Here, as in Stephenie Meyer's 2005 novel, Edward is Romeo, Heathcliff, James Dean, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one: a scruffy-gorgeous bloodsucker pinup who is really an angelic protector. When Bella (Kristen Stewart), who has come to Forks, Wash., to live with her police-chief dad, sits next to Edward in biology class, he acts like he's suffering a seizure (or an attack of bad Mexican food). But it's only because he can barely control himself around her. It's no surprise that Bella tunes out the other kids, even as they try to befriend her. They don't make her tingle with the fear of her own desire. Edward, like any good vampire, has a predatory glamour. As Bella gets to know him, what's irresistible to her is that he promises not a blood consummation but its very opposite: a refusal to give in to the hunger that tempts him most.
For girls, the intense, ego-stroking appeal of Meyer's novel was the way that Bella becomes this undead Byronic stud's soul mate without quite knowing why she's worthy. She's a Kewl Generation damsel waiting to be rescued from her jaded heart. Stewart is an ideal casting choice — she conveys Bella's detachment, as well as her need to bust through it. And getting Catherine Hardwicke to direct Twilight was a shrewd move, because the youthquake specialist of Thirteen treats teen confusion without a trace of condescension: She gets their grand... [continues]
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