The Métro is plastered with posters for the new teenage heartthrob vampire movie, Twilight. "A Romeo and Juliette fantastique that has astonished the world," promises the blurb, and on every train platform the pale, innocent heroine is locked in an embrace with the even paler and tormented-looking hero.
It amuses me quite a bit that the latest romance taking Paris by storm is set in Forks, Washington. I've been to Forks a number of times on my way to Olympic National Park, and I can't say it ever made much of an impression on me. It's the kind of place where you'd briefly stop for coffee and groceries when headed for a hike on the coast, a perpetually cloudy, down-at-the-heels logging town.
When I was thirteen years old, I was obsessed with the oh-so-Parisian Phantom of the Opera. I dreamed of treading the marble staircase of the Opéra Garnier and hearing mysterious footsteps behind me or catching the shadow of a black cape out of the corner of my eye. Are pre-adolescent Parisiennes now dreaming of attending Forks High School? Or of midnight romantic rendez-vous amidst moss-draped cedar trees?
Perhaps the "in a land far, far away" part is the key to Prince Charming's allure.