220px-Breaking_Dawn_Part_1_PosterIf there was a hotly anticipated movie for me this fall it was this one. I am a huge fan of the books and while the movies haven’t quite lived up to how I pictured the novels, I’ve been a fan of theirs also. So I got advanced tickets for the early Friday morning showing at 10:00 am and went with a fellow Twihard.

The opening sequences were just what I expected. While not perfectly matching the book they were similar enough to feel familiar and whet my appetite for more. The more of course being the wedding. And the wedding was perfect. The film set was lovely, the arrival of the Denali “cousins” all one could have asked for. Bella’s classmates comments after seeing them were perfect.

Also great were the toasts done by Jessica, Charlie, and Emmett. Jessica’s was easily my favorite. We then proceed to the big scene between Bella and her “best man” and the honeymoon. They did a really lovely job on that honeymoon by the way. The location was absolutely gorgeous.

So far the film was a real pleaser for me. The changes made seemed to enhance the movie going experience: it shortened sequences that needed shortening, stayed true to scenes that are beloved by fans, and spared no expense on the scope and beauty of the project. Then the moment we’ve seen in all the adverts comes. Bella is gazing at her tummy, holding her hands over it, suddenly feeling movement And we head back to Forks, with everyone tense. The actors all did a good job conveying their anxiety straight off the screen and at that point we leave joyous behind while everything becomes very dramatic.

It also becomes the stuff of a horror film. From Bella’s appearance to numerous other things, I found myself cringing and at moments, turning away from the movie just to spare my eyes. While the books had prepared me for some of what would be going on my imagination had not supplied the harsh, painful visuals which assaulted me from the screen. It was hard to catch the human moments occurring in between because I was tensed for the more nasty moments coming up. When all that is finally behind us we get through one more crucial scene and then the start of the credits. And then one more scene, so do not bolt out of your seat right away.

There have been some harsh reviews online trashing everything from Taylor Lautner’s acting (yeah, he’s not going for an Academy here so let it go) to the story line. But I liked it. Yes, the freak show aspect kept me from loving it but I really, really liked it. For what this is, the acting is fine. The story line is exactly what should be expected since it follows the contents of the books. It was romantic, it was funny, it was Twilight. While I felt some of the scenes were more graphic than I personally enjoy a strong argument can be made for them belonging in the film. Probably a stronger argument can be made for them being there than for my squeamishness. ; -)For those who have been following the series I think this one will assuredly not disappoint.

So have you seen it? What do you think?

– Maggie AAR

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I've been an avid reader since 2nd grade and discovered romance when my cousin lent me Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe in 7th grade. I currently read approximately 150 books a year, comprised of a mix of Young Adult, romance, mystery, women's fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.