Saturday, November 17, 2012

Place Your Bets: Twilight Edition

Ladies and gentlemen, let us extend our congratulations to Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.  This Friday, their indentured servitude came to an end. They have been freed of the bonds created by tween fanaticism, painful contact lenses, and a moneymaking scheme far larger than themselves.  While their characters will haunt them for the rest of their mortal lives, they no longer have to endure the pressures of being teen idols or the ruthless talk of 'Trampires'.  If they so choose, they can walk away from their constructed relationship and live out their days without ever having to communicate again.  They are liberated.  It is over.

As much as I find the Twilight saga despicable, I have long defended the potential merits of the much derided Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Yes, they're both tremendously awkward. Yes, their performances as Bella and Edward are empty, dreadful, passionless things made worse by bad makeup and horrific writing.  Yes, it's bad form to do as much sideways snarking on the franchise that made them rich as they have.  But...I cannot blame them.  Twilight is a dangerously silly romance about a troubled girl, a killer, and the psychologically abusive push pull between them. It creates a situation where a teen girl must marry and reproduce instead of pursuing an education and, de facto, sets feminism back decades. Its stars know this (just watch the supercut of Pattinson's strange interview comments), and since the first film went kaboom they have been visually lamenting the success of the series; walking like zombies, developing chips on their shoulders, putting in performances as lifeless as a blood-drained corpse.  Still, in independent roles, Stewart has proven she is capable of using her awkward energy to her advantage (Adventureland, The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys), and Pattinson's active interest in taking up projects like Cosmopolis speak to his own ennui.  The two went through a very public "break up" only to conveniently "get back together" just before press for Breaking Dawn pt. II went full swing.
With the 'relationship' and the bad rep on their acting abilities, what I'm wondering is: what do we see happening with these two now?

Here's one possibility: Stewart and Pattinson break-up just before Christmas, by early spring they're hinting in interviews that they were never really together in the first place and that their time dating was a largely platonic union during which they each saw other people.  Pattinson and Ashley Greene step out in public a few times before going their separate ways and the tabloids really run with the talk that they have been having casual sex since the production of the first film.  Stewart becomes noticeably happier and after deciding to back out of Snow White 2 (for fear of another lifeless franchise) she sticks to indie roles for a few years and eventually grabs a supporting actress nomination for a role as a mentally imbalanced young woman.  She does not win in America, but is lauded overseas and as an appreciation for her once again builds she takes the opportunity to announce in a print interview (after being spotted out by tabloid reporters) that she is bisexual, but largely keeps her relationships out of the public eye.  At age 30 she decides to retire from acting while mumbling that while it's been fun, her heart was never in it.  Much later, she writes a serious book many hail as "surprisingly decent." Pattinson tries to step out of his heartthrob box with some dark indie dramas before stumbling into an ensemble comedy and winning some surprise success. He gets jobs, but almost always in a supporting role. His roles and life decisions get weirder, but always seem surprisingly balanced. He begins washing his hair regularly and laments his inability to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Depp.  

I know, right?  I don't even know why I decided to speculate on this.  Regardless: place your bets, give me your best scenarios...

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