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5 Reasons It’s Okay to be Excited About Harry Potter

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If you did not already see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at midnight, with all the middle schoolers and other cool people, then I will not spoil it for you, suffice to say that it was really, really good. But perhaps the reason you didn’t see it is because you aren’t sure how much enthusiasm a person who has graduated college should have for Harry Potter. Perhaps you are conflicted about whether or not it is appropriate to get into an argument with a 17-year-old about the sham that is the alleged “replica” Harry Potter wand. That such an argument is “pointless” and “juvenile”. But does the word replica mean anything, anymore? Has the whole world gone crazy?? Doesn’t anyone give a shit about the RULES???

Anyway. My point is that Harry Potter is not just for teens who don’t know how to be quiet during a movie for even one second. Harry Potter is for everyone! To wit:

1) Our formative years

When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in the U.S., in 1998, it was a troubling time to be a teen. Being on vacation with your family, far away from your best friend’s dad’s cigarettes, which the two of you had recently discovered you could steal, was painful. Your family was being SO LAME, and your parents were all, why aren’t you passing any of your boring, stupid, totally worthless classes that you have to get up super early for?? Boys with mustaches are too old for you, like we would know anything about love, ever!

Your life was basically the same as Harry’s. Jerky professors who kept getting you sent to detention, a moronic arch nemesis, the underlying feeling that most formal education is a waste, Dementors constantly trying to suck out your soul… The similarities were kind of uncanny.

2) At this point, they are all pretty talented actors

I was originally skeptical of Daniel Radcliffe, and I am still sort of angry at him for replacing the Harry Potter of my imagination with this:

Ah!! It’s like seeing your little brother in a speedo. Imagine being one of the horses he had just blinded, and this image is the last thing you see for the rest of your horse life. Forevah.

But yeah, I have to admit, they’ve all become pretty good actors. Playing the part of Alan Strang from Equus, as Radcliffe did, takes some real skill. Most impressive in my opinion is his sense of humor, as evidenced by the best cameo ever on Extras, and the time I saw him on Inside the Actors Studio, and discovered that he and I are the same height when he is on the Actors Studio stage and I am a foot below in the crowd.

3) Unrelated side point: Emma Watson dresses adorably

She is like a young Mia Farrow! And she totally carries half the scenes in this movie. Every time Hermione is mad at Ron, or explains what it is like to think as a rational person, she clearly brings out the subtle hilarity of the world J.K. Rowling created.

4) Dumbledore was GAY all along

It’s never explicitly stated, but we now have the hindsight of knowing that central to Dumbledore’s backstory with Grindelwald, and their goal of finding the Deathly Hallows, is that Dumbledore was gayyyyy gay gay in love with Grindelwald. Who incidentally used to be quite handsome.

5) This is the second to last movie – there is no TIME to be pretend you don’t care

There is so much yet to happen!! Ralph Fiennes, as Voldemort, has really found his stride in being a somewhat weird, distracted dark lord, whereas Helena Bonham Carter, as Bellatrix Lestrange, is a bit over the top in her evilness. I wish she would tone it down because it’s annoying. But Part 1 does an excellent job of setting up all the questions that will be answered in Part 2: what does the inscription “I open at the close” mean? Where are the rest of the Horcruxes? And all the ambiguous, emotional close-ups of Snape — is he for sure a huge jerk, and the stupidest wizard ever? Or is there MORE there?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 ends right about where The Empire Strikes Back did in 1980: the situation doesn’t look good. The Ministry of Magic is fully infiltrated by Death Eaters. Harry, Ron and Hermione have few encouraging leads on the Horcruxes, and we, the audience, are powerless to persuade David Yates and Warner Bros to release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 any sooner than next year. July 2011 seems excruciatingly far away, but, in actuality, eight months is a very short time! So stop pretending you had to be forced by your younger sibling to see this in Imax, and go as often as you want.

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Katy B. - Economic Inexpert

Katy B. - Economic Inexpert

Katy B. grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of Gerald R. Ford, Andy Richter, and, at one point, the guy who wrote Mr. Holland's Opus. She moved to NYC for her degree in library science, and is now in the Media Studies program at The New School. She hopes to one day be a film studies librarian. Ask her anything about Dewey Decimal – anything! – and she will roll her eyes because academic libraries use Library of Congress. Durrr.