My wife suggested I see the movie "Twilight" after she saw it on On Demand the other night.

"Isn't that the one with that strange looking dude who's a vampire?" I asked.

That was the one.

All I had heard was that it was a chick flick among vampire movies, which was fine with me because I liked chick flicks. I cry like a baby in them, actually. Put me in front of "Terms of Endearment" or "Titanic" and I blubber in the sad parts as if it's my first time around.

So I agreed to watch it.

And it wasn't bad. It was...ahem...entertaining.

I loved the atmosphere of the movie. The main actor still annoys me to no end (I am certain he is the reason many women, young and not so young, find themselves infatuated with this film)...I can't get past his goofy hair, creepy face, and red lips. But then, he IS supposed to be a vampire after all.

The cinematography was stunning, the acting fairly good considering the young cast, and I was pleasantly surprised that the violence was tempered and the filmmakers had enough self restraint to not show buckets of blood as they could have. It was PG-13, but tame enough that we let our 10-year-old daughter watch it (she's a tough girl). The only scene we had her turn away from was a moment or two in the film's climax that were a bit intense.

Meanwhile, my wife is plowing through the books (there are four of them...at least for now) and really enjoying them.

I have a confession to make. I just started reading them, too. And although I am only 65 pages into the first installment, I admit I am enjoying it very much.

It's part romance, part suspense, part family drama. It's vampires meet "Rebel Without A Cause"! It's more cerebral than it is scary, which I really like.

OK, so I am reading a book that is aimed primarily at teen readers. So what. For once, there is a book that seems to at least raise the bar. It's a book that's mature enough for an adult reader to still enjoy and savor.

I can only speak of the first book, but it seems that author Stephenie Meyer is fighting the tide and not contributing another silly and juvenile work to the piles of tween and teen reading material.

My 12-year-old son refuses to see the movie because he is told it's a chick flick. I told him that's one of the endearing qualities of the story. He shrugged his shoulders as if saying "nuff said".

My fellow confident men...UNITE! Resist the condemnation you might face from your more burly, testosterone-poisoned brethren and see the movie and read the books.

And then maybe we can start a book club or something together. I'll bring the spring water.

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