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february 28, 2011

Who’s your favorite character from a movie last year?  Who’s your least favorite character?


Ohhh….so easy!  I fall decidedly in the Harry Potter camp.  I have been enchanted by J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard since the first time that I lost myself in Sorcerer’s Stone.  With the world of Harry Potter, I become a kid again, and I immerse myself in the magic.  With last year’s” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1,” the fascination continued.  So many times, movies do not live up to the books.  Given the choice, often I would prefer to skip the movie altogether.  With a well written story, it’s often too hard to translate that onto the screen.  Most leave me disappointed.  The Harry Potter movies never have. 

I used to work with a woman who refused to let her kids see anything involving Harry Potter.  She was extremely conservative, and felt that the stories were offensive.  Because there were witches and magic, somehow, that meant that the books and movies were dangerous.  I couldn’t disagree more.

The ideas of magic and sorcery are simply background for a story of good and evil.  Harry is an honorable character.  He protects his friends, he fights for the greater good.  He’s not perfect, though…he gets angry, he makes mistakes, and he gets jealous. 

Contrast to the character that I loathe more than any other character in fiction:  Bella Swan.  Now, for those of you that are Twihards, stop reading now.  You’re just going to be offended. 

I can’t even think about Twilight and Bella without making myself dizzy rolling my eyes.  A less likeable character, and worse example for young women does not exist for my money.  Bella spends all of her time thinking that she’s not good enough for Vampire Edward.  She has to change.  Being herself is unacceptable.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my daughter caught up in a story that glamorizes a character that doesn’t think enough of herself  for a boy.  Don’t we teach our daughters to be themselves…that they deserve someone who loves them for them, and to celebrate who they are?

With every moody glance, with every emo sigh, I groan and squirm and wish to be anywhere but watching this dreck.  I had gone under duress, taking my daughter and our cousin.  As soon as we  got out of the theater, I started ripping the movie apart.  Just trying to do my part for womenkind!  Thankfully, my daughter has moved on from Twilight.  She read the books, but I read them at the same time, and we spent a lot of time talking about them.

Frankly, I did the same with the Harry Potter books & movies.  The consensus?  I would rather have my kids wrapped up in the story of a boy growing into a man, learning to tell right from wrong, defending his friends and the greater good, as opposed to a helpless woman who feels that the only way that she’ll ever be good enough for the man that she loves is to change everything that she is.