Watching The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with Teenage Girls

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” on IMDBIMDB, The Mortal Instruments, The City of Bones

Action/Fantasy, 130 Minutes, 2013

There has been an unending glut of young-adult fantasy romance adapted to film since the successes of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games”. Authors are going to have to start leveraging love trapezoids because we’ve literally run out of triangles.

Still, it was my daughter’s 13th birthday and she wanted to watch this with her friends. They were deeply invested in the books and they promised – cross their hearts! – that they would watch it.

Teenage girls lie.

Teenage girls lie a lot.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think that they intend to lie, but lie they do. I was able to capture this timelapse of them “watching” the movie. Does it look like much watching is getting done?

Phones, giggling, moving around, phones on sticks, snacks, jumping on each other and jumping off the furniture. These are, I remind you, huge fans. Personally, I was less animated and able to pay more attention.

Not that I really needed to. The basic framework is so terribly familiar: a blank teenage girl discovers that she’s actually incredibly special and is part of a fantastic hidden world. She then spends the whole movie moaning over, but never choosing between, two guys. The teenage girls squealed like… well, like teenage girls, when the blank girl started kissing the amazingly effeminate guy, but a few did argue for the merits of the nerdy guy.

The plot is built from common ingredients in a different blender: angels and demons, werewolves and vampires, secret societies and ancient feuds. The good guys have hidden a magic cup that the bad guys want. Really important information is delivered with a British accent, because.

The special effects are nice enough and the pacing is pretty good when not bogged down by the kissing parts. Teenage girls seem to enjoy ignoring it while looking at their phones. The whole thing is basically harmless.

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