Serious Actor, Guilty Pleasures

April 21, 2014

Keanu Reeves in Point BreakIce cream sundaes, Las Vegas, Reality TV, romantic novels, expensive spa treatments, mochaccinos, weeknight rock concerts, hair metal power ballads, late night snacks–oh, how we love our guilty pleasures! And being in the field of entertainment, I’m confident in saying we all love our guilty-pleasure movies above all other guilty pleasures! You know what I’m talking about: those films you won’t admit to watching over and over and over again for fear of being seen as a dilettante or frivolous or not serious about the craft of acting. Indeed, that’s the definition of a guilty-pleasure movie, isn’t it? It is a film in which you are literally too embarrassed to admit you really like or–heaven forbid–love! Point Break come to mind for anyone? Or for that matter, how about The Replacements? Come to think of it, just about anything with Keanu Reeves might suffice. But there are all kinds of “bad movies.” Let’s start with the easiest target out there: romantic comedies. It can be a cringingly, excruciatingly embarrassing moment when someone catches you fully engrossed in a film that matches a spunky, beautiful career woman with a dweeby dude whose only quality is that he’s a self-centered jerk. Am I the only one thinking of When Harry Met Sally? I think not. Or how bout Pretty Woman? Glamorizing prostitution? And arguably pulling it off?! Guilty pleasure, for sure. Rock Star, with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, can be a tricky one to explain, “Oh, I was just flipping through the channels, and this came on; I’m not even watching it.” Yeah, right. Then there are the schlocky horror films. These tend to be low-budget, bloody affairs with plot holes as wide as the continent of Africa. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right, Child’s Play! Awesome! Or maybe House of Wax? The sleazy remake of a Vincent Price classic featuring Paris Hiltons’ wax figure-like acting! Guilty pleasure all the way! Anyone love Return of the Living Dead Part II? Man, the zombies were super-fast in that one! Then there are the dance movies; oh, gosh, these films can be so cringeworthy! But here we go. The Step Up series may just be the gold standard when it comes to mortifying dance films. The dancing is awesomely athletic, and the romance is, well, awkward! But watching Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan trip the light fandango is a guilty pleasure if there ever was one. Anyone else out there who can’t stop watching Center Stage? The actors are beautiful, and the ballet is otherworldly, but the romance can be nauseating. And then there are the films that don’t necessarily fall into any particular category, but are thought of in certain circles as guilty pleasures. I’m thinking of films like Jerry McGuire, Showgirls, Titanic, Cruel Intentions, Starship Troopers, Mean Girls–oh, the list goes on! But the point is, pleasure is pleasure. And if these films bring you joy and perhaps a few laughs, then what’s the harm in that? And let’s face it, one man’s guilty pleasure is another man’s true classic. So go ahead and imbibe without guilt; pleasure’s hard to come by in any form these days, and who knows? If you keep working hard, maybe one day you’ll be in a guilty-pleasure movie. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

So, what are some of your guilty-pleasure films? Please share!