Step 2: Don’t have to be a Twihard. Now I wouldn’t call myself a Twihard, since I haven’t read all the books or have posters of Edward and Bella all over my room, BUT I did enjoy the first two movies, despite all the criticism. Look, I might be a 40-ish mother of two, but there is no way I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager again. All those raw emotions. And I am NOT alone. Women of all ages — and men, who are in touch with their romantic side — go gaga over the tortured romance of it all. Granted, both Twilight and New Moon are over-the-top melodramas of the highest order , but I think that’s why they are so popular (and better told onscreen than read in the books, in my opinion).
Step 3: Watch the vampire-werewolf-human triangle even out. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are finally allowed to be blissfully in love. In fact, old-school Edward, who comes from a time when getting married meant “I love you,” wants to wed the lovely Bella, even though she repeatedly declines. She just wants him to turn her into a vampire, so they can go loving each other happily ever after — and after and after and after. Edward wants to keep her pure, on all levels, and postpones the inevitable in hopes Bella might change her mind and want to stay human. Um, yeah, that’s not happening.
Step 4: Observe a small, well maybe not so small, obstacle in their way to the hereafter: Jacob (Taylor Lautner). He understands Bella has a major thing for the vamp but by god, he’s going to make her realize she should be with him, a hot-blooded human who just happens to turn into a werewolf to chase down bad-ass vampires every once in awhile. You can cut the sexual tension between Bella and Jacob with a knife, but ultimately, Bella stands by her choice. And speaking of bad-ass vampires, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) still wants Bella’s head on a plate and creates an army of “newborn” vampires to come after Bella. It seems these bloodsuckers are more powerful in their new state than any other time as a vampire, so, the Cullens are riled up for a fight and ask their sworn enemies, the Wolf Pack, to help them out since the Cullens are going to need all the assistance they can get.
Step 5: Be like Harry. The Twilight Saga is a little like the Harry Potters in that they keep getting better with each new director. David Slade has had some experience with vampires, having helmed the horrifying 30 Days of Night, and you can definitely see his darker touches in Eclipse. The newborn vampires are downright scary, ripping it up in their new form and tearing through humans like paper. As are the menacing Volturi faction, lead by the pain inflicter Jane (Dakota Fanning), sent to the Pacific Northwest to “deal” with this new problem. And there’s a lot more action, believable action, which should please some of those husbands and boyfriends dragged to the theater by their respective mates.
Step 6: Remember, Eclipse is ultimately about the three main characters — Bella, Edward and Jacob — who have now become fully fleshed out by the actors who play them, and Slade does a really nice job making Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner look even more appealing than they already do, especially Stewart, who has much more of a spark in this installment. It could also be because Bella is becoming a stronger character, more sure of what she wants and more determined to get it. At one point, she tells Edward she is afraid he won’t love her as much once she becomes a vampire, to which he reassures her, “You’ll always be my Bella… just less fragile.” I’m sort of looking forward to that moment but will have to wait for the last two Breaking Dawn movies!