My best friend Laura has always tickled me pink with her adulation of the Harry Potter books and fillums. Over at her blog today there's a review of the latest film, with an analytical explanation of why she rated it eight out of ten.
Harry is something I cannot get into at all. I thought the first book was brilliant. After that, I was bored to tears. I couldn't even tell you what happened in book three, or five, or eleven. It was all immediately forgettable and wiped itself from my memory as I closed each book. Yes, I did read them all!
But I doubt I could even tell you the title of each book, even less what order they were in after the first one. I am full of admiration for the way Laura can recall and even tell you who delivered what lines and when the film got it wrong!
I have tried to love the whole Harry phenomenon, as my two youngest kids have been, like Laura, h-u-g-e fans, and through them I have found myself caught up in all the excitement and hype as each book was launched; and I thrilled to see them so absorbed in book after book.
But I have failed to love any of it since book one.
I particularly failed to love any of the three main characters as portrayed in the films. All three are profoundly irritating, Hermione especially.
A review in today's NY Times actually homed in on what has so annoyed and disappointed me about the previous films when it described Harry as "... a callow student with prodigious wizard gifts and little discernible personality."
And: "Mr Radcliffe in particular proves incapable of the most crucial cinematic magic. Namely the alchemical transformation of dialogue into something that feels like passion, something that feels real and true and makes you as wild for Harry as for all those enticingly dark forces."
I won't go to see the film, but if I happen to notice it on Foxtel, I'll probably drop in for a look.