Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Adoption Movie Review: Twilight

Bella has recently moved to live with her father. Her childhood friend Jacob greets her, and several boys at her high school are interested in her, but she only has eyes for Edward. Although Edward is a vampire and desperately wants to kill her and drink her blood, he has decided that he loves her and wants her to stay alive. This does not perturb her.  Edward’s family mostly welcomes her in. Other vampires try to kill her, but Edward’s family keeps her safe and kills the vampire leading the hunt for Bella.

The Adoption Connection
I don’t recommend this as an adoption-friendly movie, but this film is famous enough that many teenagers and kids have seen it, or will see it. The adoption connection is about as shallow as Edward and Bella’s love story: Dr. and Mrs. Cullen are the pseudo-adoptive parents of Edward. Dr. Cullen saved Edward’s life about 100 years ago by turning him into a vampire. Edward was frozen at 17 years of age, and considers the Cullens his parents “for all intents and purposes.”
One high school student comments that the Cullens are foster parents to four other teens, who are in dating relationships with each other. They describe Dr. Cullen as a “foster parent slash matchmaker” and one expresses a wish that Dr. Cullen would adopt her.  The other teens that live with the Cullens are also vampires.

Strong Points
Dr. Cullen has taken a group of teenagers under his wings, and is actively teaching them to be considerate of other people. He also used self-control to refrain from endangering Edward for his own gratification. Dr. Cullen is admirable because he saw the desperate need of a teenager and devoted himself to meeting that need. Any foster parent could learn from him in that. Just don’t turn the kids into vampires.

Weak Points
Edward and Bella have what seems to be a pretty shallow love story. 

One student’s attempt at humor, saying that she wished Dr. Cullen would adopt her so that she could find a romantic partner in his home, might be hurtful to adoptees, and reflects insensitivity that is often experienced towards adoptees.

Dr. Cullen became Edward’s “adoptive parent” by turning him into a vampire. That’s creepy.

Some Recommendations

Don’t go out of your way to watch this one as an adoption movie. If you do watch, though, here are some discussions you could have to make the movie a bit more worth your while.

 Questions for Discussion After the Movie
รจ For Teens:
o   What attracted Bella to Edward?
o   Edward felt that he had to keep aspects of his identity secret, because people wouldn’t understand him, and would think he was bad. Do you feel like you’ve got to keep secrets?
o   How do you rate Bella’s parents? Edward’s parents?

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  1. I would rate Bella's parents as complete crap. Her dad was barely a part of her life at all and her mom seemed like a child. I think the Cullen's are great and take care of the "kids" very well. They are a functional (if you avoid the whole undead part) family unit.

    1. Hi Rachel - I liked the Cullens quite a bit. I hardly remember Bella's parents at all. Her mom choosing to spend the summer travelling with her boyfriend, without Bella, was sad and irresponsible, but not an unrealistic portrayal of the experience of many kids.


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