The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 kept the vampire romance going a bit longer. By exploiting the 2 part separation of a final book thing that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just popularized. Although to be fair, Stephanie Meyer herself said Breaking Dawn was too dense to be one movie. The title Breaking Dawn refers to a time of day that is the most dramatic for Bella’s new beginning. The chess book cover is crucial for her transformation in the story. The problem with adapting Breaking Dawn was the very mature tone. So many sexual and/or blood soaked scenes had to be shot in a way that avoided an R rating. The new Dreamgirls director Bill Condon had to keep it PG-13 for the teenage girls that made it a success. By the time I got to the 2 part finale, I knew I couldn’t avoid finally seeing a Twilight movie in theaters. Hearing women scream over Edward and Jacob, gasp at key moments, and applaud made Breaking Dawn – Part 1 all the more entertaining. Part 1 first covers the long awaited wedding between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Jacob takes his shirt off mere minutes into the opening. He understandably doesn’t attend the wedding until the end. Once again forcing the love triangle that has a pretty clear winner by now.
The wedding still manages to bring out everyone regardless. It even brings together Bella’s scene stealing parents Charlie and Renée. Alice oversees wedding preparations, Emmet & Jasper take Edward to his bachelor party, and Rosalie starts to warm up to Bella. The only people who think the wedding is strange are Bella’s forgotten human friends Jessica, Mike, Angela, and Eric. Despite all the obvious red flags, I can’t deny how romantic the wedding is. It even sets up Part 2 by having the Cullen’s Denali relatives in attendance. Maggie Grace is Irina, the bitter former lover of Laurent who leaves when she spots a werewolf. Though the only pack members in attendance are Jacob’s father, Seth, and a few others. While they don’t stretch out the wedding too much, the Brazil honeymoon on Isle Esme definitely feels like it’s trying to fill time. Despite the obvious danger, Bella wants to lose her virginity when she’s still human. Leading to a steamy, occasionally ridiculous, love making session. One that literally breaks the bed. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson won their last MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss since they were still together at the time. Their honeymoon consists of Bella trying to seduce Edward and playing a game of chess that references the book cover.
The real conflict finally kicks in when Bella is revealed to be pregnant with a half-vampire baby. The tone shifts to overly serious talk about what to do with the mysterious pregnancy. Carlisle is a doctor, but not an expert of this kind of hybrid. Which for the record, is called a Dhampir. With the baby literally draining the life out of Bella, she finds unexpected comfort from Rosalie. Since she always wanted to be a mother before becoming a vampire. Like the book, a lot of perspective comes from Jacob representing the outside world. Though Taylor Lautner feels more like comic relief at times. He’s less than thrilled about the pregnancy, but more than willing to protect Bella when his pack turns on the Cullens. The telepathic wolf communication is weird to say the least. Seth and Leah are the only wolves to leave Sam in order to help Jacob. Bella resorts to drinking blood in order to survive long enough to come up with the weirdest baby names. The bloody pregnancy is so intense that it’s practically disorientating. Edward turns Bella right after she dies, but Jacob stops short of killing their baby. Since he very creepily imprints on baby Renesmee. Ending with the expected cliffhanger of Bella revealing her blood-red vampire eyes. Followed by a post-credit scene of the Volturi setting up Part 2. Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is better when you stop trying to make sense of literally anything.