As regular Celebritology readers know, there are certain movie releases that can only be analyzed properly by having a Gchat at 10 o’clock at night while eating cookies and drinking wine.
This was true of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.” It was true of “The Hunger Games.” And it’s true, obviously, for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2,” which is now making tons of money in multiplexes as we speak.
As a public service, Style writer Monica Hesse, blog engagement director Melissa Bell and I, Celebritologist-in-chief Jen Chaney, once again engaged in just such a spirited Gchat after recently screening the final “Twilight” film. A transcript of that analysis appears below, with an important caveat: There are major, MAJOR spoilers in this post, particularly about a much-hyped surprise twist in the movie.
Additional spoiler warnings will be posted around that portion of the text, but please know that if you read further before you see “Breaking Dawn Part Deux,” one of its freakish pleasures could be ruined for you. Proceed with caution.
Jen: Monica, Melissa, here we are again. Except this time, it’s the end. No more Volturi. No more sparkling Cullens. No more twitchy Bella. It’s. All. Over.
I’d like to kickstart this discussion by mentioning a few things I wrote in my notes during the “Breaking Dawn Part 2” screening, any of which may be a springboard for conversation. They are as follows:
“The baby is digital.”
“Dakota Fanning just killed a toddler.”
“Robert Pattinson makes passionate ‘Braveheart’ speech while wearing hooded sweatshirt.”
And, lastly: “Why isn’t this entire movie about Lee Pace???”
Monica, over to you first.
Monica: Excellent work, Jen. I believe that the digital baby is an excellent starting place, as it can segue into further child-related items like Dakota Fanning’s child murder. Also because, as I might remind chatters, the digital baby in question is ReFetusmee.
Melissa: As I was 20 minutes late to the movie (BLAST), I was mostly spared the animatronic ReFetusMe. So, please, do tell!
Jen: Basically, the infant is CGI. In a blatant way. To the point where I think Bella and Edward gave birth to a female version of the E*Trade baby.
Monica: The digital baby had very large eyes and teeth. The digital baby was, now that I think about it, very much like the grandmother from “Little Red Riding Hood.: “All the better to touch your face and project my thoughts telepathically, my dear.”
Jen: True, you can’t convey telepathy without computer-generated imagery.
Monica: I think part of the rationale was so that the baby would have Mackenzie Foy’s face, continuously. Unfortunately, I was just afraid it would eat me.
Jen: I was just afraid it would convince me to buy and sell stocks on E*Trade, then eat me.
Monica: It’s true, Jen. Do you think the digital baby was a metaphor for Wall Street bankers?
Jen: This whole movie was made for the Occupy Wall Street movement. I think that subtext should be obvious to anyone. My God, why do you think Taylor Lautner is constantly forced to lose the shirt off his back? (Although, admittedly, less so in this one.)
Melissa: The telepathic touching: Was it just me, or was that more uncomfortable than WolfBoy’s supposed love for teeth-robot-baby?
Monica: Yes, the Jacob-Renesmee love. I actually felt that was dealt with tastefully. Inasmuch as grown men imprinting on babies can be tasteful.
Jen: You know something? I did, too. It didn’t seem sexual, it just seemed protective. Weird but protective.
Monica: God, what are we saying? Have we drunk the Blood-Aid? Where is Anna Kendrick to slap some sense into me?
Melissa: Yes, I’d like you to read back over the last few lines and wonder if we’ve gone too far down the "Twilight"-hole.
Jen: God, I missed Kendrick in this movie.
Monica: I kept hoping she would wander in with a baby gift. Something adorable and fleecy.
Melissa: No, we lost Kendrick and got a worldwide tour of random bit actors (Lee Pace not withstanding).
Jen: I will tolerate no cross words about Lee Pace.
Monica: Can I stop for a moment and make a general statement?
Monica: This movie was better than “Breaking Dawn 1,”due in no small part to the lack of kazoo voices from the wolf pack. But for other reasons, too, I think.
Melissa: Like Lee Pace. And yes, I agree.
Monica: I mean, it had a plot. A plot beyond a soft-focus honeymoon and rancid chicken.
Jen: I’m not sure if I agree. It took a long time for the plot in “Breaking Dawn 2” to kick in. Also, I didn’t do the math officially yet, but I’m convinced 80 percent of this movie consists of close-ups of people giving other people intense and/or meaningful glances.
Monica: Well, that’s true. And the remaining 20 percent might have been Bella’s voiceover explaining why the characters were doing things that made no sense. But somehow I wasn’t hysterically giggling with pity and embarrassment for myself during this one. The way I did in the first.
Jen: The bottom line is that “Breaking Dawn” did not need to be two movies. They could have condensed it into one, easily. That would have been a pretty amazing film. Imagine the birth from Part 1 and The Scene -- you know The Scene -- in the same movie.
Monica: Totally agree, Jen. And this seems to be a pattern -- already hearing that Mockingjay, i.e. Hunger Games part 3, might be made into 3 and 4. Potter ruined it for all YA novels-cum-movies. But we must not stray back to Potter.
Jen: Yes, that is the plan. For the record, though, I thought “Deathly Hallows” worked as a two-parter even if it was a money grab. I really want to talk about The Scene.
Monica: The Scene from BD 2?
Monica: Okay. We must tread carefully. Because this is The Scene that is also The Spoiler and The Twist.
SPOILER ALERT: THIS IS THE PART OF THE TRANSCRIPT WHERE WE TALK ABOUT THE UNEXPECTED TWIST THAT DIFFERS FROM THE BOOK. DON’T READ ON IF YOU WANT TO BE SHIELDED FROM THAT INFORMATION.
Jen: I am going to make a bold statement. I think that scene was weirder than watching Nicole Kidman pee on Zac Efron in “The Paperboy.”
Monica: Now I am suddenly afraid we are not talking about the same Scene.
Melissa: Wait. I am confused. Are we taking about the same The Scene?
Jen: The battle where everyone gets decapitated?
Monica: Okay. We are talking about the same Scene.
Melissa: I really want to talk about The Scene that’s the most emo, Tumblr-gif, unicorn glitter-dust make-out session ever.
Monica: Patience, Melissa.
Melissa: If we must discuss head-letting, so be it.
Jen: Am I the only one that thought that The Scene was the craziest of the cray-cray? I mean, we saw Dakota Fanning’s head get eaten by a werewolf. And Jennie Garth’s ex-husband had his head chopped off and discarded in the middle of a field. And Michael Sheen cackled like a hyena simultaneously sniffing glue and helium.
Monica: I loved the head-letting scene. I was simultaneously shocked that they appeared to be offing all the main characters, and silently cheering Melissa Rosenberg for doing what Stephenie Meyer never did, i.e. create actual loss and consequences.
And Michael Sheen’s hyena laugh is the apex of the entire series, and maybe my life.
Jen: I’m planning early retirement because of that laugh. No reason to go on participating in society once you witness/hear something like that.
Melissa: Also: One of the joys of seeing the early screening is sitting with the true fans of the film. The girl next to me started sobbing the second the first head was flung and kept up a low moan pretty much to the end. Not that a Twi-hard’s tears are ever what one wants. But I did like that the movie actually moved people.
Jen: Wow. I loved during the twist when the whole back of the theater gasped. I love nothing more than an auditorium of moviegoers gasping simultaneously.
Monica: It’s true, Jen. And these were the same audience members who were openly mocking the beginning.
Melissa: That’s why BD2 trumps BD1. Aside from that altar made from a pile of corpses, there was no shock in the first film. The Twist was fantastic.
Jen: Melissa, have you forgotten the birth scene? It wasn’t as good as The Twist, but it was still bananas.
Monica: Not to mention all of the new characters. We met many new vampires in this movie. Including the obvious main character of this movie, Lee Pace. Although I personally was partial to Benjamin, the elements-shifting Egyptian vampire. He was my favorite.
Jen: Am I the only one who found Pace fascinating and also surprisingly hot? I mean, I like Lee Pace a lot, but he never looked that hot on “Pushing Daisies.”
Monica: No, he was hot. And shaggy. He could have belonged to the wolf or the vampire cohort.
Melissa: Speaking of bananas, why isn’t Lee Pace in every movie?
Jen: Right? This is the kind of thinking I can support, Melissa Bell.
Melissa: I did like Benjamin, too. But I have to say I was partial to the Russians.
Monica: I believe you mean Romanians, Melissa. Geez.
Jen: They frightened me. Also I think one of them is dating Mary-Kate Olsen.
Monica:WHAT? One of the Romanians?
Jen: I’m joking. I’m making a Sarkozy joke.
Monica: Oh, man. You just had me wondering if MK had made a cameo in this movie that I’d missed.
Melissa: For reference re: Olsen and Sarkozy. Listen, that movie threw a lot of countries my way. I didn’t even realize there were Irish folk until the credits.
Monica: Yes: Note to the Irish fans: Liam, Siobhan and Maggie get exactly four words between them in this movie.
Jen: Those Olsen/Sarkozy pictures really are a horror movie pitch. Also: Irina — not much of a character in either movie. Her actions are crucial to the plot, but she doesn’t get to do much. Poor Maggie Grace.
Monica: Those pictures just killed me. My ghost will be taking over the chat.
Melissa: Those pictures have haunted me for days now. Jen! Speaking of Maggie Grace, was it just me or was there a lot of “Lost” in this show? Hello, smoke monster!
Jen:Oh, my God, I did not even think about that smoky stuff in the context of the smoke monster. WHAT HAVE I BECOME?
Monica: I’d been wondering how they were going to visually depict Alec and Bella’s respective “gifts,” since both are so internal in the book. I did not see the smoke monster tactic coming.
Jen: Also, Bella was basically using the Force. That was my takeaway.
Melissa: Bella and Jane’s gifts, though, make for some pretty static acting: “I will stand here and look very serious!”
Monica: Not true, Melissa. If you’re KStew, you get “I will stand here and look very constipated.”
Jen: I didn’t want to say/write that out loud, Monica. But that is exactly what I was thinking.
Monica: I went there. I went there for all of us.
Jen: Another thing: I really, really hope someone makes a panoramic GIF of The Scene. Because a couple of the wide shots where you could see werewolves fighting with Volturi and other chaos going down, strike me as having potential for deep study. Also, laughter.
Monica: I hope someone samples Michael Sheen’s laugh. Like, maybe MIA could do something with it.
Jen: Melissa, I think it’s time for you to talk about angel dust love scenes.
Melissa: Speaking of gifs, I’m serious. I really think that Other Scene (in which KStew finally experiences vampire love) was taken from a “Twilight” fan Tumblr.
Monica: Weirdly, I felt like we got more sexy time in this movie than we did in BD1 -- which was supposed to be ALL ABOUT the sex. See: Virginity, loss of.
Jen: That’s very true. Last time they broke a headboard, Bella got knocked up, and that was the end of it. This was a bit more ... music video orgasmic.
Melissa: Chris Issak music-video-orgasmic. It’s slow motion love. If you’re breaking headboards as a human, I’d expect a bit more from vampires. Instead, we got a fireplace and some tossed pillows.
Monica: Oh, good. Now I will go through the rest of the chat thinking about that video with Chris Isaak on a beach. That’s a real video, right?
Monica: Thank you. Also, apropos of nothing, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that in addition to Lee Pace, Bunk from “The Wire” appeared in this movie. I just felt the need to point that out, in case it might convince any “Wire” fans to suddenly take up an interest in “Twilight.”
Melissa: YES! Thank you! That was the strangest/best cameo.
Jen: One of my notes also just says: Bunk! Wendell Pierce rules.
Melissa: Also, in more Internet discoveries, Michael Sheen described his laugh to MTV News as: “It’s the laugh of millennia-old insanity rising up from the abyss that is his empty soul.” Which makes it so, so much better.
Jen: I’m not an actor. But when you make an internal decision that you’re going to laugh like millennia-old insanity, how do you possibly live up to that? And yet, Michael Sheen did.
Monica: Ladies, I am hoping you can explain something to me. I spent a good 40 minutes of the movie giggling hysterically at the absurdity. I came home last night and scoffingly panned several scenes. And yet, as we are having this discussion, I am already feeling very nostalgic for BD 2, E*Trade baby and all. I. ... I kind of want to see it again. Why is this?
Jen: Wait, don’t tell me you have tickets for tomorrow night.
Monica: I do not. Not yet.
Jen: But you’re thinking about it now. Amiriiight?
Monica: I’m just saying that if any readers of this chat wanted to invite me to see it again...
Melissa: Monica, I understand your confusion. I believe it has to do, in part, with the triple ending that milked every last “Twilight” moment in a giant crescendo of lusty-long-looks and sparkly moments.
Monica: Yes! This movie ended, like, nine times! We kept getting more, “And thennnnns....”
Jen: In all earnestness, I thought the tribute to every actor in the series was kind of a nice thing. The Twi-hards will love it. They even acknowledged both Victorias.
Monica: Agreed. It felt very keepsake-y. I kept also waiting for someone to pass me a commemorative “Twilight” cup.
Melissa: I have to admit: I came late, and I left early. I did not see the full credits. Which means. Well. Maybe I need to see the movie again.
Jen: Seriously, why on Earth did you leave the theater? Also: So even though we thought the digital baby was terrible and the sex scenes were too tame, we were satisfied overall? Weirdly?
Monica: Yes. I was weirdly satisfied. Which, when you think about it, is the only way to be satisfied by a “Twlight” movie.
Melissa: I was getting verklempt. I, too, was weirdly satisfied.
So, now: what will you miss about the series?
Monica: I think I will miss having a time capsule that led directly to the emotions of a 16-year-old. Also, Lee Pace.
No, just kidding. Anna Kendrick.
Jen: Lee Pace lives on in our heart and minds. Also, in the movie “Lincoln,” in which he is not as hot. I will miss the Twi-hards. Having witnessed their powers at the very first “Twilight” event at Comic-Con, I admired their enthusias,m even if I did not necessarily share it.
Monica: Seriously, I’ll always appreciate the series’ wackadoodle earnestness, the fact that it was irony-free and emotion-rich.
Jen: In closing, let’s have a moment of silence for the sight of Taylor Lautner’s bare chest. <Pause> Ladies, it’s been an honor having this discussion.
Monica: We’ll meet again the next time a tribe of vampires interbreeds with a clan of shapeshifters, by the light of a broken headboard.
Jen: Or when the next “Hunger Games” movie comes out.
Monica: That, too.
Melissa: I bid you lavender-filled fields and sparkly skin forever.