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Is There Too Much Alcohol In The Harry Potter Movie?

ButterbeerThis story from the New York Times caught my eye. In her “Well” column, Tara Parker-Pope asks the immortal question: “Does Hogwarts have a drinking problem?”

In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson: the who is on the what now?

Apparently there are a number of scenes in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” that show characters young and old indulging in a bit of Butterbeer. (I haven’t seen the movie, if you have, please feel free to correct me if any of this is incorrect.) “In scene after scene,” she writes, “the young wizards and their adult professors are seen sipping, gulping and pouring various forms of alcohol to calm their nerves, fortify their courage or comfort their sorrows.”

All of this is true to J.K. Rowling’s original novel. But Parker-Pope says that “recreated on the big screen, the images of teenage drinking are jarring.” Among those images are Hermione getting loosened up by liquor, at least according to Liz Perle of Common Sense Media.

Rowling declined to comment for the Times article, but Warner Brothers told Parker-Pope that “the drinking scenes were ‘open to different interpretations…One of our main objectives in bringing the Harry Potter films to the screen has been to remain as faithful to their original source material as created by J. K Rowling,'” and “that the wizarding world ‘should not be held to the same standards as the real world.'” That’s priceless. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing.

Not all parents are bothered by the drinky drinky. There’s some debate of just how much alcohol is in Butterbeer; a Wikipedia entry says that “it has not been stated that there is any alcohol in the drink.” This site offers a recipe that does not include alcohol; it sounds disgusting but definitely not alcoholic. (Actually, the recipe reminds me of “Laverne & Shirley” — remember milk and pepsi?) So maybe Hermione just THOUGHT she was drunk.

Or maybe it’s just a movie.

What do you think? Does the idea that Harry Potter and his pals are indulging in Wizardly Fire Water bother you? Or is this just a bunch of Muggle nonsense?

Source: New York Times

Image: Wizard Store

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