DVD Release Date:  March 20, 2010
Theatrical Release Date:  November 20, 2009
Rating:  PG-13 (for some violence and action)
Genre:  Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Adaptation
Run Time:  130 min.
Director:  Chris Weitz
Actors:  Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Anna Kendrick, Ashley Greene, Michael Welch, Justin Chon, Christian Serratos, Jackson Rathbone, Cam Gigandet, Michael Sheen, Rachelle Lefevre, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli

With a strikingly different tone than its swoony, spooky counterpart Twilight, New Moon actually answers the age-old question that most romantic comedy scripts never have the opportunity to:  What happens after the girl actually lands the man—or in this case, vampire—of her dreams?

Turns out, for Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), it's not exactly the happily-ever-after ending that she was probably hoping for. On the eve of turning 18, she's smack dab in the middle of a quarter-life crisis that's unfortunately arrived seven years too early. See, this is the first time she's going to be older than her forever young beau, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). And considering how sparkly and beautiful he is in the sunlight, not to mention easy on the eyes when it's dark, she isn't sure he's still going to love her when she's old and wrinkly.

Of course, Edward hasn't provided any indication that his love would ever waver, but Bella is still freaking out (in that sulky, moody way that she always does, mind you). In fact, instead of actually enjoying how everyone is doting on her, she'd prefer not celebrating her birthday at all. And given what happens next, well, that could've been a far better option.

When opening a present from Edward's family, the girl known for being accident-prone gets a seemingly innocuous paper cut, which sends Jasper's (Jackson Rathbone) thirst for human blood (he was the newest "vegetarian" the last time around, remember?) into overdrive. Just as Jasper is about to attack her, Edward intervenes and has a pretty important epiphany in the process: As much as he loves her, Bella simply doesn't belong in a vampire's world. Plus, the suspicions around Forks, the small Washington town where the story takes place, about Edward's father Dr. Cullen (Peter Facinelli) never really aging is yet another compelling reason for the family to consider skipping town.

So in the interest of protecting Bella, Edward does the hardest thing imaginable: He not only breaks up with her, but warns her that this is the last time she'll ever see him. As expected, this doesn't exactly sit well with Bella, who heartbreakingly pleads and pleads for Edward to change his mind. But with stony resolve, Edward sticks with his plan and flees before Bella has a chance to catch up.

Now no matter how invested you are in the Bella/Edward romance, (and trust me, I'm still not exactly sure what's so appealing about mopey, passive ol' Bella), the next few scenes do a fantastic job of capturing Bella's deteriorating emotional state after the breakup. With some great camerawork that vividly shows the slow inevitable passing of time, not to mention some decent acting from Stewart who always seems right in her element when she's sulking, there's no doubting that lost love really, truly hurts—especially when you're 18, and this is your first big love.

Before the flick becomes too much of a downer, however, it's helpful that Bella has Jacob  (Taylor Lautner) to help cheer her up. Not exactly a slacker in the looks department now that he's obviously put in some serious time at the gym (something that Bella points out several times), he is really the perfect new pal, considering his sense of adventure and obvious dislike for the "pale faces," especially Edward in particular. And after a slew of sad scenes, the playful banter between Bella and Jacob is a welcome relief.