Enola Holmes

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.…

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3 years ago

Oh! I LOVED the Eno­la Holmes movie!!! I haven’t read the books, but will check them out. (Note: when I just typed ENOLA, there was a self cor­rect to EBOLA! Thought you might get a kick out of that!)

Joyce Sidman
Joyce Sidman
3 years ago

Loved the books, and just watched the movie last night — loved that, too!