So I finally got to see Breaking Dawn and have a couple of observations, most of which only use the movie as illustration. That is, this isn't a movie review.
My long standing annoyance with screenwriters messing with stories got a stir.
I take apart a Rosenberg interview on writing the abortion dilemma below. As mentioned, I didn't find Rosenberg's edit nearly as clear cut after watching. As a practical matter, whether Bella doesn't see a choice or makes a choice, without Bella's inner monologue from the book, the difference is not noticeable. The whole idea in the book was that Bella is in love with her husband and instantly recognizes that the baby is the product of their union and something to be desired.
Director Codon is a man. Screenwriter Rosenburg has no children. Neither recognize that in most circumstances pregnancy is a blessing. And they certainly don't understand that many women's reactions to pregnancy destroy the notion of "choice."
There is a reason, besides allegations of mass cougardom, that women my age love the book. Stephenie Meyer knows what it feels like to be a mother. We read the chapter when Bella learns she is pregnant, and completely understood it. Sometimes the transition to protective momma is that quick, and that soon. Women are often struck by how quickly they become mothers. Guys and single women think it happens when the baby is born, but often it happens the second you learn you are pregnant.
Rosenburg, in her need to serve herself rather than the story, has excised that element of Bella's character and reduced the pregnancy line to mere personal desire on Bella's part. Ironic that the leftist feminist is the one to gut Bella's strength, but of course feminists only see strength in acting for the self, being true to the self. And here is where feminism and so many other Sixties -isms fail. Strength doesn't lie in service of the self.
Rosenberg's self serving edits probably explain why the movies aren't nearly as good as the books, either. She's editing concepts that she doesn't understand. Cultivated relativists, Hollywood intelligentsia simply can't write myth. Why is Hollywood reduced to remaking comic books, cartoons, and critically slammed novels? Because those are the last places the chattering classes have looked to spread relativism.
Joseph Campbell was right about the abiltiy of an archtype to propel a story forward. Deviate too far from the redemed rogue or the self-sacrificing hero and the archetype looses it's power to propel. This is one of the few advantages conservatives have left in pop culture. We can still write archtypes. And that is how Mormon Stephanie Meyer and Anglican JK Rowling fired up the book presses. They wrote the stories that sprang, almost fully formed into their heads. That is why SM can say that she didn't set out to make a political statment. She set out to tell the story in her head. Rosenburg set out to make the political statement.
The intelligentsia fancy that that can 'improve' the simpletons and capitalize on the successes. They don't see that they eviscerate the story in the process. And don't get me started on beautiful writing for beautiful writing's sake.
A final note, it is one thing to see Kristen Stewart mention that their honeymoon scene had to be recut because it earned the film an R rating. It is a bit creepy, however, to see interviews with Melissa Rosenburg and Bill Codon making the same point with a wait for the DVD hint. Its kinda like 'wait for the DVD for a Robsten sex tape.' It creeps me out.
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