With the recent release of the latest and last Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part 2, a whole slew of new articles have been cropping up that talk about the Twilight series and what it does to teenage girls. How it makes them feel about love. How it's similar to porn (I think that one's a long, long shot). All of its subtle and not-so-subtle implications about love, sex, marriage, and gender.
I watched all these movies, enjoyed the attractiveness of Taylor Lautner on screen, read most of the books, and really enjoyed them for what it's worth, but I do understand why many parents have chosen not to let their daughters get involved with this series. The movies' views of romance and sex are not always the best, and I'm not a huge fan of how Bella embraces the mindset of losing herself completely in a guy--that's an example adolescent girls could probably do without. However, I highly doubt that I'm the first to suggest this, but I see something different and much deeper in these movies. To me, they're one of the clearest representations we have in modern pop culture of the longing in the human heart for eternity.
Think about it. One of the major premises of the movies is that the vampires are (virtually) indestructible and ageless, and with the exception of the few who die over the course of the series, they basically live forever. They are impossibly strong, fast, powerful, and beautiful (and that's yet another social commentary right there--who doesn't long to be like that?) Because they live forever, Bella has to become like them, stopping her natural aging in its tracks so it won't hinder her relationship with Edward, forever seventeen.
I really think one of the reasons these movies are so popular is because they stir up and awaken the often-suppressed longing for immortality that nearly everyone has. They make you think, "What if I could live forever?" They invoke a deep craving for eternity, one of the most primal, unassailable parts of the human heart. As the Bible tells us, God Himself is the one who has planted eternity in the human heart. And He is the one who has made a way for us to embrace eternity and spend it with Him, truly living forever in the most fulfilling, exhilarating, joyful life imaginable.
I'm a big believer that any type of pop culture can become a forum for sharing the Gospel with others, and that there's some redemptive element in virtually all popular literature and movies, if you're willing to look for it. Have the Twilight movies awakened in you--or in someone you know--a longing for eternity that you didn't even know you had? Be inspired by them to find out more about that longing and the One who gave it to you. In so doing, you just may find that these films have that redemptive quality after all.