Politics & Policy

Harry Potter and the Adult Costume Party

Breaking news: You’re not a member of the cast.

The movie-theater lobby was jammed with wizards and witches.

As I walked in, I thought for a moment that a private costume party was under way. Though I had a ticket to an entirely different film, I had unwittingly wandered into the opening night of a new Harry Potter movie. Why do some people feel it necessary to dress as the characters in the movie to enjoy it? I mean, when people go to the opera on opening night, they don’t come dressed as Carmen and Don José. And have you ever seen anyone at the U.S. Open costumed as, say, Venus Williams? But moviegoers are all about the masquerade.

Whether it’s Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Hannah Montana, the die-hards are sure to be in costume. Standing next to the Potterites, I found myself wondering, “How is that guy breathing in his Voldemort mask? And will the woman in the witch hat be taking that thing off, or will they just seat her at the back of the theater?” Rows and rows of these people were dressed as various characters from the film. The only confusing “character” was a young woman near the end of the line who wore a blond bob wig and cream-colored sundress, and clutched a Harry Potter book. “Who are you supposed to be?” I asked. After expelling all the air in her lungs, she rolled her eyes and said, “J. K. Rowling. Duh!”

Unless you’ve been contacted by the film’s casting director, there is no reason for you ever to come to a movie in costume. We don’t think you’re cute. We don’t think you’re artistic. We do think you’re a nerd. And the moment you leave the protective company of the other crazy people at the cineplex, you look like a complete idiot. The robe and the wand are not working for you.

Oh, and the last time I checked, Harry Potter was not 300 pounds, 40, or balding.

— Laura Ingraham is host of The Laura Ingraham Show. This is an excerpt of Of Thee I Zing: America’s Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots, written with Raymond Arroyo, released this week by Threshold.


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