No intentional plot spoilers, especially if you've read the book. That said, read at your own risk.
Yes, of course the book was better than the movie.
That said, THE MOVIE WAS WONDERFUL! Everyone was standing outside in the freezing Northwest night air with books in hand. Some were wrapped up in blankets, others, like myself, appeared to have been so excited about getting to the theatre that they forgot their coats and gloves. [Oops.] Once they let us inside, at 9:45, I began to thaw as I passed the time by rereading New Moon, chatting occasionally with my neighbors about our opinions on who was best for Bella [EDWARD, duh], our favorite book from the saga, and, of course, the casting choices. I was able to get to my favorite chapter in New Moon [20: Volterra] just as the lights dimmed and the screen readjusted to the appropriate size for something other than multitudinous versions of the same message, "You're at a movie, don't use your phone!"
Let me break, briefly, from the Twilight love and say that the new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was delightful, but I still begrudge the decision to wait on the release of the movie simply for profit's sake.
And then...the production company's logo fills the screen, fades and the voice-over begins.... I thought Catherine Hardwicke did a wonderful job capturing the awkward way in which Bella and Edward's relationship evolves. While I think Edward and Bella, and the rest of the characters for that matter, look different for each person as they find themselves engrossed in the pages of Stephanie Meyer's novels, the casting was believable and...good. I was pleasantly surprised. I think my biggest disappointment in the casting department was the Cullen's house. It is described as, “painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned,” with a, “deep porch that wrap[s] around the first story.” Bella guesses it is a hundred years old and characterizes it as, “timeless, graceful.” The house they chose was beautiful, but almost the antithesis of Bella's description in everything but the openness and exceptional number of windows.
It was a wonderful way to spend an evening turned very early morning. I loved the scenic shout-outs to places that I see on a semi-frequent basis [Haystack Rock, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge to name a few]. I loved that the sweetly chaste relationship between Edward and Bella [mostly] survived Hollywood. I loved it, all of it, including the tired eyes that greeted me in the mirror this morning.
*Oh My Edward