Guilty Pleasures Week: Movies
To me, the definition of a guilty pleasure movie is different than that of a guilty pleasure song. The song must have some cheese factor to it, to the point where you’ll St. Peter it in a crowd, denying your love for its beat. A guilty pleasure movie is one you can watch over and over and over, without ever growing tired of it. You can recite large chunks of dialog, often mimicking the actor’s actual movements. You watch at least part of it — but always to the credits — at least four times a year. You can’t move on if you stumble across it while channel surfing. And you’re rarely embarrassed to admit how much you love the film (well, unless two of your dearest friends are film professors; they might sneer if you rave about Rushmore, so you tell them Jules et Jim is your guilty pleasure). A guilty pleasure movie isn’t necessarily on your list of favorite movies of all time (check the profile for that partial list); it’s just the most fun to watch.
The Haahnster no doubt trumped me with his movie list, so be sure to check his site today.
And so, I’m proud to list my guilty pleasure movies. I broke the list into three categories. We're starting off with the great romances. You’ll notice pretty quickly that I’m a sucker for celluloid romance. It can’t be helped; I was raised that way.
An Affair to Remember (1957)
Probably my favorite movie of all time. It has everything a girl wants in her guilty pleasures. A smart, independent woman in love with Cary Grant, a woman whose love makes him a better man. European and Manhattan (fake) locales. High drama on the high seas. Fabulous fifties fashion (one day, I will wear an evening gown just like Deborah Kerr’s white-with-red dress). The swooniest ending of all time. I was in junior high the first time I saw An Affair to Remember. It was running during romance week on “Dialing for Dollars” — five days of the best in 1950s romance. Unfortunately, each afternoon movie started before we got out of school — but Mama always had her priorities in place and got us out early each day so that we could see every minute of those classics. And that week I fell in love with Cary Grant. Love at first sight, love him to this day. Elegance, beauty, and self-deprecation are hard to beat.
The Way We Were (1973)
Mama (her again; I guess that’s where I get my love for romance) took Holly and me to see The Way We Were when it first came out. I’d had a thing for Robert Redford since Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting (which I also saw with Holly; she preferred Paul Newman), so this was a swoonfest for me. Again, my favorite romantic setup: strong, independent woman making a beautiful man a better man through her fierce love. Unfortunately, this one ends in heartache and bittersweet reflection (“Your girl is lovely, Hubbell”; I use that line with guys all the time, but they never get it.) — but we need a good sob once in a while, don’t we, ladies? And has there been a more beautiful moment on film than Robert Redford as Hubbell Gardner in his dress whites, dozing at the bar? Just damn.
Truly Madly Deeply (1991)
Anthony Minghella’s first movie is one of my favorite romances and the most romantic ghost story ever. I never imagined Alan Rickman as a romantic lead until Truly Madly Deeply, but he completely won me over (completing that win-over with his role in Dogma). The five-second plot: Nina is still grieving after the sudden death of her longtime love, Jamie. She hasn’t moved on, so his ghost returns to help her through it. The last 15 minutes rip my heart and bring me to sobs (not tears, but full-out sobs) every time I see it. What beautiful, selfless love.
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