Adapting a novel for the big screen can be a thankless project. It's pretty much impossible to cram hundreds of pages of backstory, character development, and events into 120 minutes or less -- or at least to do so in a way that doesn't make the movie play as one jumbled, confusing mess.
Fans know this when they enter the theater. Few expect a literal translation of the book. However, they do want to see a movie that's true to the story's core characters and events. And any major plot differences? There had better be a darn good reason for the departure. And an execution that works.
Like the thousands of Bella and Edward followers, we went into Twilight having read the book and expecting to see a fairly faithful adaptation, especially after Stephenie Meyer acknowledged that the first attempt to adapt the book went seriously awry.
So imagine our surprise to find a number of -- what we, at least, consider -- detrimental omissions and changes. Here are the 10 we found most troubling. Do you agree with our list? Think we're too literal? Or have your own list of movie changes we missed? Drop us a comment below.
|| -- It's clear that the Cullens operate with a different set of rules than most vampires. However, without knowing that it took two centuries of "torturous effort" for the clan's patriarch to perfect his self-control, or that now, nearly 300 years later, he's developed an immunity to the scent of human blood, you can't really grasp the struggle that the relatively young Edward faces each time he's near Bella. Or for that matter, the way his actions put the entire Cullen coven at risk.
|| -- In the rush to tighten the plot timeline, moviegoers miss out on the development of a very real bond that develops between Bella and Alice. And, in fact, the countless hours Alice spends at Bella's house endear her to Charlie. While Twilight doesn't suffer greatly from this omission, it's going to require some serious backtracking for the now greenlit New Moon.
|| -- Here is an omission that did a great disservice to moviegoers. Not sure which one Jasper Hale was? He was the vampire brother that looked deranged, or at least constipated, every time his face graced the screen. It would have taken, what, a minute to explain that Jasper has the ability to manipulate the emotions of those around him? One minute to explain the reason behind all those crazy, intense looks he was continually throwing off.
|| -- In the book, Bella and Edward's relationship is built over a series of months and hundreds of small conversations and tender interactions. On the screen? They went from animosity to inseparable in what felt like 12-seconds-flat, leaving the impression that this was just a bad case of puppy love (or lust).
|| -- In an attempt to introduce local color -- with the added bonus of a cameo opportunity for Stephenie Meyer -- Bella and Charlie were often seen at a diner in the movie. In the book, Bella spends a great deal of time cooking for her father. In both versions, it's clear that Charlie's culinary skills are seriously lacking. What's missing from the movie, though, is Bella's responsible nature and deliberate attempt to build a relationship with her father. Two of the qualities that make it clear she's not the stereotypical selfish teenager.
|| -- Considered by many Twi-Hards to be the defining moment in the Bella and Edward relationship, the scene was not surprisingly shortened in the film. But the setup was also changed. Rather than sharing his favorite (and hard to find) spot with Bella on a long weekend hike, Edward simply dragged her what appeared to be a few hundred yards from school. Hardly the intimate, trusting gesture of the book. And setting up a serious plot hurdle for New Moon.
|| -- Victoria, James, and Laurent didn't appear until the end of the book. In the movie, they began preying on the locals from the get-go. Sure, the grisly murders added suspense to the movie. But their established dining habits detracted from the threat facing Bella alone after the nomads caught a whiff of her at the baseball game.
|| -- In the book, Bella is tricked into attending the prom with Edward. Alice lures Bella to the Cullen house, where she spends hours doing her hair and makeup. The unsuspecting Bella goes along with the events only because she's secretly hoping it's preparation for being turned into a vampire. And perhaps it's just us, but we seriously missed Bella describing the event as playing "Guinea Pig Barbie."
|| -- One of the funnier scenes in the book takes place in biology. Edward (not surprisingly) skips out of class the day they are to do blood-typing. Bella, who it turns out can smell blood in a way uncommon for humans (and perhaps an important piece of foreshadowing) passes out. Knowing Bella's aversion to blood makes an interesting counterpoint to her love for a vampire.
|| -- Edward can read humans' minds -- with the solitary exception of Bella's. When he discovers that she talks in her sleep, he starts hanging out in her bedroom at night long before she is aware of his presence. Without knowing his motivation for watching her sleep, the movie Edward comes off as stalkerish. Very creepy, in a way probably not intended.