Harry Potter is kind of hot. I am not the only one who thinks this -- I have heard it from women older than I and, more importantly, my daughter. My daughter who, I had irrationally hoped, would not have thoughts about boys like that until she was at least 18. But it has begun. And Harry Potter started it all.
Goblet of Fire seemed to really capture that spirit of teen awkwardness and even slightly touched on the idea of lust. The sort of fairy tale quality and warmth that Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment (directed by Alfonso Cuaron) captured was not quite as evident in Goblet. However under the direction of Mike Newell, Goblet began carving out the very different personalities of our favorite characters. We see our first real conflict between Harry and Ron that lasts more than a mere scene or two, plus we see Hermione really strive to be more than a "last resort" friend to Ron (hello, my name is foreshadowing).
Seeing the crowd in the theater is a good indicator of where we'll see Harry and others go. When I saw Sorcerer's Stone, the crowd was filled with children. Younger children and their parents. Now?
Teenage girls who giggle at the thought of a naked Harry Potter in a bathtub with a ghost. Teenage boys who make remarks about what they'd do with Hermione at a dance. Luckily my kid was above all of this.
Nevermind. As a pre-teen, she fell into the giggle category. And part of me wanted to believe that she didn't even know what she was giggling at, not know that Harry's effort to move bubbles around him was to conceal his, um, yeah. But she did know. And I now have seventeen more gray hairs.
But it was normal for her to giggle. And the direction the films are taking is correct -- the magic aspect of Harry Potter has always been important, but now these kids are more than just puppets to show off magic tricks. These are characters who have been given life, and are now showing just how life-like they are, warts (and biceps) and all.