When teenagers became Tinseltown's prime marketing target, Hollywood delivered handsome heartthrobs any girl could love. There are teen icons for every generation. For Chloe and millions of girls around the world, it's Lautner and Robert Pattinson of "New Moon," the latest installment in the "Twilight" series. These girls aren't just experiencing a movie-star crush, they're participating in a uniquely female rite of passage: The birth of romantic fantasy.
And today's technology - online fan forums, Twitter, an endless Web stream of photos and videos - lets them get closer than ever. Before real boyfriends and first kisses, girls' imaginary relationships with their heartthrobs provide a precursor to adult romance - a love before they know what love might be.
Edward is romantic and otherworldly, and though he literally hungers for her, he's gentle and protective. But he leaves and Bella finds comfort with her loyal, longtime friend Jacob Black Lautner , whom she later discovers belongs to a lineage of werewolves. I just think that would be incredible. She spotted Lautner when she saw the film last year and recognized him from a kids' movie she'd seen a few years earlier.
A kid-next-door type who's sweet, funny and just a tad awkward. Pattinson is really hot, too, but Chloe finds his character's infinite devotion to Bella "kind of unrealistic.
Team Edward and Team Jacob. Chloe aligns firmly with the latter, but "it's pretty much half and half at my school," she says. Each has his charms. On screen, Pattinson plays a dashing vampire. Off-screen, the British actor is shy and soft-spoken, humbled by all the "Twilight" attention. He's 23, lanky and pale, with thick, tousled hair he constantly runs his fingers through.
Lautner is buff and bronzed, with a gregarious personality, dark eyes and an easy smile. To reprise his character in "New Moon," he packed on more than 20 pounds of chiseled physique. Pattinson and Lautner may be slightly sexier than teen idols past, but they're cut from the same teen-heartthrob cloth as their predecessors: Smooth-faced stars who seem wholesome - and just a touch away from attainable. Heidi Hurst, executive editor of teen pinup magazine Tiger Beat, notes that since the magazine was established in , the guys on its pages have been "non-threatening, more on the boyish side of good looks.
Most Tiger Beat readers, who range in age from 8 to 16, "still aren't dating boys in real life and this is their first exposure to boys as in 'They're cute. I like them,'" Hurst says. Chloe buys Tiger Beat when it has a good Lautner spread.
She'll also Google him from time to time and, until recently, kept a "very hot, shirtless picture" of him as her computer screen-saver. But she's not as obsessive as some of her friends, who check YouTube for him daily and follow various "Twilight" fan sites. She and a dozen of her friends are planning to make their own Team Jacob T-shirts and see "New Moon" when it opens Friday.
Chloe's mom, Jill Mullikin-Bates, approves of her daughter's love for Lautner, calling the young actor "a wholesome, realistic role model. Leif Garrett, a lates icon adored for his feathered, Farrah Fawcett-style hair. Fawcett, of course, was the most popular pinup of her day. But the boys who bought her iconic poster related to her in a completely different way than Chloe does, because they typically don't have relationships with their on-screen idols the way girls do.
Most guys want to get physical with their love objects, where girls fantasize about their heartthrob becoming their boyfriend. Former heartthrob Rick Springfield says he never believed his adolescent female followers were attracted to him sexually: Chloe says if she ever met Lautner in person, she'd be "freaking out on the inside but trying to act cool on the outside.
Then there's the life-sized cardboard cutout of Lautner that Chloe's mom and dad recently bought for her. One day the doorbell rang at Chloe's San Fernando Valley home and cardboard Lautner was standing there, wearing a T-shirt and jeans and his trademark sweet smile. He now stands in her bedroom, near the window and the little table where she writes in her journal - her first vision every morning and the last thing she sees each night.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.