In theaters.

Thus far, I’ve managed to avoid reading Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series. I know enough about the books—and about myself—to know that I would really dislike them, and although that kind of makes me want to read them anyway so that I can make rude comments about them, I try to avoid caving into that perverse impulse.

Unfortunately for my attempts at being a better person, my fourteen-year-old niece mentioned over Thanksgiving that she really wanted to see Twilight, the new film adaptation of the first book (she’s read them all), and I couldn’t resist offering to take her. I felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, accompanying a genuinely besotted fan so that I could sink my teeth into the object of her affection, but I think she suspected the truth (she kept glancing at me in the theater to gauge my reaction), and she got a free ticket out of the trip, and of course I love her and would never be rude to her.

Plus, truth be told, I didn’t hate the movie as much as I had expected. Director Catherine Hardwicke makes the most of the Pacific Northwest setting, giving the whole film a rainy, verdant beauty. In a few scenes, notes of levity manage to sneak into the otherwise morose story and charm me in spite of myself. And finally, I underestimated how endearing Brooke’s enthusiasm would be. I couldn’t share her love of Edward and Bella, but her excitement was mildly contagious. In my own way, I enjoyed the movie as a weird hybrid of melodrama, comedy, and aunt-niece bonding.