Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Breaking Dawn’ Provides a Conservative Role Model for Young Women

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I” hit theaters over the weekend, hauling in a hefty $138 million. That’s a lot of dough for a 28 percent “rotten” rating at But we all know the real reasons why “Breaking Dawn” did so well – teen girls, “Twilight” moms, Twi-hards and parents who chaperoned their kids to the midnight showings.

And, despite the poor rating, “Breaking Dawn Part I” is perhaps the most loyal installment in the franchise spawned from Stephenie Meyer’s beloved novels. For its PG-13 rating, director Bill Condon really worked in as much as he could to make it tasteful yet risqué, from a visually enchanting wedding to a horrifying birth sequence.

Of course there is a huge audience that dislikes “The Twilight Saga” as well; probably a good portion of that includes Big Hollywood readers. They think the acting is horrible, the story is cheesy, the melodramatic moments are too much and the fact that a girl could be in love with a stone-cold vampire is out of this world.

However, can we really deny the fact that “Twilight” exhibits conservative values?
The fact that Bella (Kristen Stewart) decides to wait until after the wedding to lose her virginity is something to be valued. If young girls can take away one thing from these novels and films, I hope it’s that.

Meyer was raised Mormon, and a lot of her personal values are reflected in her book series. Several readers were disappointed that Bella and Edward (Robert Pattinson) didn’t end up “doing the deed” in “Eclipse,” but Meyer stated in the “The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide” that she holds to the values she was raised on and wanted to wait until after Bella and Edward’s wedding.
Bella and Edward, always in the honeymoon phase.

What about how Bella has strong family values? She loves her mother so much that she moves from Arizona to Washington to live with her father so her mother can travel with her new husband. In “Breaking Dawn,” we truly see that Bella is a daddy’s girl at heart, and that the two are very much alike. Her father, Charlie (Billy Burke), is that typical protective dad who doesn’t like Edward because he’s seen Bella get into a depressing funk over him. But Charlie does respect her enough to let her make her own decisions when she decides to marry Edward – maybe because when he decided to marry Bella’s mom he was just as crazy about her?

How about one of the biggest conservative values of all: Pro-life! Bella is completely selfless when it comes to her pregnancy in this film. She is willing to give up her human life, vampire life and even Edward for the life of her baby. Despite the fact that the baby is literally killing her, Bella wants to stick it out as much as she can in hopes that she will deliver a healthy baby. Bella says the baby is “a little miracle,” and she is ready to lose her life for her child’s. If that’s not pro-life, I don’t know what is.

It might be a good idea for parents to accompany their daughters to the film. The gruesome birthing scene may leave some teenagers a little queasy.

Bella has a strong relationship with both of her parents, she decided to get married at 18 to the man she wants to spend her life and she’s a strong pro-life advocate. These are all values conservative minds share. So, do you still hate “Twilight,” or do you now have a new respect for the underlying message it brings to young women?

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