21st Century Kid

Harry Potter And The Deathly Embarrassing Movies To Watch With Parents

Mickey and I usually speak on the phone when we have our talks. But, because I started a new job, I was a bit frazzled and had to resort to an instant message conversation. And, because AOL Instant Messenger is not as cool as it once was, I had to Google Chat with her because “it is easier” for her to do.

Child, please. In my day, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM, if you recall) was hotter than Gchat on the most humid, sweaty of summer days! I knocked on her online door, which I was late to because of work.

“I forgot I was supposed to message you! Work has been crazy.”

About five minutes pass. “Are you there,” I ask. A few more minutes: “ARE YOU THERE??”

Finally, an answer: “Sorry, I was napping.”

Napping? Who has time to nap?? It’s a Wednesday! Oh, right, teenagers on summer break. Gosh darn kids, I tell you.

Quickly, I start the conversation with her, “What is going on in ~*~tEeN wOrLd~*~??”

“I would NOT like to talk about Harry Potter. At all.”

A moment passes and she mutters, “Okay, maybe I can talk about it a little.”

At first, I take this assertion as mildly depressed fandom that is mourning the loss of her dear friend, Harry. I had friends tell me they saw it more than once this past weekend and others tell me they cried like a baby watching it. I do not follow the books, but I went with Bobby to go see it, having no idea what was going on. I enjoyed it because it was fun but still don’t get the appeal. Perhaps that is the non-conformist in me.

Thus, I had an a-ha moment: Mickey is not mourning the loss of Harry but, rather, is cooing a young non-conformity that I clung to as well in my angsty teens. And, apparently, still do cling to.

She pipes up, “I’m not a big Potter fan…what I would like to talk about is the premiere–but only a little. A lot of my friends went crazy and started crying and blah blah blah.”

I laugh. “Did you see the movie?” I ask.

“I’ve only seen the first four…I figured I’d dabbled in enough Potter to say I wasn’t impressed…but I gave it an honest try.”

I note that she only calls it “Potter” and that she “dabbled” in it enough to “not be impressed.” Her young pre-hipster ways kill me: she may have outdone me in snobbery. I tip my hat to you, young Miss Fitzpatrick.

I call her out, “Are you just saying that to be a non-conformist?”

“Not. At. All. I just didn’t find the movies, or the books, amusing.”

I found it funny that the word used was not “entertaining” but “amusing,” as if she is this little queen who must always be amused. This non-conformity may be heading into a ridiculous extreme.

A link pops into my chat window:

“http://www.dlisted.com/2011/07/18/open-post-hosted-truffle-shuffle — have you seen this?”

I click and laugh, “Yes! I have! That kid rules!”

She immediately dives back in to Potter talk, “I read the IMDB summary, if that counts for anything.” She Internet laughs, via a few hahas, “If it wasn’t for IMDB, I’d be totally lost…not to mention IMDB saved me from several awkward movie moments with Mom and Dad.”

I crinkle my face in confusion, “What would be awkward?” I Internet laugh via hahas to her, “Do they just not know anything about Harry Potter? They’re that aloof that it would be awkward?”

Boy, I think I’m clever. She nips, “I wasn’t actually referring to Harry Potter–just questionable movies with awkward sex scenes. No one wants that with their parents!”

Ahh, yes: the painful slight bosom reveal, the bottom of a hiney, the colloquial passing of profanity–all things I have experienced in cinema to incite Papa Fitzpatrick to shut off the film. I ask, “Is there a specific movie experience you are referring to?”

No answer. I prod with a passive, parenthetical, “Tell me!”

Mickey pipes up, “Hmmm…well, we had a close one with The Kids Are Alright. An older woman getting ready to go d…you know. We shut it off right before that.” She Internet laughs.

I remember those experiences all too well. However, I was never mortified by them but bummed. In my day, I was a culture fiend who crusaded to see risqué films as a means of cultural escapism. As a kid wanting to become an actor, urban citizen, and general “intellectual,” I sought out the subversive or at least what I believed to be “high art.” I dragged my mother to see House of Sand and Fog, my brother to 21 Grams, and nearly everyone to see Being John Malkovich, Election, Before Night Falls, Mullholland Drive, Swimming Pool, Spellbound, City of God–basically, if Entertainment Weekly said it was “edgy,” I wanted to see it and concur. I am now ending this paragraph as I have realized I am trying to earn retroactive cool points.

I knew what she was talking about. What movie was the biggest offender? She screams via Gchat: “ONE HOUR PHOTO! That one, most definitely. Like, Robin Williams takes two people to a hotel and makes them like pose in extremely provocative positions…and, also, when he’s developing film, there are some naked people. Like, four times.”

As always, talk of things like this bring sweat to my brow that I can tell is actually traveling to me from my Father’s brow. I giggle to myself, telling her, “Man, that sounds like fun. I remember I tried to make everyone watch some movie and it made Dad a little too heated and he left the room.”

I beat myself up and exclaim, “What was it?? It was some art movie…but, only he left and everyone else watched it. What was it?!”

Mickey pipes in: “It was an episode of South Park. Dad made me leave the room!” She Internet laughs. A lot.

“Which episode was that?” I ask.

“It was the Christmas one with the forest critters…one of my favorite episodes.”

She pauses, “Don’t post that, though–Dad will kill me.”

Well, I have to post that now because it is one of the best episodes of South Park–not to mention my favorite episode. But, luckily for us, I changed the episode’s synopsis so that Papa Fitzpatrick won’t know what it is actually about. You’re welcome, Miss Fitzpatrick.

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