Can Bill Condon (or anybody) salvage Meyer’s “Breaking Dawn”?

By Kim Palacios

Stephenie Meyer’s “Breaking Dawn” was a disappointment to many fans, who flamed Meyer for failing to fairly resolve things she’d built up to in the first three books. The burden will be heavy for Bill Condon and “Team Summit” to install a silver lining on Meyer’s cloud. But, at this stage, is ending the series on a high note even possible?

I have written previously about my suspicions that Meyer’s involvement as producer is driven by her desire to redeem herself in the face of criticism. Unconfirmed rumors that the film will be shot in two parts (e.g., giving her more script and screen time to fix it) seem to support this hypothesis.

So, what are the key problems? “Breaking Dawn” is full of elements that fans saw as out of character or implausible. Topping many lists are the relationship that emerges between enemies, Rosalie and Bella, and the birth of Renesmee, Edward and Bella’s horribly-named half-breed love child. Plot elements, such as Jacob imprinting on Renesmee and the monumental build-up to a fight that never happens may have been mistakes on Meyer’s part, but would be difficult to gloss over in the movie.

So, what is the best that fans can expect, if it is Meyer’s intention to do cleanup? Her producer role will afford her the chance to justify what was viewed by fans as strange. By adding detail that explains her thinking (and, in some cases, by adding missing scenes that some fans hoped to see, such as those during Edward and Bella’s honeymoon), Meyer may be poised to get herself out of a pickle.

But, it won’t be easy. In addition to fixing aforementioned issues (not to mention the dozens of loose ends for which she has been criticized in the past), it must appeal to audiences of all ages. Out of the four books, “Breaking Dawn” deals with the most mature themes—and it is largely the older fans who drive the financial success of the franchise. That fan base will be looking for something more sophisticated than has been seen before.

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  • May 1, 2010 | Permalink |

    She doesn’t need to fix it. It was the ending she had planned from the beginning. I loved it.

  • May 2, 2010 | Permalink |

    Hopefully they’ll change the plot quite a bit — I fail to see how this can be made into a successful film unless they at least have more of a fight scene at the end. It’s one thing for a book to be that anti-climatic, but another thing entirely for a movie.

  • May 2, 2010 | Permalink |

    The ending is not anti-climatic.. First, this book is about BELLA’s journey. In the end, Bella comes into her own and realizes the full potential of her power….and fulfills her life-long desire of “protecting those she loves.” Why does a throw-down with the Volturi have to take place? SMeyer/Summit/Condon should not change this….people will just have to live off of the fight scene from Eclipse if hand-to-hand battle gets thems off.

    Secondly, the relationship between Bella and Rosalie is not outragous based on what we know. It’s because of Rosalie’s longing to have a child of her own that she will never have….Bella herself didn’t even know whether their “friendship” survived after Renesmee was out of the womb.

    Imprinting—so what. Imprinting is not sexual…it’s a spiritual bond of whatever the imprintee needs from the imprinter in life..

  • May 2, 2010 | Permalink |

    i hope they change the part about jacob imprinting on renesme …because i just think the whole impriting thing is really strange. but it is SM choice and the choice of the director as well. & hopefully they do 2 movies and add more!!!

  • May 8, 2010 | Permalink |

    What are you talking about you idiot? This article is poor, very biased and one-sided. Breaking Dawn was absolutely mesmerizing for most fans and it’s only strange to someone who cannot see that all that happens in breaking dawn is the realistic end to a fantasy story. Whether Renesmee is a good or bad name is a matter of opinion and perhaps by Reading the book you would understand renesmee is thought to be the first of her kind so a name that already exists would have been inappropriate. Breaking Dawn is not a story of loose ends, it’s the end of what needs to end in this part of her life and gives way to rest of her life with Edward from there on.

    I really would read the book again if you have already and think next time before you criticise a wonderful story so coldly. Fans are not criticising it, you are.

  • May 19, 2010 | Permalink |

    Well said, Gia! By the way, the article refers to Renesmee as a “love child.” She was conceived on Edward and Bella’s honeymoon, so by definition, is not a “love child.” Also, in my multiple readings, Rosalie is never really friends with Bella, despite their bonding-of-convenience to protect the unborn Renesmee. Based on Edward’s reading of her thoughts, Rosalie cares only about the baby, not about Bella, or whether she even survives the birth. Some have said that Rosalie redeems herself in Breaking Dawn. I disagree, but I would be interested to know whether Stephenie Meyer has ever commented on what her intention was on this score.

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