Twilight is the first of four best-selling young adult novels written by Stephanie Meyer, following the budding romance between the teenaged protagonist, Bella, and her 107-year-old vampire lover, Edward, who is forever trapped in the body of his 17-year-old self.

The series has become insanely popular among preteens and teenaged girls, no surprise given the escapist adventures and palpable sexual tension Meyer has written into the books. Director Catherine Hardwicke is an ideal candidate for helming the film, after tackling other coming-of-age tales like “Lords of Dogtown” and “Thirteen.”

The incredible hype surrounding the film’s release is probably how many people outside the books’ demographic heard about the series and, as with many novels translated to the big screen, the details that make the stories on the page so magical often didn’t translate. However, this probably won’t ruin the movie for those who loved the books.

The film begins with Bella moving to the breathtakingly green small town of Forks, Wash. to live with her father in the wake of her mother’s remarriage. Forks is a huge change for Bella in every sense of the word. Adapting to life at another high school proves challenging; the fact that her pale, attractive lab partner, Edward, seems to despise her doesn’t make things any easier.

However, after Edward saves Bella’s life by stopping an oncoming car from hitting her with his bare hands, their romance begins to snowball, gaining quick momentum.

Bella learns that Edward is a vampire and that it is dangerous to be with him, but nothing could tear the two apart. Edward fiercely protects Bella as she becomes the target of an evil vampire whose cunning tactics practically kill them both.
The casting for the film could not have been better. Kristen Stewart (“Panic Room,” “Into the Wild”) perfectly embodies outsider Bella Swan. With her snowy white skin, slight frame and dark features, one may actually think that she is the vampire.
English actor Robert Pattinson – who also played Cedric Diggory in that other fantasy novel series put to film, Harry Potter – is fantastic as the dangerous heartthrob Edward Cullen. It doesn’t hurt that he is breathtakingly handsome; you almost forget the small fact that he is a blood-thirsty vampire.

Although parts of the movie are irrevocably cheesy, the entire film sucks you in, and before you know it, you are on the edge of your seat, thriving on the suspense and sexual tension.

The film’s cinematography allows the pristine Washington countryside to become another character entirely. The setting is breathtaking, with several incredibly scenic shots of the untouched forest landscape.

Overall, I enjoyed it and am almost sad to say that I want to date a vampire.