This is an excellent discussion.
I do not have a lot of time at the moment so I'll start with this and add more later.
I find that the romance of the book was much more palpable than in the movie. But that is almost always the case, for me. It's easier to feel the emotion in the written words than for an actor/actress to portray all the erratic thoughts and emotions that go through your mind when around someone you are fascinated with. Especially, someone who is supposed to be a teenager. Let's face it, teenage emotions are normally all over the place on a regular basis.
I loved the lengths that Richard's character went to just to be with someone, (Somewhere in Time
) and how he was so sure about her that it kills him in the end to have to face the next 60 years without her. It wasn't about being with her sexually, just about being close to her. Being able to touch her, embrace her, see her. She took his breath away.
From the Twilight perspective, I thought that there were a lot of things in the book that were romantic. Some of the most romantic lines/events to me were all of the things that Chernaudi mentioned in the initial post. ..."touching, sensual, funny, tense, slightly angsty, heart-racing, humorous and an expression of feelings for the ones we love." Being in a wonderful marriage after a extremely heartbreaking long term relationship, you get some perspective on expressions of love. I had someone ask me once, "How do you tell him you love him?" and there are literally thousands of ways. How I say I love you and how he says I love you may be different also. You have to know how your partner, spouse, significant other expresses those feelings to grasp the true emotion behind the words.
Example comes to mind from Twilight: "Don't be self-conscious," he whispered in my ear. "If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I'm not ashamed of it."
My husband may "tell" me that he loves me by taking me to work when the weather makes the roads treacherous. It doesn't mean that he doesn't tell me too.
I am not a romance reader, in general. I think the level of romance in the average novel leads to unrealistic expectations in life. It's believing all the fairy tales. It makes life more dramatic than it normally is. The same is true for smut/porn. It has it's place and there is a time for both, but romance for me is somewhere in between. No one is completely blissfully happy all the time, nor are they horribly sad. If my range of emotions were that extreme or jumping back and forth, I would be contacting my physician for medications...
I find that the whole honeymoon scene was very tastefully done, but then I've always liked "tan lines". By separating the general population into those two categories; those who like tan lines and those who do not like tan lines, we find the difference in tastes. To explain; I like tan lines because they hint at something that is not normally seen. You have to use your imagination to see what's covered up. Those who do not like tan lines, normally prefer to see and hear all the gory details. For me, imagination is normally better than reality. There's nothing attractive about a naked man...now a nearly naked man...whole different level of attraction. Just my opinion though.
I have a friend who still has not seen Twilight. She read the books and refuses to extinguish her imagination by putting the actors/actresses in place of the ones she sees from the story.
I had so much going through my mind while reading the posts in this topic I had to take notes.
Esme echo wrote:Edward, on the other hand, frequently threw responsibility and family obligations "over the wall" to spend time with or protect Bella--even if it was only to watch her sleep! He was a much more relationship/emotionally driven young man than Harry.
I'd like to comment that one important difference between Harry and Edward other than their mortality, is Harry's story essentially is not about romance/love. His story is about triumph over evil and a big part of his reason for triumph, at least in the first 6 books, is because
of his family and dedication to his friends. Romance and love are on hold for a later time, if the epic final battle is survived. I had to analyze the possible reasons for my own sake, because I thought the same thing when he left the school and Ginny didn't go with them at the beginning of DH. Rowlings gave the majority of them their HEA and the story ended how it should have. We don't go through epic battles without losing some dear friends.
But for Edward, he has been waiting for over 90 years for Bella. He has already "survived" his final battle with mortality so to speak. His story is all romance and epic love. It doesn't diminish his feelings for his family but defines it even before he realizes it by his willingness to stand against them, a couple of them anyway, to protect her. He has already instinctively included her with himself without fully understanding why.
With the divorce rate so high today, most people believe that your family is more permanent than your marriage. But Edward was from a different time. A time where the majority of couples did not divorce. You worked hard to be with the person you wanted to be with, if it wasn't arranged marriage, and it was "'Til death do us part". You did court that person for a year or more without ever being alone with them. Edward's highest priority after meeting Bella was to be with her regardless of where that took him, and regardless of what he had to endure. Her being human is what kept putting his family in jeopardy from outside forces, but I don't think his devotion to his family changed. I think it's more that he is forced to react differently to the given situations because he now has Bella to protect. His family would never had had as much trouble with James/Victoria or the Volturi if Bella had not come into their lives. She is the catalyst that changes his entire existence.
While Edward has lived through all the years and would try to blend in with humans, I do not think that he would change his basic beliefs in moral or respectable behavior just because something is acceptable in society today. He was fairly open about his beliefs that a sin is a sin, no matter how great or small. He contradicts himself quite a bit, but I think that with his human instincts resurfacing, he also tries to regain some sense of his old life.
And with Edward being so "old-fashioned" Stephenie did an excellent job of limiting the degree of intimacy we get to see. I do not think anything would be gained in the story telling by adding in the more more risque parts. Sometimes more is just more. I think her "fade to black" left you with the feeling that their private moments are exceedingly private and while you may want to know more, you also don't want to intrude.