Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry, We Hardly Knew Ye

My wife and I saw the final Harry Potter film last night.  (SPOILER ALERT:  Harry runs away from the battle at the critical moment, leaving all his friends to die, quits magic and becomes a CPA.)  It was an especially poignant moment for us, as the Potter films played a big part in our lives.
The fact that we were both Potter fans was one of the first things we discovered about each other.  We saw the first movie over the Christmas weekend while I was visiting, and just after we became officially engaged.  The cinema in Crawley was a half hour walk from her parent’s house in Pound Hill; it was a cold, clear night, but back then we had our love to keep us warm.  We still have our love but a fleece and a woolly hat is more appreciated these days.
The first book to come out after I moved here was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and, since neither of us wanted to be the last one to read it, we decided (before we realized what a tome the book was) to take turns reading it aloud to each other, a tradition we continued through the end of the series.  (It was especially fun for me, because I used to inject my own version of events, just to see how long it would take my wife to realize we were now in my imagination instead of Ms Rowling’s: “Oh, Harry, what a big wand you have…” breathed Hermione.)
The movies were also a tradition, and we religiously attended each as soon after the opening as we dared, waiting until most of the crowds died down.  I found the movie adaptations brilliant and very much in keeping with the books, which I attributed to the fact that the Hollywood Machine did not get a stranglehold on the franchise.  Had that happened, there would have been more car chases, sex and soppy moments, in addition to the inevitable breakdowns of the child stars.  (COMING SOON: Harry and the Prisoner of Betty Ford—Harry and Hermione must overcome insurmountable odds to rescue Ron from the evil clutches of the Tofu Eaters who want to take away his magic powder.)
Another cool thing was, Britain being a relatively small place and much of the movies being filmed on location, we were able to visit a few Potter locations without having to travel 3,000 miles and pay $21.50 each for a studio tour.
All in all, it was great escapist entertainment and I am going to miss the anticipation of the next instalment.  Still, it must be a relief to all involved—the kids (who are no longer kids), the peripheral players and even Ms Rowling—to put it all behind and have the satisfaction of knowing they have completed something they can be proud of and that is certain to become a classic.  (Everyone, that is, except the studios and publishers who are now wondering where they are going to find something to generate a gazillion dollars for them next season.)
And so, after ten years of marriage, we are now entering life without Harry.  I fear there will be an emptiness there needing to be filled; maybe I can get my wife interested in The Postcards Trilogy.  But first I’ll need a movie deal.
OUT NOW IN A THEATER NEAR YOU: POSTCARDS, The Movie – Love Among the Leprechauns
Starring Brad Pitt as Michael Harling
Angelia Jolie as His Wife
Mr. T as The Leprechaun
  • Can an American unsuited to life abroad find love in the bogs of Ireland?
  • Can a woman find any redeeming qualities in a man who can’t even order a cup of coffee?
  • Can Mr. T really make a convincing Leprechaun?
  • And what do Leprechauns have to do with this, anyway?
WARNING: This movie contains car chases, gratuitous sex and scenes so graphically soppy you will want to gnaw your knuckles with embarrassment.  Not recommended for children under six without an accompanying adult.

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