Our family hasn't yet been to see the new Harry Potter movie, believe it or not. We're planning to go tonight, but to settle my curiosity until then, I've been reading a few related articles.
I read one today that was an interview with Emma Watson, the lovely girl who grew up before our eyes as Hermione. The article was talking about how she has continued her education, unlike most of the other young stars of the series. One of the comments on the story pointed out that Miss Watson and Hermione were good role models for girls because they both value education, which the commentor pointed out was a major departure from how most girl main characters are portrayed in children's television (just watch some Disney channel shows if you don't believe it).
I thought that was a good point. But last night as I was watching the Half-Blood Prince on DVD with my daughter (to get ready, you know) I saw another good message Hermione sends - a girl can be friends with a guy without having a romantic thing with him. (I'm talking Harry, not Ron, here.)
One morning not long ago, the DJs on the radio station I listen to on my way to work where trying to decide if men and women can actually be just friends. It surprised me how many people said no. I suppose it shouldn't have. In a lot of books and shows, if there is a man and a woman, they eventually will end up in a romantic relationship. This is not only true of stories for adult viewers, but also for teens. One of the shows my kids used to love to watch was Ned's Declassified, about a trio of middle school students, two boys and a girl. At first Ned and Mose (the girl) were just best friends, but as the kids (and the show) got older, eventually they ended up dating each other. I could probably think of other examples, but I'm lazy (and it's getting close to time to head to the movie!).
I'll admit I always wanted the same thing to happen with Harry and Hermione. Alas, JK Rowling had other plans. And yet, watching the movie last night, I decided it was a good thing for those two characters to not be romantic with each other. They can be close and share their problems and secrets without the baggage that comes with "being in love" with each other. It's nice to see that. And one of the reviews I saw about the new movie says the friendship between the two characters comes across well. Even though their relationship is not romantic, they love each other. Nice.
Can't wait to see it....