What’s the big deal with Harry Potter?

Voldemort. Hogwarts. Gryffindor. Syltherin. Muggles. Harry Potter. So what’s the big deal about this nonsense, anyway?

With all the talk of midnight movies, a new book and a billion-dollar empire, I found myself wondering if this Harry Potter phenomenon has caused everyone to lose their minds. Never one to follow trends, I have watched helplessly as Harry Potter has developed a cult-like following over the past decade. However, seeing no end in sight, I am now beginning to wonder if perhaps I am missing out on something. Is Harry Potter truly as great as everyone thinks he is?

Perhaps the problem is that I am older than the target audience. When the first book was published, I was already in college. For some reason, I just didn’t find the adventures of an 11-year-old boy interesting while I was learning to finally live on my own for the first time.

In order to get to the bottom of this madness, I rented the first movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. What’s the worst that could happen? Besides, it might be funny if a critic such as myself converts to a fan.

So what did I think? Well, for starters, it’s been a long time since I have watched a PG-rated movie. However, there was nothing on TV to watch except for reruns of Cops, so I gave it a go.

As the movie began, instead of glancing at the clock repeatedly, I actually began to enjoy it. I identified with Harry – I was a nerdy, weird kid, too. Unlike Harry though, I was never forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs. No wonder the kid was weird! Also, I don’t know about your family, but mine would never let me be taken away in the middle of the night by a big, hairy man who broke into our house. The movie called this man Hagrid, but from my experience, a man like that is called a pedophile!

Seriously though, although I am afraid to admit it, the movie was enjoyable. The special effects were nicely done, and J. K. Rowling did a great job creating the imaginary world of Harry Potter.

Yet I still find it disturbing that adults are so consumed by the life of an adolescent boy. In fact, I find this obsession with Harry Potter a sign of the times – a dumbing-down of the population, if you will. With all of the incredible books to read, why is it that the only book that most adults can finish is a children’s book?

Maybe I am being too critical. Maybe not. The one thing I do know, though, is that I will never be standing in line at midnight to find out if a teenage boy lives or dies. Call me crazy, but I’d rather live my own life instead of Harry Potter’s.