By Rebecca Stewart
7:22 AM EST, November 19, 2009
"I'm wicked excited," Gomes says.
The Twilight saga has taken the world by storm-- it was a bestselling book that brought adult readers back to high school with all the intense emotion they remembered. But it may do even more for younger fans.
"We have a whole generation of girls who grew up on Disney. This embraces the Cinderella complex: their ideal is for the prince to find them. That's what the story embodies," psychologist Dr. Laura Saunders says.
Dr. Saunders watched the film so she could relate to her adolescent patients more. She noticed many had a copy of the books with them. At first, she was skeptical, but then she watched it and found it compelling, even helpful to young women who may have lost their way.
She believes the franchise offers young women a strong role model in Bella: an independent thinker who believes in love more than lust, who learns to believe in fairy tales and in her prince charming, a vampire named Edward.
"Bella has her own thoughts and ideas. She's not afraid. Because of that she becomes a model for girls to do what you want. Don't be afraid."
For parents, Dr. Saunders points out, this is a welcome change from a lot of what we see in movies and tv.
"This series focuses on connection and love more than lust, more than sex."
Gomes agrees, "It's pure. I thnk. There's something really honest about it."
She, too likes the message she got from the book and movie: "You don't have to change to be with somebody. that's a big message."
The franchise is doing something right.
"Twilight" grossed more than $69 million in its opening weekend.
New moon is expected to earn more than $100 million this weekend.