I'm so pleased that I get to talk about one of my biggest loves today; Harry Potter. I know that I'm not in the target audience for films like this, even when they were released I was too old really, but that didn't stop me being obsessed with them, and if anything, that obsession has only grown since then.
I have to admit to being completely unaware of the books when they first came out, when they got huge I saw the reports on the news about people queuing up for days to get their hands on a copy, but until then I hadn't even heard of Harry Potter, and why would I, I was a good 10 years older than the people they were aimed at.
My love for all things Potter started when I was working as a temp in the offices of a toy factory. The company had made some toys for the franchise so were given a private screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I was lucky enough to be given 4 tickets, so I took my Mum and 2 of our neighbour's children. They were around 10 years old I think, maybe a year or two older, so were quite excited to go.
After watching the first film I was hooked, it was totally different to the types of films I normally watched, but in a good way. I'd had a stressful few months before going to the cinema to see this film and was finding it difficult to get things off my mind, but the two and a half hours I spent totally engrossed in this film had made me forget about the worries I had. To me that was a complete revelation, and probably the thing that sparked such an interest in the rest of the series. Almost 13 years on and I have seen each film more times than I can count, in fact I have proved that it is possible to wear out DVD's. Some of the films I have had to buy 3 times as the first 2 copies have worn away so much that they're un-playable!
My family can now tell if I am feeling unwell by what I have on my tele, if I'm really ill I'm almost guaranteed to have one of the Harry Potter films on, they cheer me up and get me so engrossed that I forget what's going on around me, even though I know them word for word. However, once I start watching them I can't stop. I always start with Philosopher's Stone and have to watch the others in order, until I get to the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2. I wouldn't dream of watching one without the rest, it's like an incomplete set. It may take days to watch them all as I rarely have time to watch them in one go (and being over 2 hours each that'd take a fair while), but I always complete the set.
Thinking about when and why I got hooked on Harry Potter has made me think of things I didn't realise before, I didn't put two and two together and realise that I used them as an escape quite so much, and I certainly didn't realise that I sounded a LOT like Horace Slughorn!
My first ever viewing of Harry Potter opened my eyes to a lot more film genres than I was watching previously, and for that I am really grateful. I have found most of my favourite films, partly, due to this franchise. I had always seen fantasy films as a bit daft, but now they're some of my most watched. To be able to switch off from the world, forget about your problems and be taken away to a far off land full of mystery and magic all for the price of a cinema ticket? Sign me up!
What is your favourite film? Do you have any recommendations for me?