I absolutely get Twilight.
Disclaimer: I’m not a true Twilight fanatic. He’s cute, but he’s too young for me, and vampires aren’t my secret thrill. Still. I completely understand the people who are obsessed by that book/movie.
When I was their age, I went to the same movie over and over, too. Mine was Romeo and Juliet, with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. I was bewitched; I couldn’t get enough. If I could have had the projector implanted in my head, I would gladly have let them saw open my skull.
Today, decades later, I’m still the same. I fall in love with a film, and I’m driven to watch it over and over and over again. (Last of the Mohicans)
Five times. Ten. I won’t say twenty, not out loud. But…I simply don’t get bored.
My patient husband is mystified. He tries to be amused. “Do you think,” he asks as my daughter and I walk out the door for one more viewing of Moulin Rouge, “that it’ll end differently this time?”
He can’t understand, because he watches movies for one reason: to find out what happens. Once he knows, he’s finished. The second ticket is ten dollars wasted.
Though it sounds crazy, I don’t much care “what happens.” I am an emotion junkie, and every time I go to a new movie, or read a new book, I’m hoping this will be the one that captures me. The one that makes me feel, and feel Big. No holding back, no common sense, no safety net.
I want the one that makes me fall in love with the hot guy (Robert Downey Jr., Paul Newman, Edward Norton). The one that creates a world I never want to leave (Hogwarts, Manderley, a galaxy far, far away). The one that makes me cry (The English Patient) or laugh (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) or sing (Amadeus).
And did I mention falling in love with the hot guy? (Daniel Day Lewis)
Once, when I was watching the A&E Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth), I sat on our couch, wringing my hands and whimpering with horror as Mr. Darcy came riding up to discover Elizabeth Bennet prowling around his estate. Tension, humiliation, fear, oh, God…
My husband patted my hand. “Relax, honey,” he said. “Pretend it’s happening to her instead of you.”
Oh, yes. That’s it. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s ten dollars well spent. Over and over and over again.
As a writer, I try to remember what these movies have taught me. It’s not really about “what happens.” It’s about making people feel something, and feel it Big.
When I get letters from readers who tell me that they read one of my books years ago, lost it, and had to chase down another copy so they could read it again, I’m on Cloud Nine.
The day someone tells me they read my book and whimpered, right there on the sofa, right in front of their mystified husband…well, if there’s a Cloud Ten, I’ll be there. (Ewan MacGregor)