Book v. the Movie: Breaking Dawn Part I

Hardcover:756 pages

Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 2, 2008)

Language: English

Genre: YA




Release Date: 11/18/2011

Director: Bill Condon

Screenwriter: Melissa Rosenberg

Running Time: 117 minutes

Really?  Twilight again??  So true confessions.  I like the Twilight series almost as much as I enjoy making fun of it.  It’s a hot mess and everything I should loathe, most particularly a heroine who is literally nothing without her man.  The very idea offends and me, and yet, like the proverbial train wreck, I read every book when it came out and will continue to watch the movies.  Sure, it’s juvenile, but in the spirit of fun train wrecks, I thought I’d do an old fashioned Book v. Movie post.  I mean, after all, what’s really worse?  The book or the movie?

The Gist: In Breaking Dawn (the book), our heroine, young Bella Swan gets what she’s been longing for during the last three books, namely Edward. Writer Stephenie Meyer gives Bella and Edward the perfect setting to consummate their overly complicated relationship-an exotic private island with a bedroom to die for, all white gauze and lush ocean views.  Bella and Edward have perfect sex their very first try, at least we assume so since the action largely takes place off the pages.  All we are witness to is Bella’s smug satisfaction and the fact that the massive bed in which they slept was completely demolished sometime during all the perfectly perfect love-making.  As will happen, they also make a baby, Bella’s “nudger” that is growing at an alarmingly rapid rate.  Edward is anxious to “get that thing out of her” as he is concerned about Bella living through the pregnancy, but Bella is immediately in love with her unborn child and so begins a surprising alliance with her new sister-in-law, Rosalie, to keep the baby from being aborted.  Add to this gothic mess an angry and newly divided werewolf pack, most bent on destroying Bella before the child is born, with one holdout bent on protecting Bella at all costs.

Breaking Dawn Part I, the movie, remains largely true to the spirit of Meyer’s novel.  Certain bits are pared down or left out entirely (Jacob’s disappearance is played down a bit), while other scenes are greatly expanded, (the epic bed-destroying love scene, and can I just tell you that the two women behind me in the theatre were cracking me up with fervent whispers along the line of “now, that’s what I’m talking about!”).  I especially enjoyed the playful quality of Charlie’s reluctance culminating in one of the most awkward, yet pointed, wedding toasts ever as well as Jessica’s snide comments about whether or not Bella would be “showing” yet, particularly in light of events yet to play out on screen.

The birthing scene is probably the second most anticipated moment in the film and Bill Condon delivers.  It’s a sickeningly violent event with lots of blood and gore.  I won’t spoil you if you’re planning on seeing it, or sicken you out with a detailed description if you plan on avoiding this film like the plague.  The imprinting scene, which I was dreading because good Jiminy Cricket, that’s a disturbing concept, was actually well constructed and did not inspire the gross-out I was expecting.

Finally, it ends on the perfect note, right where I would have ended it I were the one making the movie.

The Bottom Line: The book wins.  Haven’t you been paying attention to our Book v. Movie posts???  The book always wins.  In fairness, with this particular series, that’s not saying much.  But I did kind of like the movie.  Don’t judge me.

About izzybella

Just trying to figure it all out.
This entry was posted in Fiction, paranormal, Posts by Izzy, YA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Book v. the Movie: Breaking Dawn Part I

  1. jehara says:

    I agree with you about the birthing scene and the imprinting. Both were well-done. However, the rest of the movie was sort a snore-fest for me. I really think this movie would have been better if they had not split it up. I am more ambivalent about the books than you, although I did read every single one. Breaking Dawn was my favorite out of the four. Bella finally gets kickass. But seeing her pregnant and emaciated for most of the movie was too boring for me. I feel like the movies get it wrong in term of pacing. The wedding was lush and beautiful, but the honeymoon was too long. If they had packed this into fifty minutes, the last part of the book could make up the final seventy, which would make for a much better film in my oh-so-humble opinion. 🙂

    • izzybella says:

      Your humble opinion is spot on. There was absolutely no need to make this two films. They could have cut out a lot and still had time for the rest of of the story. I’m concerned how the second half will flow, particularly since they manage to SPOILER ALERT talk it out like good little diplomats. It reads well, but not sure how it will translate.

      • jehara says:

        Absolutely!!! As faithful as the movies have been to the books (a little too faithful), I suspect they may take some liberties. Or maybe it will be a battle of the minds a la the imprinting?

  2. Trisha says:

    I just re-read the series, but I still haven’t decided if I should watch eclipse and breaking dawn. I really disliked the first two movies, so I sort of gave up on them. But I have to admit my curiosity might get the best of me.

    • izzybella says:

      The movies actually get better, though granted and as previously stated, that’s not saying all that much. Apparently I’m a 15 year old dude because the fights between the wolves and the vampires was quite entertaining for me while the lovey-dovey stuff continued to be slightly cringe-worthy. They do get better, though.

      • jehara says:

        Izzy-Yes! I liked the fight scenes, and the wedding nightmare. The kiss at the wedding, really? Who kisses that LONG at the ceremony. That made me uncomfortable.

        Trisha-I recommend at least checking out Eclipse. That was the most entertaining installment. I think BDII will be interesting and worth a watch. BDI, I’d wait for the DVD so you can skip to the good parts. 😉

  3. Heather says:

    Awesome comparison! I haven’t seen the movie…don’t think I will until it comes out on DVD. Books are better but that’s not a real comparison considering the movies have only been so-so.

  4. kaye says:

    I hated the book. At least the movie was hilarious–I couldn’t stop laughing. But I’m with you, for some reason I have to watch the train wreck.

    • izzybella says:

      Thank you for confirming I’m not alone!! Every rationale fiber in my being tells me I shouldn’t be watching, and yet…

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