After watching the latest Harry Potter movie, I have to ask, “Does Hogwarts have a drinking problem?” said Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times. Unlike in previous Harry Potter movies, alcohol has a “starring role” in “The Half-Blood Prince.” Sixteen-year-old Hermione gets “tipsy” and flirtatious on butterbeer and Harry goes "partying with his professors”; it was “jarring” to watch with my 10-year-old daughter. Kids copy what they see in movies.
How “very silly,” said Damon Root in Reason. With all the real problems kids face today, is it really worth “fretting” about what young wizards and their equally fictitious professors do to unwind? “Let’s just hope Parker-Pope’s 10-year-old doesn’t get wind of President Obama boozing it up at the White House with Sgt. Crowley and professor Gates.”
My 7-year-old is certainly staying home, said Colin McEnroe in The Hartford Courant. Watching Harry, Hermione, Ron, and their “alienated” teenage peers “wasted and making out,” you’re reminded that the “dewy innocence” of the earlier Harry Potter films is gone. But it’s gone, too, from the now-college-age kids who first watched those films, so the latest Potter movie is probably “perfect for its core audience.”
Actually, The Half-Blood Prince offers one of the few models American teens have of “responsible drinking,” said the blog Voting While Intoxicated. Drinking isn’t a game for the Hogwarts set; there’s no binge drinking or “drinking and flying brooms.” Instead, you see them socializing over “one butterbeer at the pub.” Shouldn’t we encourage that kind of behavior?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: August 29, 2014
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week