Wow, navarre,- you took the words right out of mouth! Well said. It's so nice to get on this board and find other people who had the exact same issues with the film that I did.To say that I was disappointed is the understatement of the century! Here's how I saw it:
1) Edward was made into a weak and angsty person. No life, no passion - just angst. In the book Edward came alive when he was in Bella's room and heard his name on her lips. I know Rob is better than this, but he needs to go back and reread Twilight and the manuscript of MS. Edward was portrayed as weak and unsure. He was actually a very confident poised individual that was still trying to reconcile who he was on some levels. Rob just did not get it.
2) Bella(Kristen) was stiff, uncomfortable and stilted. Bella learned to unwind and come alive after her relationship with Edward took off - where was the love story? This was an angst story not a love story as it should have been protrayed. I felt that Kristen did not get Bella either. It was like she hated being there.
3) The Meadow seen was butchered!!!! Where was the confession between the two; the intense conversation that started this whole series. Where was Edward telling Bella to "Don't move" and then he slowly glides his nose down her cheekbone, across her jawline, down her throat and runs his nose across her collarbone and then places his cheek against the hollow of her throat and chest and says "Ah". The tenderness and sensuality in that moment was not shown. And how about Bella telling Edward to "Be still" and no one could be still like Edward and she slowly touches her fingertips to his face; his cheekbones, his eyelids, across his forehead and finally to his lips which part under her touch and she feels the coolness of his breath and then he opens his eyes to reveal the hunger in them. That scene was the pivotal point in the book and their love. GONE.
4) Where was Alice? I love Alice.
5)This film was choppy, stilted and ill-written and directed. I mean, did Melissa Rosenberg even read the book?
The horrible special effects and production value I could ignore. I came to see the love story of Edward and Bella that swept me away in the book come to life on the screen. I was so disappointed. It was really lacking for me.
The two leads looked but that was pretty much it.
1.) Like you said, the film was very choppy. The romance between edward and bella was disjointed and so rushed. My nonreading friends said it didn't make any sense how/why they fell in love in the first place. There just wasn't enough development. It was all angst and odd glances then - all of a sudden they are in the meadow declaring their undying love for each other. It just wasn't an engaging, believable romance to me.
2.) Rob's edward overly emphasized the tortured side of the character. It was just angst, angst and more angst.
I'm not sure if it was his make-up or the editing- but a lot of his facial expressions came off as weird, awkward, and downright creepy. He was supposed to be mysterious and brooding in an attractive way, as well as charming and "dazzling." In the movie- especially in the beginning, he just seemed crazy and definitely not swoon worthy.
I know that Edward was conflicted and had inner turmoil, but in the film it was just overkill. A lot of his lines and his looks were overacted causing a lot of unintentional chuckles in the audience. Where was the smooth, gentlemanly, old world charm of Edward- the one who composed a lullaby to bella and hummed her to sleep, who would leave her notes, etc? It was the combination of all these character traits that have made a lot of women think of edward as " the perfect guy." I don't mind that the tortured side came out in the film- I just wanted the tender, affectionate side of edward to be included as well to give his character balance.
3.) Kristen's bella was more natural than Edward, but she was so cold and stoic. Throughout the whole film kristen barely cracked a smile. It was just depressing. What happened to the "blushing", fainting, Bella whose heart would stammer whenever she was around Edward? I didn't need it to be that melodramatic, but Kristen's bella either looked tense, indifferent, or scared when she was around Edward. It would have been nice to have captured at least some of the joy that was in the love story of the book. I think the only time Kristen ever registered any emotion was in the hospital scene when she began to channel some of the hysteria I expect to see in new moon at the thought of edward leaving her. The nonreading audience was thrown off by that- but I think it was because in the context of the film it did not make any sense for her to react so passionately at the idea of edward leaving when she barely expressed any emotion when she was supposedly in love with him
4.)which brings me to my next point which you also mentioned- Twilight was supposed to be about the wonder and excitement of discovering "first love". That was what struck a chord with me when I read the book. What we got instead was an angst story that was all doom and gloom. Where were all the tender, sweet moments that the two shared in the book- the light hearted banter? The only scene I can recall that was more natural and pleasant was when they walk into school together with everyone staring. That was classic edward and bella.
5.) You're completely right about the meadow scene. All we got was that video montage of them staring at each other, (and the theatre laughing again when they shouldn't be.) It was supposed to be a tense but sensual, exciting, and tender moment between the two. She was supposed to be tracing patterns on his arm, touching him for the first time, etc. He was supposed to be gradually touching her like you said, with his head resting on her chest, etc. I didn't need it to be exactly like that, but I wanted the essence of the emotion to be captured and it just wasn't.
I think a lot of it was mostly the directing and the editing. Also, it seems like the actors were so bent on making this serious that they forgot these 2 characters were completely enraptured and crazy in love. That was the dominating emotion- not fear, not angst, not thirst. They were excited and happy about experiencing love for the first time- marveling at all their new found feelings. I think kristen and rob were just more comfortable playing miserable and tortured. The thing is, they would have had plenty of chances to do that in new moon. The depression and devastation they feel at being apart in new moon doesn't make a whole lot of sense if they didn't show any joy when they were actually together.