I went to the midnight premiere with younger female friends for the cultural experience. I turned off my hyper-critical writer's mind as much as I could, and tried to enjoy it for what I knew it would be: treacly vampire fluff, as Cleolinda of Livejournal so brilliantly calls the series.
And I did, for the most part. I even cried during the wedding--not a dignified, silent tear-shedding, but snuffly wet sobs.
Not during the exchange of vows or bridal procession, but immediately before, during the brief, tender interchange between father and daughter. Charlie is certainly one of the characters I had in mind when I marked, "Good role models." He gets tipsy at the wedding--fine. Make of that what you will--it wasn't anything I would concern myself over, and I'm quite conservative when it comes to alcohol consumption and its endorsement. He cares deeply for his daughter, which is admirable, as she has a nasty narcissistic streak that the movie adaptations have wisely underplayed. Breaking Dawn is rife with moments of tenderness, some compelling, and some hokey, but all well-meant. Twilight lacks cynicism, and while I take artistic issue with some of the dialogue and acting, I can see the appeal of this guileless escapist fantasy.
My biggest issue with this film is the gore: I'm not a big horror movie watcher, and I can't vouch for the stomachs of other audience members, but the birth sequence is grotesque. Sounds, blood, viscera--I felt sick, and one of my friends had to run to the bathroom because she is prone to seizures, and would have had an attack had she stayed. After the sensual, yet tasteful, honeymoon scenes, I was completely unprepared for the graphic violence of the delivery. I can still hear Bella's screams and see several disgusting images when I think about the film. Had I seen this movie as a young teenager, I certainly would have had nightmares.