Yet, though I generally preferred it to the second book, watching Bella, a deeply flawed (or maybe just 17 year-old?) heroine mercilessly play with the emotions of her two true loves is a bit unsettling. Okay, more than a bit. There is one point where she refers to herself as the most selfish person alive or some other hyperbolic drama . . . but she has a point.
Anyway, there were aspects to this book on re-reading it that I really enjoyed. I liked the legend that Meyer built up around her wolf-warriors. I like indigenous creation myths, and this one was very original and well-crafted. The myth, and the fireside telling of it, firmly puts her unique story in the fantasy camp. (Team Jacob!) I greatly dislike her discussion of genetics and chromosomes in the 4th book. It is just so unnecessary, not to mention terrible science. To enjoy the books the reader has already suspended all sense of reality: there is no point in trying to pretend she is writing science fiction.
Anyway, here is my rejected screenplay for Eclipse. It probably will best hit its mark if you either love or hate these books, but is likely to be meaningless if you haven't read them. Laugh if you can. Forward it if you want.
Scene 1: (Bella’s Kitchen)
Bella: (talking out loud as she writes on a sheet of paper) Dear Jacob, Do you still like me? Check the box. Yes. No. Maybe. Love, Bells.
Charlie: (entering) Is there some dinner ready?
Bella: On the stove.
Charlie: (looking, musing to himself) Does it seem like we eat a lot of spaghetti?
Bella: Could you take this to Jacob’s dad?
Charlie: Why don’t you just call him?
Bella: He won’t answer the phone.
Bella: He isn’t on-line.
Bella: He doesn’t have a phone.
Charlie: What is it, 1998?
Bella: Just take it, please, Dad.
Charlie: Maybe you should just leave it alone. (Doorbell sounds)
Bella: (over-eager) There’s Edward!
Charlie: (scowling) All right, I’ll take the stupid note. (Bella squeals and runs in the other room. Charlie yells after her.) Don’t forget, you’re grounded! Freaky boyfriend out by ten!
Scene 2: (Bella’s Bedroom)
Edward: You know, it can hardly be called grounding if I sneak back in here after ten every night.
Bella: (giggles) I’m 18. I can do what I want.
Edward: Not exactly.
Bella: What do you mean?
Edward: You cannot see Jacob Black.
Bella: But he’s my friend—he is the one that put me back together when, you know, you weren’t here. Remember when I was the only girl in the world who'd ever had my heart broken?
Edward: Young werewolves are too dangerous.
Bella: Good grief, one girl gets a little bit mauled by her boyfriend and you are so ready to judge. It is Jacob. I’m totally safe.
Edward: No you aren’t.
Bella: Yes I am.
Edward: I say no.
Bella: I say yes.
Edward. Uh, no.
Bella: Oh, Edward! I hate arguing with you.
Edward: Then just do what I say.
Edward: Because we are in love. And that means you will do whatever I say.
Bella: (sighs, giving up) Whatever you say, Gorgeous. You clearly know what is best for me. Just don't leave me again.
Scene 3: (In front of school)
Edward: Yuck. What is he doing here? (Looking across parking lot)
Bella: (Squeals and runs) Jacob!!
Jacob: (On motorcycle, grinning) Hey Bells.
Bella: You got my note?
Jacob: Sure did. (Edward approaches, Jacob’s tone becomes really seductive) And my answer is yes.
Edward: (snarls) Back off, dog.
Jacob: Bella is safer with a dog than a monster.
Edward: Hey, I’ll have you know I haven’t had another human to eat in decades.
Bella: Uh, this fight over me is really adorable, but here comes the principal and he doesn’t look too happy.
Principal: Mr. Cullen, is everything all right here? Your grades, money and whiteness tell me that this other young man clearly is at fault here.
Edward: No problem. Jacob was just leaving. He wanted to talk to Bella, but she doesn’t want to talk to him.
Jacob: (Hurt) Is this true?
Bella: No. (glaring at Edward) But I have to do what Edward says, because that is the hallmark of a healthy relationship.
Jacob: Fine. I’m going, I just wanted to warn you Bella.
Bella: Warn me?
Edward: Jacob, don’t.
Jacob: (Ignoring Edward, though a crowd is gathering) She’s back. And she’s coming for you. Tell the Cullens to stay off our side of the line; she’s ours. (Revs motorcycle and drives away)
Principal: Mr. Cullen, if you and your “brothers” are contemplating some kind of rumble with this tribe of miscreants, I have to tell you that I need to let Police Chief Swan know about it.
Bella: (Laughs) Are you kidding? Charlie would love it.
Edward: Just come to class Bella.
Bella: Whatever you say, My Love.
Mike Newton: My money’s on the big Indian.
Scene 4: (In class)
Bella: (Under her breath to Edward—they are supposed to be listening to a lecture) Did you know about Victoria coming back?
Edward: Yeah. For some reason she decided not to bother you at all for the six months that there were no vampires in Forks. Her return coincided almost exactly with ours. And we’d have had her too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids. I mean dogs. Yuck. I can still smell him.
Bella: (Sniffs her own armpit) Maybe I just need new deodorant.
Edward: Have you seen the way he looks at you? And his thoughts!
Edward: He isn’t really interested in your friendship. You are NOT going to see him.
Bella: (whiney) Am too!
Edward: I tell you; there is nothing more dangerous than a young werewolf.
Edward: Okay. Young vampires. And really old vampires. And red-headed vampires. Motorcyles. Glass seems rather problematic for you. Oh, and Jasper of course.
Bella: Anything else?
Edward: Nuclear holocaust. But that’s beside the point.
Bella: Please, Edward. I really need your permission to make even simple decisions.
Edward: (Dejected) Fine.
Bella: (loudly) Yipee!
Teacher: (sharply) Miss Swan? Why have you written the word “smoldering” all over the margins of your paper?
Scene 5: (At the Reservation, looking out over the ocean)
Bella: He really is a nice guy, you know, down to the core.
Jacob: Except for the part where he eats people, right?
Bella: He doesn’t eat people. Not anymore. And he is really, really good looking.
Jacob: I'm good looking.
Bella: But he's rich.
Jacob: So good looks and money.
Bella: (standing up and stamping) How dare you suggest that I am shallow? I’m like, you know, so mature and stuff.
Jacob: I’m just saying that when people fall in love with each other, they should stick within their own species.
Bella: Newsflash Jacob! (Shouting louder) YOU ARE A WEREWOLF. NOT HUMAN, WERE. WOLF.
Jacob: Only part of the time. It’s not the same at all.
Bella: (Big Sigh)
Jacob: (After a pause) Did I tell you about the imprinting?
Jacob: Well, there is a long and boring story about how the wolves came to be, but the most interesting part is that when one of us sees the woman we are meant to mate with . . .
Bella: Mate with?
Jacob: (Ignoring her horrified look) You know like soul mate.
Bella: I’m not sure that’s exactly what you are talking about.
Jacob: Sure I am. It is like you see each other and BOOM the whole world is focused on that one person and nobody else matters any more.
Bella: Like love at first sight?
Jacob: A bit more absolute.
Bella: Oh no! Holy crap! You haven’t imprinted on ME have you? Because I’m pretty sure I’ve imprinted on Edward! That can't be right.
Jacob: (flatly) No, Bella.
Bella: (rambling) That’s a relief, because sometimes it is almost like you are in love with me, which is really hard to believe because I never even had a date in Arizona and here the boys just can't seem to stay away from me. Humans, half breeds, blood-suckers. I'm just so popular.
Jacob: I AM in love with you.
Bella: You mean like a friend, right?
Jacob: No, not really.
Bella: Sure you do. (Nervous) I’m just a stand-in until your soul mate arrives.
Jacob: (Yelling) I don’t care about what I’m forced to do. I choose to love you. And you love me too, don’t kid yourself. The blood-sucker doesn’t know what’s best for you! I do! (Suddenly kisses Bella.)
Bella: Don’t. Stop.
Jacob: Which is it?
Bella: (slugs Jacob)
Jacob: (laughing) I knew you liked it.
Bella: Oh! You’re the worst! I’m going now. (Stalks off beach and climbs into truck. Jacob is still laughing.)
Scene 5 (In Bella’s kitchen; Charlie and Edward are eyeing each others suspiciously over coffee; Charlie turns away and reads the paper.)
Charlie: So what are you two kids up to this weekend?
Bella: Not much
Charlie: You can’t go near
Bella: Why does everyone tell me what to do! (Jumps up and leaves room.)
Charlie: What was that all about?
Edward: (shrugs) PMS. What’s this about
Charlie: Mass murderer. A bunch of creepy, unexplainable deaths.
Edward: Any leads?
Charlie: No. (Laughs out loud) Listen to this (reading from paper) “Eyewitness claims to have seen one of the victims bitten on the neck before being carted off down a dark alley.” Can you believe that? Now this creep has given rise to some idiot vampire myth. People are so gullible.
Edward: You have no idea.
Charlie: Still, better to stay away . . . . Bella seems to attract negative attention of this sort too often.
Edward: You have no idea.
Scene 6 (In Bella’s bedroom; same day as above. Bella is still sulking.)
Edward: Bella, you didn’t want to go to
Bella: No; I just don’t like being told what to do.
Edward. Ah. Well, quit your crying, it turns out there actually is a plot to this story after all.
Bella: What’s that?
Edward: Pack of vampires loose in
Edward: Not like you, My Flower, more like another vampire. Not me. A stranger.
Edward: Oh, no! The vampires in
Bella: Oh—so it IS all about me?
Edward: And me, of course.
Bella: Right. What about Jacob?
Edward: Honey, there is just no room in this story for Jake. Oh—except you do need to tell him that a whole coven of bloodthirsty young vampires is coming to Forks and we might need their help.
Scene 7 (In the large clearing where the baseball game took place in Twilight. Several of the pack are there, though not in werewolf form. Edward is speaking to them.)
Edward: Now, the vampires are coming.
Generic Native American Boy #1: What’s your name again?
Edward: Edward. Any others?
Generic Native American Boy #2: When do we eat? I’m starving.
Generic Native American Boy #3: Yeah, we were told there was going to be pizza.
Edward: I meant questions about the plan.
Jacob: Where will Bella be?
Edward: In a tent with me.
Jacob: What the . . .
Edward: But I need one of the pack nearby so that I can read all your thoughts.
Jacob: What the . . . .
Edward: Anything else? (Confused looks) Good. Now, we don’t know when they are coming or how many there will be.
Edward: Anyway, just keep hanging around here until something happens. (Boy #3 raises his hand again.) And yes, Fluffy, Esme’s Hummer is filled with pizza. (Werewolves all metamorphosize and converge on Esme’s car.)
Bella: (Voice low) You didn’t tell me about the whole tent thing. Does this mean we’re gonna do it?
Edward: Do what?
Bella: Please tell me you aren’t that dense.
Edward: Uh . . .
Jacob: What you two talkin’ about huh?
Edward (at the same time) I have no idea.
Jacob: Well, just in case you had any funny ideas Cullen, it is me that is going to be standing guard at the tent.
Edward: Oh, that's just great.
Edward: Let me get this straight—your telling the future power has been reduced to weather forecasts?
Scene 8 (Small tent with a couple of flashlights lit inside. Bella sits in one corner holding her legs and shaking. Edward sits opposite with a worried expression.)
Bella: It is just so c. . . co. . . .cold.
Edward: We could cuddle?
Bella: You are the c . . . c . . . co. . . .coldest. . . . thing in the p . . . p. . . place.
Bella: Unless . . .
Bella: I mean first aid for hypothermia says that we should . . .
Edward: Sorry Bella. We aren’t doing that either.
Bella: Oh c’mon! Every guy has had the hypothermia fantasy at one time or another. You really can’t be telling me no.
Edward: I really am. Unless you marry me.
Edward: Sorry, babe. That’s the deal.
Jacob: (Unzipping tent and letting a blast of cold air and snow in.) Is Bella warm enough?
Bella: As a matter of fact, no.
Jacob: I can help (seductive).
Edward: He is definitely having the hypothermia fantasy.
Jacob: (Shrugs) Whatever works.
Bella: Just get in here. (She snuggles up next to him.) Oh, yeah, that is more like it. Edward, you are really smoldering now. (Jacob crawls in the sleeping bag next to her.)
Edward: This is a means to an end, Jacob Black. If you lay a hand on her without her permission I will rip your throat out.
Bella: So much drama Edward. Just let me sleep.
Scene 9 (Morning outside the tent. Jacob and Bella are talking.)
Jacob: I’m glad Edward had to run and talk to the others. I need to ask you something.
Jacob: Last night was incredible. Wonderful. Amazing.
Bella: I get the point.
Jacob: You can’t tell me you didn’t feel anything, Bells.
Bella: Uh . . . . I think you need to start shaving?
Jacob: (Rubs his face) Maybe so. But that isn’t what I meant.
Bella: What did you mean? Like attraction? (Nods.) Jacob! How could I be attracted to you? You are my best friend and you are super funny. I mean, you are muscled and bronze instead of being skinny and pale. (She looks a him closer and speaks slower.) You are warm instead of cold. . . . O. M. G. Jacob! You are smoking hot! (Kisses him hard.)
Jacob: You can’t tell me you didn’t feel anything, Bells.
Bella: You DO need to start shaving.
Edward: Bella? (Coming out of the clearing, having just seen the two of them kissing.)
Bella: Edward. I WILL marry you!
Jacob: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Runs off into the woods.)
Edward: Then what was the kissing all about?
Bella: (shrugs) Just messin’ with him.
Edward: So, we’re engaged huh?
Bella: Don’t say it so loud.
Edward: And we’ve got this tent to ourselves the rest of the day. . .
Bella: What about the big vampire fight?
Edward: We aren’t really involved. (Starts kissing her)
Bella: What about the wait until you are married thing?
Edward: I’m less committed than I was last night (More kissing.)
Bella: Now I want to wait. (Pulls back)
Bella: (Smiles sweetly) Now I’m messing with you.
Edward: (sniffing) Vampires.
Scene 10 (In Bella’s truck. Edward and Bella are speeding along at a rocking 45 miles per hour. Bella is clearly panicked.)
Bella: So tell me again what happened?
Edward: Well, we thought it was all over, but one of them snuck up out of no where and Jacob had to be a hero . . . .
Bella: Oooo! He’s hurt?
Edward: Yes, But he’s healing quickly. It’s a werewolf thing.
Edward: He’s a tough kid.
Bella: Yep. I’ll invite him to the wedding. Then we’ll see how tough he is.
Edward: Speaking of the wedding. . . .
Bella: (groan) You know I hate people making a fuss over me. (sigh) Oh, well. I guess I’ll just have to be the center of the universe again.
Edward: You’re the center of my universe, baby.
Bella: Oh, Edward! (Start kissing while he drives.) I'm gonna be a vampire! I'm gonna be a vampire!