But before that, something much nicer happens: Bella and Edward smile. A lot. The usually doleful duo marry in an idyllic ceremony in the woods, her stunning dress likely to spawn as many imitators as Kate Middleton’s. Family and friends gather to celebrate and Anna Kendrick gets a chance to make her usual wisecracks (‘Who else gets married at 18?’, muses her cynical character Jessica, convinced the bride is pregnant). This marriage is the moment romantic Twi-hards have been waiting for and they’re well served.
The Brazilian honeymoon’s equally decorative and, of course, features another key moment: the consummation. As they embrace in the sea under the moonlight (naked!) there’s undeniable chemistry between the real-life couple. But the bedroom scenes border on the ridiculous as Edward grips the headboard, breaking the bed with his super-vampire strength. Bella’s insistence that she doesn’t mind the bruises is downright masochistic.
Events from here revolve around the baby that’s crushing Bella from the inside: a dark plotline that leads to much melodrama but also the franchise’s most suspenseful scenes. Even if you know the outcome, it’s gripping stuff and Stewart sure is good at looking life-threateningly ill. There are tender moments between the expectant parents and the character of lovesick Jacob still adds interest, despite Taylor Lautner’s limited range.
Blending serious fantasy-drama themes with soapy dialogue, cartoony-looking vampires and wolves whose thoughts we can hear, this remains a strange hybrid of genres. But as ever, it’s hard to separate the films from the fandom. As a stand-alone movie it’s a mixed bag. But it progresses the story of beloved characters with a reverence for the source material that will doubtlessly please Twi-hards, ushering in a finale that promises to be darker still.