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I don’t watch award-winning movies almost as a rule. If I want to be depressed I’ll look at my bank statement or take my kids to the dentist. According to Hollywood, a film is not art unless somebody dies (says me). To be nominated at all a good portion of the cast must be tragically killed off including at least one character the watcher cares deeply about.

I don’t watch movies for the culture. I watch to escape the drama of my life for a happier place where villains get their comeuppance, all loose ends tie neatly in a bow, where happily ever after is standard operating procedure and where large groups of people randomly break into song and dance. This is evidenced by my extensive Elvis movie collection.

By my standards, New Moon was a hit. It could have been the atmosphere – the women shrieking like school girls when Edward (Robert Pattinson) first strode accross the screen and when Jacob (Taylor Lautner) shed his shirt to mop blood from Bella’s head (Ewww ladies… these guys are like my little brothers age) – or it could have been the fact that I watched with a group of my favorite girlfriends, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. And for many of the reasons I disliked its predecessor, Twilight.

The music was perfect for every scene, situation and emotion (a major complaint of mine in the first movie). The cinematography was dramatic, fun and engaging, the acting was better and there was humor!  More importantly,  Bella (Kristen Stewart) smiles!

The tendency for over-acting demonstrated in Twilight was toned down and I much more thoroughly enjoyed each character including Jessica’s (Anna Kendrick) genuinely teenage ramblings on a night on the town with a despondant Bella.

This movie was Taylor Lautner’s (Jacob) chance in the sun and he was fun, lovable and kid-brother-esque… just how I had pictured him. There were a couple awkward moments when a ridiculous laugh rippled through the crowd (*spoiler alert*) like Edward and Bella’s reunion under the clock tower and the over-fanciful running scene Aros reads from Alice’s head. But from where I sat, the second installment of the Twilight series was 100 times the movie Twilight was (yes, I realize that is an unrealistic exaggeration) and I would highly recommend it to any fan, wary as though you may be due to Twilight-the-first-induced trauma.

Not sure you’re a fan yet? Be sure to see this flick with a band of your favorite Twi-hard gal pals. If nothing else you’ll get a kick out of their uncontainable hysterics.