The first book is largely forgetful. At this point, readers were left to assume that Harry and Hermione would get together (or was that just me?), but since they were only eleven years old nothing could happen (I say, never too early for romance, but for some crazy reason, most people don't agree). The second book is no more significant, except, if I recall, it formally introduces Ginny Wesley, future love interest, involved in something called the Chamber of Secrets. The third book is a little longer, a little better, and includes, if I am not mistaken, the stupid cat vs. rat fight between Hermione and Ron (by this point everyone has figured out that these two are The Couple of the series. Many are left disappointed), and the Yule Ball. The first true hint of romance occurs when Hermione gets fed up with Ron and finally yells "Why didn't you ask me yourself?" or something to that extent.
That about sums it up, right?
I kid, I kid. I am aware that other things happen in the books. But I'm not exactly sure what...Anyways, I'm not going to attempt to review Harry Potter for you. That would be insane. There are a million and one blogs, newspapers, and, probably, by this point, novels, reviewing the latest movie, and any type of opinion or analysis I would attempt would be god awful in comparison. If that's what your looking for, thanks for stopping by. But, if, like me, you only read the books for the romance, please stick around. I have many things to say.
First, we have to establish the fact that the first seven movies handed the romance terribly. Everything was excruciating, so beyond awkward that it was hard to watch. And while most of the wizarding stuff was followed to the letter, the romantic scenes were completely reconfigured. Suddenly, Harry and Ginny's kiss wasn't in front of a giant crowd celebrating victory, but rather in some random room, alone. Somehow, romantic tension had been reduced down to awkward stares. It was bad, so bad, so expectations were low going into the last movie.
Let's start with Harry and Ginny. We'll save the best for last.
They were not the greatest couple in the books, but they were destroyed through every second of the films. I've already called it awkward. What else can I say? According to my trusty dashboard thesaurus, I can also describe it as embarrassing, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. The final film did nothing to fix this. They had the terribly self conscious moment when they reunited, just staring at each other while everyone watched. And they had the kiss, as awkward as ever.
One good thing I will say is that I liked how the kiss was staged in this film. It wasn't over dramatic. It was a quick kiss, a desperate attempt at love amidst all the chaos. But the actual kiss itself was awful. As many internet commenters have said, these two actors have absolutely no chemistry. The kiss had no heat.
Also, I liked how they kept looking for each other at various points in the film, to make sure they were still alive. A little awkward, but also a little sweet.
Overall, they were only slightly better than normal, which is still very, very bad.
But they were never The Couple of the series, so the final evaluation on romance was still open. That is, if they got the Ron and Hermione kiss right.
It was certainly the better of the two romantic subplots. They had a certain love, a special type of bond, right from the beginning of the film. You knew something good was coming.
I went to see the movie with a Harry Potter fanatic who was seeing it for the second time in two days. As the title music came on, I leaned over to her. I was already anxious. I had to ask. "How long until we get to the kiss?" I was desperately waiting for this kiss. And I was not disappointed.
I was surprised it took place with they were alone in the Chamber of Secrets rather than trying to save elves with Harry. But these were both good surprises. One of limitations of the first person perspective of the books is that everything had to be seen through Harry's eyes. They couldn't kiss alone--Harry wouldn't have been there. When they kissed, Harry's disgust largely ruined the moment.
But in the movie, they were able to share a real, Harry-free moment, and it was great. Passionate. Worth the wait. And the laugh afterwords was cute.
The kiss was not just satisfying, it was necessary. Like, they had to kiss, because it could very well be the last chance for them. In most stories, you wouldn't be able to pull that off. The stakes wouldn't be there. But this was Harry Potter. Even though we all know that our favourite trio has to survive, we still get caught up in the suspense. There's a reason these books are so beloved.
I also appreciated that we got some moments after the kiss. When Ron yelled "that's my girlfriend!" and Hermione smiled so much. It's funny that such a social convention as boyfriends and girlfriends could still mean something with everything that was going on. But it did mean something. Because these are still insecure teenagers. It still means something to Ron that he can finally call Hermione, the girl he's loved for so long, his "girlfriend." And it means something to Hermione to hear it.
The other moment I enjoyed was when they walked towards Harry, hand in hand, declaring to Harry and to the world that they were together. I loved how proud they both were. It also made me laugh. One of my biggest problems with Harry's character was his arrogance--every time something happened with Ron and Hermione, he would remark how he knew it was coming. He had that arrogant look on his face now, but this time I didn't mind it.
In the end, they all got together. And even I loved the last frame, where it was just the three of them. Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter. Romance be damned, these were the best of friends. Forever.