The "SQUEEEE!" Effect 

Twilight: Eclipse Is Better... But Isn't That Worse?

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE "No! This weak-willed moron of a female protagonist is MINE!"

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE "No! This weak-willed moron of a female protagonist is MINE!"

TAKE ONE STEP into The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and you know what you're in for: the third movie based on the wildly addictive and inept scribblings of Stephenie Meyer; a melodramatic love triangle between a vampire, a werewolf, and a high school drip with serious self-esteem issues; and an evening of giggly, guilty fun designed to make you say, "SQUEEEEEE!" And for the most part, Eclipse doesn't disappoint. In fact, the most disappointing part of the movie is that it fails to be more disappointing.

Pasty vampiric boytoy Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) kicks off the flick with a bang by asking drippy Bella (Kristen Stewart) to marry him. (SQUEEEEEE #1!) Bella refuses unless Edward turns her into a vampire as well—which is just another reason why she's the most detestable character in modern fiction. However, their impossibly hot make-out sessions (seriously, these guys have wicked chemistry) are interrupted by a double dose of bad news: (1) the Cullen clan's red-headed archenemy Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) is back in town with a wily new plan to kill Bella, and (2) an army of blood-crazy "newborn" vamps are murdering up Seattle with the intention of doing the same to our heroes' hometown of Forks. This forces the Cullen clan to team up with the werewolf tribe (who desperately hate each other's guts), while making things super awkward for buffed-out teenwolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who refuses to wear a shirt (SQUEEEEEE #2!), and is like so totally in love with Bella, all he wants to do is smash his lips all over her face! Which he eventually does. (SQUEEEEEE #3!)

By my rough count, there are four "SQUEEEEEs" in Eclipse. (I refuse to spoil the final SQUEEEEEE.) By comparison, there were six "SQUEEEEEEs" in New Moon. So why the obvious lack of "SQUEEEEEEs"? Scientifically, SQUEEEEEEs are generated by unrestrained hormonal activity combined with impossibly clumsy or awkward situations (such as shirtless Jacob rubbing up against Bella in a sleeping bag). However, unlike New Moon, which was brimming with gawky cinematic contrivances, laughable CG, and Kristen Stewart incessantly biting her lip, the Eclipse crew has learned from its past mistakes, and smoothed out the rough edges—the very edges that, for me at least, make the series so enjoyable.

Nevertheless, while Eclipse may be a smoother, more mature production than its predecessors, it's still got four really good SQUEEEEEEs. And four SQUEEEEEEs are good enough for me.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Rated PG-13 · 124 min.
Official Site: www.eclipsethemovie.com
Director: David Slade
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
Producer: Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian and Karen Rosenfelt
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz and Dakota Fanning

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