I have a strong sense of smell. When I was a kid, my mom couldn’t sneak candy in the car without me sniffing it out (and then asking for some). It’s a blessing and a curse.
When I walked into the theater last Friday at 11:30am to see “New Moon,” I noticed that someone sitting behind us had been drinking. I was initially surprised by the smell as it was still early in the day, but considering he and I were both likely being forced to watch the movie by our significant others, I couldn’t judge him.
About 20 minutes into the movie, I was *this* close to turning around and asking him for some of whatever he had. Yes, the movie was bad. The dialogue was tepid at best, the cinematography was mediocre, and the movie itself reeked of melodrama – worse than my friend behind me and whatever cheap bourbon he had been sucking down.
But that really didn’t bother me that much. I’ve seen bad movies before, and I have an active enough imagination to be entertained while watching even the worst fermented garbage that Hollywood throws at us. Like “Mom and Dad Save the World” with John Lovitz. That movie is terrible. Terribly awesome, but still terrible.
I found myself becoming more and more uncomfortable the longer I watched the movie. No, it wasn’t the gratuitous scenes of sculpted boys and men taking their shirts off, though there was plenty of that. It was with the movie’s heroine, Bella. Listening to her talk and watching her react to life’s twists and turns (I won’t spoil anything for you in case you particularly hate yourself and are going to see it) became harder and harder to bear.
The reason is due to her complete and utter dependence on Edward (and a little on Jacob, too). We all depend on people to some extent. I think it was Thomas Merton John Donne that said “No man is an island.” But Bella is so dependent that she spends months sitting in her room being depressed because Eddy isn’t around anymore. Like I said, melodrama. However, I am incredibly unnerved by how much her character needs Ed around to feel happy.
That whole “You complete me” nonsense in a relationship is literal poison.
If someone bases their sense of self and well-being on another person with whom they are involved, they are setting themselves up either for a quick and meaningless or a volatile (and possibly violent) relationship. It’s dangerous, psychologically and emotionally.
And yet, this is exactly how Bella approaches her life. Her entire sense of self revolves around Ed-the-love-machine. In anything other than a movie (and book), this would be a recipe for an incredibly unhealthy relationship. But no, it’s a movie, so everything works out in the end. She gets the Ed she needs in order to survive, and everything works out.
My fear is this: Do we really want to act like being co-dependent is a good thing? That sounds like a horrible idea.