The heavily hyped “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” opened last night in theaters. If you’ve already seen it, you may have concluded that it’s one or all of the following: the weirdest “Twilight” movie you’ve ever seen, the one with the most blood (and therefore the best), a semi-satisfying consummation of the Edward-Bella relationship, at least an hour longer than it needed to be and destined to sweep this year’s Razzie Awards.
Yes, reacting to this film is complicated. Which is why we three ladies — The Post’s resident Celebritologist Jen Chaney, Style writer and Web Hostess Monica Hesse and BlogPoster Melissa Bell — captured our instant reactions to the film via instant-messaging after screening “Breaking Dawn” earlier this week. Our conversation is as free-flowing as the blood that certain “Twilight” protagonists must drink. And — warning — it’s also filled with spoilers.
If you want to continue this dialogue after reading the transcript below, please join all three of us for a “Twilight” live discussion today at 1 p.m. For now, come with us on a journey in which we compare “Breaking Dawn” to “Innerspace” and offer our thanks for Anna Kendrick.
Jen: Let’s start with a basic question: Was this film campy-good, campy-bad or campy-I-don’t-even-know-how-to-categorize it?
Monica: I’m not even sure that what we just saw was a movie. It might have been a dream, prompted by Jacob’s dreamcatcher, which makes a cameo. Holla, dreamcatcher!
Jen: Oh, let’s get more basic then. Did we go to the movies or to some alternate universe where nearly grown men fall in love with babies?
Monica: Correct! That is exactly what we did!
Melissa: It felt like three movies. A sci-fi-inside-your-body flick. A terminators-done-with-wolves movie. And a romance novel cover come to life.
Monica: Also, Zardoz. In some of the wolf scenes, I definitely saw Zardoz.
Melissa: That’s why I think it was campy-perfect.
Monica: Melissa, are you saying it was “Innerspace” with Fabio?
Jen: That’s weird. I thought it was “How Stella Got Her Groove Back with Rosemary’s Baby.”
Monica: Maybe it was “How Stella Got Her Wolves to Back Up Her Scary Pregnancy.”
Jen: “Dances With Wolves Who Got Stella’s Groove Back While in Innerspace With Fabio and Rosemary’s Baby.”
Melissa: “...By Encouraging Pedophilia.” Seriously, can we discuss how strange a plot point that was?
Monica: But we expected that plot point! Do you know what plot point I did not expect, however?
Jen: Talking wolves? Or talking wolves that sound like they are underwater and speaking through kazoos, I should say?
Monica: The plot point where Edward used Yahoo! to search for symptoms of Bella’s pregnancy. Is there no Google in Forks?
Melissa: I forgot that Yahoo! was even a search engine.
Jen: I think he should have used HotBot. HotBot was the best. Anyhoo, let’s back up a second.
Melissa: I told you, there is so much to discuss.
Jen: Before we talk about anything, we need to talk about vampire sex. That was, perhaps, the most depressing honeymoon in cinema history. One night of bed-crushing sex, lots of chess, crummy chicken and bam! You’re pregnant.
Monica:: Not only that, but you have to beg for the sex. Beg! For the sex! However, Alice has packed you lots of trashy lingerie.
Jen: That scene was a huge letdown. I understand they removed the “thrusting” but they also removed all evidence of behavior in which thrusting might be needed. Not that I wanted to watch porn. But I expected more action than what I saw in Madonna videos circa 1992.
Monica: Correct. One who saw this movie might believe that babies were conceived entirely by crushing headboards.
Melissa: I mean, I loved the moonlit swim. The glittery, sea-foamy moonlit swim. Or was that just me?
Jen: No, it was pretty in a Travel Channel kind of way.
Melissa: I wasn’t sure if my ’60s feminism should feel insulted by Bella having to beg for sex, or if I just wanted to shout, “This is why everyone’s on Team Jacob, you cold fish!”
Jen: Melissa, you raise an important question. Which team are we all on? I’ve always been Team Edward by default. But I too feel more Team Jacob at the moment.
Melissa: I risk having all the women in wolf shirts in that theater hate me, but that kid cannot act to save a baby vampire’s life.
Monica: I, too, have always been Team Edward. And I, too, felt my loyalties shifting. Except in the scene where Edward was wearing that navy blue and white striped shirt on the honeymoon. He looked very nautical. For some reason that worked for me.
Jen: I actually thought the acting was better in this one than in others. Maybe I was light-headed. From the bad chicken and all.
Monica: I believe that we can all say that we are Team Anna Kendrick. Was she or was she not the best part of the wedding?
Jen: Totally! Here’s how that movie would have been better: if Anna Kendrick had popped into frame at random intervals throughout the whole thing to make sarcastic, feminist comments.
Monica: I believe that is what we are doing now.
Jen: She also could have weighed in on the It, Baby or Fetus argument. It, Baby or Fetus, by the way, is a rousing game. A little like Win, Lose or Draw, though.
Monica: Oh, you mean the only thing that Rosalie was given to say? “It’s not a fetus, it’s a BABY.” BTW, I vote that they should have named the child ReFetusMe.
Jen: I suspect Rosalie would not appreciate my insistence on referring to Beyonce’s baby as Sasha Fetus. Well, stick it, Rosalie. I’m not changing my ways. I feel like fetus is an appropriate and scientifically accurate compromise. “It” is just wrong.
Monica: Can we back up a little? Given the secret service protection awarded to Bella’s wedding dress, it seems that we should ring in on it. Thoughts?
Jen: I liked the back. The front looked a little leotardish. But on the whole, I liked it. I also liked how the camera lingered on it lovingly.
Melissa: The front looked a little too much like body armor. As for the camera lingering, that felt a little like a prolonged advertisement for feverish girls taking notes in the audience.
Jen: Oh, that’s exactly what it was.
Monica: “Trumpet skirt. Scoop neck. Lace detail.” Is what I might have written. Maybe.
Melissa: I wondered why you pulled out your notebook at that exact moment.
Jen: All right, so we’re so-so on the wedding scene and not-so-hot on the honeymoon. Let’s talk about something I hope we can all agree on: blood.
Monica: Jen is right. We need to talk about blood. Were you thinking birthing scene in particular?
Jen: The birth scene was by far my favorite scene in all of these movies. Hands down. It was the first time while watching a “Twilight” movie that I actually felt a genuine sense of danger.
Monica: Totally less graphic than I thought it would be. Then again, I thought they might saw her in half with their teeth. Still suspenseful, though.
Melissa: I don’t want to give too much away, but I will admit: I may have screamed and clutched Monica’s arm when it started.
Jen: I was like, man, there really should have been this much blood in every movie. There should have been a hemoglobin quota per film, and it should have been met.
Melissa: Less chess, more blood.
Jen: Also, was anyone else thirsty after Bella drank the blood? Because I totally wanted a Blood Smoothie after that. They make them at Robek’s, right? With a free boost?
Monica: I am drinking cranberry juice, just so you know. It seemed appropriate. I also liked the interiors-of-Bella’s-body shots. Even though I did want to see Dennis Quaid in a space ship.
Melissa: Did you ever read the Magic School Bus?
Jen: Yes! I read it to my son recently. Holy cow, that was so Magic School Bus.
Melissa: I kept expecting the camera to run into a bus in one of Bella’s veins.
Jen: And then we could have learned more about how the human body works. Alas, all we learned is that actors with no shirts can develop fast mad crushes on infants. (See how I brought us back to this again?)
Monica: True, but when they develop mad crushes on infants, they are also given the power to know what those infants will look like as hot 16-year-olds. I did not know that happened.
Melissa: And 16-year-old ReFetusMe was definitely hot.
Jen: I feel kind of bad for ReFetusMe. To make this a feminist issue again, shouldn’t she get some say in the matter? She’s fated to take her mother’s sloppy seconds the minute she gets out of the womb? Seems unfair.
Melissa: True, I don’t think Vampire Babies have to imprint.
Jen: Are Vampire Babies like Muppet Babies? Because they should totally make a Twilight cartoon called Cullen Babies with baby versions of everyone. It would be sooooooo adorable.
Monica: And we would only see Charlie’s feet, as he wandered around the nursery?
Jen: Yes. Exactly. And they wouldn’t have to worry about cutting out good sex scene for the kids since WE NEVER GET GOOD ONES IN THIS SERIES ANYWAY.
Monica: I think we all know what everyone will be looking for on the DVD extras.
Melissa: Can we go back to the emaciated body of Bella?
Monica: Do we have to? I fear it. But I guess we should go back long enough to agree that it must have been special effects, right? Because Kristen Stewart is a wee lass, but she is not a horrible skele-person.
Jen: It was definitely CGI. No question. [Director] Bill Condon told me there were as many special effects in the two “Breaking Dawns” as there were in Avatar. Stewart’s emaciated body was one of them.
Melissa: Am I being a worry-wart to think that young, impressionable girls will think it was pretty and NOT understand she had a demon-baby inside her eating her way out?
Monica: I thought that, too! I totally wanted to slap a pro-ana warning all over those scenes. Young Girls: Bella looks nasty.
Jen: She did not look pretty, though. Even Jacob said so. And if he said that, it is true and gospel.
Monica: Even Edward clearly thought so. And when two boys who are touched in the head when it comes to Bella BOTH agree...
Melissa: Okay, I will stop worrying about the plight of impressionable, young girls and turn to an impressionable, young boy. Can I say, I thought Seth was a standout? He acted circles around Deadwood Lautner.
Jen: Okay, I think you’re exaggerating a little. Seth made no impression — or imprint — on me at all.
Melissa: I’m not! He played puppy dog eager in a totally convincing way.
Monica: I dunno. All of the wolf pack scenes just left me ... confused. I think it was the kazoo voices.
Jen: The wolf pack in general confuses me. Also, how offensive was it for these Native Americans to be watching a Washington Redskins game?
Monica: I did not even notice they were watching the Redskins. I thought they were watching University of Washington. I have no idea.
Melissa: There was football in the movie?
Jen: Oh, maybe they were, Monica. I am going to say Redskins, though, just to find another reason to be annoyed by the wolf pack.
Melissa: I was kind of disappointed the evil Italian brethren never showed up. I thought they’d bring a little stony-eyed stare-fight to the party.
Jen: No, they were there. The Volturi made a brief cameo in Bella’s nightmare.
Monica: Oh, the NIGHTMARE! Jen, I had managed to block that.
Melissa: Yes, we must discuss the dream sequences.
Jen: The Volturi were at the altar. You know, just like at the Kardashian-Humphries wedding.
Monica: Three words: Pile of bodies.
Jen: That was fantastic. Again: quality blood in that scene.
Melissa: That was a great pile of bodies.
Jen: But really, a scene we could have done without. This movie dragged on for so much longer than it needed to. There was no reason to make “Breaking Dawn” two parts, other than for money reasons.
Monica: So, we three are extremely professional journalists, seeing this movie in an extremely professional capacity. If we had paid money to see this move on Friday. How would we have felt?
Jen: Good question. I would have felt stupid for not going to the press screening, which was free. I am not sure this is a full-price ticket movie unless you’re a serious Twi-hard.
Monica: Right. Obviously, Twi-hards will see it no matter what. Is there any reason to see this movie if you do not fall into that category?
Jen: Let’s see ... well, there’s the blood. Other than that, I am going to say no.
Monica: I am going to agree.
Melissa: I don’t think I can be a fair and objective judge on this question. Listen, you know what you’re going in to get.
Jen: But you’re a journalist. Who is professional.
Melissa: I am very professional. And that’s why I have to admit: I am biased. I like the utter absurdity of it!
Monica: The fact that Melissa and I squealed repeatedly during this movie does not detract from our professionalness. I just want to make sure that’s clear. I am so professional that I already have tickets to see it again on Friday. That’s how professional I am.
Jen: Are you serious? You’re going again?
Melissa: She’s totally serious. I probably would be going with her if I didn’t have plans. Maybe.
Monica: I have a “Leave no woman behind” policy when it comes to Twilight. And there was a friend who couldn’t make this screening. I will take one for the team. Team ReFetusMe.
Jen: That’s a good policy, actually.
Melissa: I hate bad movies, but there is also something to be said for watching a terrible, terrible movie with a lot of fans that scream in delight at the sight of a shirtless wolf.
Monica: It is true, Melissa. For that reason, I would argue that one SHOULD see this in the theater, at full price. It’s going to be a lot less ridiculous that way than alone with a Netflix DVD in six months.
Jen: All right, so in conclusion: we thought “Breaking Dawn Part 1” was absurd in ways good and bad and probably not worth paying full price to see.
And two of us are going back on Friday.
Monica: Excellent summary, Jen.
Melissa: In the spectrum of Twilight movies, this was definitely the weirdest. And the best.
Jen: Are we tapped out (so to speak) of things to say?
Monica: ReFetusMe. That is my final answer.
Jen: That’s my new favorite word.