-renovation opening. While not directly proposing you serve the beasts as Thursday’s exotic cuisine, I do believe tofu improves with a dash of washboard abs and a soft mane to nuzzle.
To my DVD collection, I leave just one sincere note: “I’m sorry. I.O.U.”
Last, I present the cast, crew, directors and author Stephenie Meyer with the best parting words I can muster: “Thank you.”
“The Twilight Saga” is a phenomenon that followed readers and viewers through the most gruesome of their teen years (and forties, but the Twi-moms are an issue to be dealt with by the government and a tenacious team of psychologists). Jealous of classmates who enjoyed a comradely childhood with J.K. Rowling’s Weasleys, I discovered the forests of Forks, Wash. and called them home before Hogwarts could claim me.
It wasn’t the literary or cinematic merit that lured me in year after year (let’s be honest), but the loyalty that only a naïve, pubescent reader can have to a story that caught her eye like the food in her braces. “The Twilight Saga,” its midnight premieres bubbling with beach balls and giddy viewers like a manic slumber party, drew readers and movie-goers into their own community, sane or otherwise, and introduced a portion of the generation to one of the few mass cultural spectacles left.
As my reign as Prom Queen comes to an end, I’ve prepared for my last “Twilight” premiere by penning wistful haikus and altering lines from “ashes to ashes” to “sparkles to sparkles.” When the night arrives, and the vampires come lurking from their refuge in the shadows, I will be sitting front row, tissues (and wooden stake) in hand.