Rated 3.0

This feverishly anticipated, franchise-launching adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novel kindles the romance between a 17-year-old human (Kristen Stewart) and a 17-plus-90-year-old vampire (Robert Pattinson). There will be yearning. Having honed her rapport with transgressive-curious shy girls and ruby-lipped pretty boys in Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown, respectively, director Catherine Hardwicke has no trouble fetishizing the forever young, but she seems also to have let her basic scene-building skills become stunted. TV veteran Melissa Rosenberg brings only a vague, unchallenging TVishness to the benevolent, relatively bloodless script. But you can’t argue with an enraptured audience full of screaming teen girls. (Yes, social phenomena are as irresistible for journalists as fresh-smelling humans are for vampires.) Maybe they’ll soon be writing reports about Twilight as an allegory of abstinence and anticipation. I’ll at least have gotten the main point about how hard it is for him not to eat her.