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Mara Reinstein Headshot

Stop the Twilight Insanity!

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Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: Miley Cyrus and I have something in common. Last week, the teen pop singer declared that not only does she refuse to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon, she's horrified by its pop-culture domination. ("I feel really lame because everyone's, like, so excited," she eloquently explained. "I'm, like, 'Don't even talk about it!'") Granted, Cyrus' rage likely stems from the realization that her fans' attention spans have been diverted. That said. . . I, like, totally agree with her.

To put it bluntly, Twilight sucks. (Sorry, that pun is too damn irresistible). One moody high school girl lusts after an even moodier vampire and the result is a potential $100 million opening weekend at the box office?! A newsstand takeover?! A special week on Ellen?! Make. It. Stop. Seriously. What was an amusing little fervor last year has spiraled into an out of control phenomenon. Congrats to author Stephenie Meyer for literally dreaming up a mega-selling book series, thereby creating mass hysteria and causing extreme jealousy amongst all professional writers (cough, cough). But her output does not warrant an official critique from the Pope. The Pope!

Let's recap. New Moon received a 29 percent approval rating on Rottentomatoes.com. Our former president never scored numbers that low. Even more perplexing, the film does not feature a snazzy comic book villain, nail-biting suspense, eye-popping special effects, A-list movie stars or Yoda. And please -- don't even start with that "It's an unrequited romance for the ages!" argument. I watch SoapNet on a continuous loop in my office every day. Ryan and Marissa on The O.C.? Now that is doomed love, my friends.

Which brings me to Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Yes, it's plausible that, like hundreds of red-blooded movie stars before them, they hooked up on the set and fed each other grapes from Crafts service. Maybe they're still dating. Either way, they refuse to confirm a thing and, instead, tantalize the public with bread crumbs. Nicely played. Now their potential coupling is permanently entrenched in the celebrity magazine world. As an Us Weekly writer, it pains me that they're mentioned in the same "should we put them on the cover?" breath as La Brangelina and La TomKat. They don't even have a cute nickname, for crying out loud! Or, for that matter, a palpable desire to be famous. Kristen seems awkward and disaffected in every interview. Robert gives the same my-fans-are-so-crazy! shpiel to every reporter. That is, when he's not discussing his personal hygiene in that soothing British accent. (Memo to R-Patz: George Clooney is about to hit the press circuit for Up in the Air. It would behoove you to take notes.) The good news? Back-up hunks Taylor Lautner and Kellan Lutz are considerably more affable and press-friendly. Then again, Taylor kinda seems less interesting with his shirt on. And, until recently, I thought a Kellan Lutz was part of a figure skater's jumping repertoire.

Of course, the "Twi-Hards" will have none of it. Last week, I posted an innocuous anti-vampire sentiment as a status update on my Facebook profile. I received more than a dozen passionate responses -- some from "friends" whom I have not heard from since the late-'80s. One Us staffer, a proud Twilight devotee, even admitted to me that the movies disappoint, the books aren't particularly well-written and she can "absolutely understand" why people are getting annoyed. She's still going to see the movie again. ("Every girl can relate to Bella," she carefully explained in a makeshift Twilight intervention.) I anticipate similarly themed "Grow a heart, you soul-less witch" responses from this essay.

Look, this hurts me as much as it hurts you. I once plastered my bedroom with posters of The Lost Boys cast. (Kiefer = still hot.) I love a juicy movie juggernaut as much as the next pop-culture junkie. In fact, I still can't turn away from Titanic whenever it's on TV. (Leo = still hot. But he's no Kiefer.) Yet trust me when I say it's time to put an end to the Twilight madness -- or, at the very least, significantly lower the volume. Though emotional attachment to this supernatural franchise is fun, it's not worthy of stage-five pandemonium. But don't it for me. Do it for the movie's dreary narrative; for the actors who are still blooming into their celebrity; for the Harry Potter film that's coming out next year. And, above all else, do it for Miley.