The visual impact of Twilight is undergoing a comeback. From Hot Topic selling apparel to Tessa Violet recreating the iconic baseball scene in her music video for Games, you're transported back to 2008.
Edward (Robert Pattinson) is a brooding, telepathic vampire who lived for a time until Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) transformed him into a vampire. His sisters include lovely Rosalie (Ashley Greene) who was locked away in an asylum before being changed in 1920.
And then there are Edward's adoptive parents: Carlisle, an ethical doctor who became a vampire after being attacked by one in 1640 London, and kindly Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), who attempted suicide as a result of suffering abuse from her husband and the loss of her baby in 1921. Yet, at the end, they eventually decide to become a family, sharing genuine love and support with one another.
This is especially true in the relationship between Carlisle and Esme and their adoptive children. Despite their kids graduating enough times for all the caps to fill a massive mural on the wall, their proud expressions during the ceremony in Eclipse are genuine, and they even throw a party for the entire class. The same goes for the lavish wedding they planned for Edward and Bella (Kristen Stewart) in Breaking Dawn and their palpable happiness throughout.
Its not that theyre struggling for money. Between Carlisle getting a doctor salary for centuries and the fact that Alice could win the lottery every day of the week if she wanted, it's not like they're making a lot of money. Plus, they successfully pretend not to be vampires all the time, so from these examples alone, it's possible that the bond is merely a calculated convenience tactic to keep up their appearances in public. It's the moments when we see the family together in private
Bella visits Edwards' house for the first time and begins to get to know his family for the first time. Rosalie is irritated when Edward tells Bella to ignore Rosalie like he does, and an irritated Esme orders Rosalie to clean up the mess. In classic little sister fashion, Alice overeagerly praises Bella and promises her they'll be wonderful companions.
Edward ushers Bella out of the room and takes her on a tour of the rest of the house to escape his family, not because he is afraid theyll hurt her, but because theyre embarrassing. Its a scene that feels painfully relatable, which confirms that this family is, at its core, about as normal as you can get despite the decidedly unusual circumstances that brought them together.
The following episodes are dedicated to sibling rivalry, cheating allegations, and Esme's effort to keep everything under control by serving as the umpire. One particularly great match is Edward against Carlisle.
Edward was the first person to join the Carlisles coven even before Esme; after a brief period, he decided to stick to his father's teaching.
Carlisle and Esme are at the core of the family, and they make important decisions together, with each voice being heard and respected. At Bellas' encouragement, they all vote in New Moon whether or not she should be turned, and they all debate what should be done about her pregnancy in Breaking Dawn.
Its interesting to see how their backgrounds affect each other's views on these two crucial issues. Alice considering her a sister, while Esme telling her she's already part of the family. Carlisles deep love for Edward shines through, too he votes for Bella to be turned because he knows Edward will not live without her. Carlisle refuses to lose his son.
Rosalie grieves the fact that she cannot have biological children, which informs her opinions on both subjects. Bella isnt a life she would have chosen for herself, yet she encourages her to continue carrying her baby, as she would do anything to save her life. When Jacob (Taylor Lautner) calls her a dog, she apologizes for her rudeness.
The Cullen family's disagreements and conflicts are relatable. However, the argument behind them, their unique individual pasts, and their century-long histories with each other, adds to the debate at a higher level, adding riveting layers. Consider how powerful it might have been for Esme and Rosalie's struggles with adoption and loss.
Jasper has a long list of regrets. Seeing him talk this out with Carlisle or Edward who have both notably struggled to come to terms with their pasts might have been touching (and helped the story deal with the problematic aspect of him being a Confederate soldier). On the lighter side, Emmett and Alice are both funny and we both needed to see them team up to play some pranks and wreak havoc.
The Cullen family is by far the most inventive and interesting part of Twilight. While the scenes we get make a lasting impression, it's a pity we dont get more of them, as there are so many rich characters with the possibility for even greater interactions. But who knows? Maybe someday the Cullen family will take center stage so it can live up to its astonishing potential.