Review in a Hurry: Based on the popular young-adult series, the epic romance between a human and devastatingly sexy vampire will please its shrieking fans and surprise nonfans with its sweeping romance.
The Bigger Picture: Three things are certain. First, Robert Pattinson makes an awesome angsty vampire. Second, there's a part of us—and we didn't know how dominant that part might be—that thirsts for overwrought romances like this. And third, teen fangirls will unconditionally and irrevocably love this movie.
For the Twilight newbies, the story is based on the massively popular book series by Stephenie Meyer in which Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is Juliet and Edward Cullen (Pattinson) is Romeo, only it's not feuding families keeping them apart but a case of the vampires. Edward is the dreamy, sexy bloodsucker who's been making teen girls go all crazysauce lately. But he's a good vampire, one that drinks deer blood instead of people blood. In fact the only time he ever gets a little human craving is when he's around Bella, but she digs it—so everyone wins in this unlikely pairing!
They spend much of the movie toying with each other, trying to figure out how this whole vampire-human relationship thing could work; most of the time that means he's saving her life and she's bugging him with questions. Everything's fine, until a group of heathen vampires who still prefer human blood (they don't even wear shoes, they're so uncultured!) crash the party and one decides to make Bella his prey. This all goes down under a rainy, cloudy sky in Forks, Washington, that perfectly reflects the characters' moodiness.
Watching the adorable Edward and Bella make lovey emo eyes at each other carries the movie through any of its weaknesses. And trust, it's got ‘em. In fact most of them are the same as the book's—the series of contrived rescue situations Bella ends up in and Edward's overbearing, borderline-creepy stalker tendencies. Add in some cheesy special effects, questionable makeup and too many so-bad-it's-funny moments and it's enough to turn some people off.
But Bella and Edward's epic, sweeping romance is almost classic Hollywood in its scale and so swoonworthy that none of that even enters your mind while watching. And this movie really is fun to watch with Pattinson's tortured, moody eyes and Stewart's girl-power ‘tude. As for the anxious fangirls, there's no way they'll be disappointed.
The 180—a Second Opinion: With a flimsy storyline, beautiful actors who seem more bored than anything, and abundant cheesiness, will someone please explain the appeal of this sucker?