I resisted the 'Harry Potter' craze for as long as I could.

I refused to go near bookstores around release dates, I scoffed at the notion of reading something intended for a younger audience, and I flat out refused every offer to see a 'Harry Potter' flick. But on a boring Saturday night, nine years after the first movie was released, I finally caved.

With my boyfriend out of town for the weekend, I called up friends to see what Saturday plans were looking like. One group was heading into Manhattan and another small group had headed out to Atlantic City earlier in the day. I had just missed my opportunity to ride along.

My last option was a group of male friends, and their plans were all about 'Potter.' I pondered the situation for a few minutes before I finally decided to give in and give this whole 'Harry Potter' thing a whirl. I figured the worst that could happen was I'd hate the film and finally be able to tell people why I had an aversion to the series.

As we headed to the theater, they gave me a quick overview of the book and movie version. With a 20-minute recap I felt confident I could follow the film, and overall I had very few problems understanding the characters and their relationships with one another. Mostly.

The movie didn't have a "series" feel to it for me. It felt like it could easily stand alone, making it very easy for this 'Harry Potter' virgin to get into it. Despite all my hang-ups, the action and emotion of the film and within the theater was exhilarating. To my shock, the 2.5-hour runtime went by relatively quickly. I found myself debating if I should go to the ladies room lest I miss any of the action. That rarely happens for me. I never get so engrossed in a film to the point were the physical discomfort of having to use the bathroom is trumped by the film.

I left the theater with a newfound respect for the 'Potter' series. After 'Deathly Hallows,' I was itching to see the others and -- dare I say it -- read the books. There was something far more complex about the entire series than I originally thought, and I could finally understand why so many grown adults were engrossed by the series.

I do intend to watch the other movies and probably grab the books from the library. It might just end up being my guilty pleasure. Only time will tell.

Have you seen a 'Harry Potter' movie without seeing the others or reading the books?
Yes and I liked it!142 (52.8%)
Yes and I didn't like it.8 (3.0%)
No, what's the point?119 (44.2%)