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    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Thoughts on Love Stories

    So, like the rest of the non-bedridden population, I went to see New Moon this weekend. A couple people have asked me what I thought. My official response is, “It was better than Twilight. I liked it.”

    This time I went in fully grasping that universal key to happiness: lowered expectations. I highly recommend you employ this technique in all areas of your life except, perhaps, personal hygiene. Let’s not lower those standards any more folks.

    Relax, I’m not going to defend or tear apart The Twilight Saga. I think, maybe, it’s been done already. Suffice it to say, I think the books are so wildly popular because they touch on that universal truth that we were meant for something more. Translated into Hollywood speak, this truth becomes, “Look at me. I’m pretty.”


    Ok, on to the purpose of this blog. Ha ha. Like I have some sort of plan, some thesis to my ramblings. Yeah, right.

    Anyway, if you’ve read New Moon you know there’s a kind of Romeo and Juliet theme. A few lines of the play are quoted in the movie. *Insert quiet cheer for culture, classic literature, and English geeks like me.*

    When Edward rattles off a few lines in a classroom scene—instead of thinking about his general awesomeness—I started thinking about one of my favorite movies, Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Here’s the trailer:

    William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

    I was 18 when this movie came out, and it changed the way I thought about Shakespeare, tragic love stories, and gaudy shirts. No, it’s not perfect. And if you decide to watch it for the first time because of my recommendation, you’re going to think I’m crazy. That is, until Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes spy each other through a fish tank. Then I promise you will be spellbound by performances that take a pair of tired old lovers and turn them into living, breathing, gloriously star-crossed teenagers in love.

    The potential for this blazing display of human experience exists in The Twilight Saga because, like Romeo and Juliet, Twilight taps The Love Story. You know, the one on which we build our every understanding and expression of love.

    “Once upon a time, there was a love that conquered death.”

    I find it funny, ironic, and awe-inspiring that we spend our lives retelling this story over and over again. It will never get old.

    So if you find yourself embarrassed to admit your Twilight fanaticism or devotion to the romance genre in general, RELAX. No matter how we may botch the delivery, the message remains imprinted in our DNA.

    Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has planted eternity in the human heart.”


    “Once upon a time, there was a love that conquered death."

    By the way, for more on this concept, I recommend John Eldredge's Epic.


    Holly said...

    Twihard here.
    A Twihard who needs to see New Moon again.
    Seven hours in line, 12:01 am, loud teenagers in the row behind me....I think I was jaded.

    either way, LOVED this post!

    Jessica said...

    I didn't like the book but the movie I liked. :-) So I'll probably see New Moon soon. Also, I love how you see the basic appeal to the story!
    And I also liked the DiCaprio Romeo and Juliet.

    Linda B said...

    I totally understand the universal appeal of love stories. But the fascination with vampires--I'm afraid I've never been able to understand it!

    Tiffany said...

    Okay, I was determined not to sucked into the Twilight nonsense. But a friend handed me the first book and told me to read it. And I'll read pretty much anything. I just started reading New Moon. I'm really not sure if I want to see the movies. I never like a movie if I've read the book first. The book is ALWAYS better. There's more detail, more time spent getting attached to it, and more of the "viewer"'s imagination put into it. Either way, though, I'm always a sucker for a good love story. I'm just sappy like that.

    Avid Reader said...

    I just saw the movie today! I thought they did a decent job sticking to the general idea of the book. Though I think they could have thrown some shirts on those boys without hurting the flow of the story. I liked how you mentioned in this blog that the story points out the fact that we were meant for more than what the normal world has to offer. I think we all realize that. It also seemed to highlight, as characters promised not to hurt each other throughout the movie, that we have an ingrained longing to be loved unconditionally and to be able to trust unreservedly. It made me think of God’s promises to never leave us:

    Deuteronomy 31:8 - The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

    Hebrews 13:5b - God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

    Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.