I sent the email as a joke, really. Netflix sent me the announcement that the much anticipated Enola Holmes movie would premier on the upcoming Wednesday, and so I sent our (grown-up) kids an email with words I certainly never thought I’d utter and don’t really understand: We should have a Netflix Party!
(For those of you who also don’t understand this — though I recognize I’m likely part of a diminishing group of people — a Netflix Party is a new feature of Netflix in which Netflix synchronizes your video watching on your separate devices in your separate places and adds a group chat to the screen. Frankly, this sounds terrible to me. I’m one of those people who has to stop walking to text, unlike my children. I do not want to text/chat my way through a movie. Or so I thought.)
Enola Holmes holds a special place in our collective familial heart as you can read about here. (Also includes a plot synopsis.) So perhaps I should not have been surprised when #1 Son rather immediately emailed back I could be down. Followed very closely by Darling Daughter saying OMG we totally should! I laughed. They were serious! And so…in three separate places, we watched the premier of Enola Holmes together.
We didn’t actually use Netflix Party in the end. The kids knew more about it and they recommended (possibly so their mother could handle the tech) that we just start it at the same time and open a group chat on our individual phones. They named the group chat “Enola Not Ebola” which makes me laugh every time I think about it.
We popped our popcorn in our separate places and at 7:59 CST/8:59 EST (where Darling Daughter is) I texted: Ready?
And #1 Son texted: Set…
And Darling Daughter texted: Go! LOL!
And we all hit PLAY and LOL-ed.
And it was So Much Fun! I can’t even tell you — a solid fantastic couple of hours. The movie is great, and I say that as a person who adores everything about the books. We chatted back and forth about what was different from the books and what was the same. We tried to remember particular plot points. The younger set chatted about the casting — lots of big names. (My husband and I only knew Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Enola’s mother and was perfectly cast, as were they all.) We loved how the fourth wall was broken by Enola. She turns and looks straight into the camera in a way that feels like she’s right in the room with you. (I usually hate this, but it’s well done in this case.)
The clothing/costuming was a source of much entertainment as we weighed the merits of corsets, aprons, white wool suits, and the like. We wondered if it would be fun to send each other coded messages requiring vintage Bananagrams to solve. We quoted all the best lines back and forth and attached hearts and laughing-while-crying emojis.
We agreed that finishing school looks terrible and #1 Son vowed never to send Darling Daughter to one if she ever became his ward. We gloried in the fight scenes (Have I ever gloried in a fight scene before? I think not!) and collectively gasped at the twist toward the end. #1 Son offered that I am a “pretty cool Mom,” but really have nothing on Helena Bonham Carter. (I’ll take it.)
#1 Son’s Girlfriend had not read the books. And I think she loved it as much as the rest of us (and will likely read the books as a result.) And so that is my recommendation — even if you haven’t read the books, watch the movie! You won’t be able to help reading the books. It’s a win-win in all directions.
We’re on the lookout for our next movie. The kids say they liked “gc-ing” (that’s Group Chatting for those of you not up on the lingo) through an “excellent film.” And so we’re looking for our next one. Do let me know if you have a recommendation.…