The Dinner: Chicken sandwich, chips, and white wine at Gold Class Cinemas (16451 NE 74th St., Redmond).
Twilight love triangle: Will Bella choose Jacob or Edward?
The Movie: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
The Screenplate: The third installment of the Twilight film series debuted Tuesday at midnight. (Full disclosure: I am a Twi-hard. In order to be perfectly prepared, I actually arrived at the theater at 6:30 p.m. to watch back-to-back screenings of the first two Twilight movies prior to the premiere.)
Eclipse is essentially a fantasy-romance film for teens. If you liked the first two films, you'll love the third one. If not, well, you'd be insane to take on another installment.It opens with Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) a month away from her high school graduation. Her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) has proposed; she says yes on the condition that he turns her into a vampire so they can be together, forever young. He is hesitant because, as he informs her, "You don't know the consequences of the choices you're making. After a few decades, everyone you know will be dead." (Oh, the melodrama!)
Meanwhile, Bella's close friend, the werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), reveals he is in love with her and attempts to convince her that he's a better match because: 1) he has a human lifespan and they can grow old together, and b) he looks better than Edward with his shirt off. (Both very valid points. Team Jacob all the way!) Bella is enticed, and her affinity for the anemic-appearing Edward starts to wane.
The story's central conflict is that Seattle is being hit by several mysterious murders at the hands of a new vampire tribe that ultimately wants to destroy Bella. (For a Forks resident in ratty jeans, she sure causes a big fuss.) But even the most awesome action sequences are overshadowed by the Edward-Bella-Jacob love triangle. Watching it play out feels far less juvenile at Gold Class Cinemas than it would a standard movie theater, namely because it is a 21-and-over establishment. None of the girls wore T-shirts proclaiming "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob." (I was glad I left mine at home.)
On Tuesdays, Gold Class members--the exclusivity of which entails your ability to fill out your name and address online when purchasing a ticket--get 50 percent off the entire food menu, plus $5 cocktails and $3 wine. I had the Anchor Bar Chicken Sandwich with house-made chips ($9) and three glasses of house white wine ($9). The sandwich was decent; a crispy buffalo sauce-smothered breast, blue cheese, tomato, and lettuce on Ciabatta bread. The chips were too salty and ranged from chewy to crispy. I actually preferred the soft ones, if only because it feels awkward to chomp and crunch away in such a swanky space. Would I pay $18 for the same meal on any other night? Absolutely not. But $9 on a Tuesday is doable, and the fact that you get to order your food via a call button is exciting.
Much easier to stomach than the sandwich were the cheesy one-liners in Eclipse. It's obvious the actors are aware that the Twilight phenomenon borders on insane. Fortunately, this is a movie that relishes in its ridiculousness and lets the cast run with it. "Does that guy own a shirt?" Edward asks upon seeing Jacob's shirtless, ripped body for the umpteenth time in the first hour of the film. Even better, Jacob later confronts Edward with harsh honesty, "Let's face it; I'm hotter than you." Zing!