Thursday, October 06, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

Matt Feeney has a great article in Slate about his "guilty pleasures"--trashy movies that he loves to watch at home when the multiplex gets too funereal. He includes Double Jeopardy, The Devil's Advocate, Cruel Intentions and Wild Things. I haven't seen Double Jeapordy myself but of the rest of three, the only one that I love is Wild Things, with its double-double-double-double crosses and the steamy sex (Aah, Matt Dillon...). I saw The Devil's Advocate in the cinema-hall back in college and I still haven't come around to the view that the movie actually has a point, beyond the grandstanding Al Pacino and the bland Keanu Reeves.

I enjoyed the beginning of Cruel Intentions when the effiminately handsome Ryan Phillipe and the carnal Sarah Michelle Gellar's characters trade sexually charged barbs (yes, as in incest). But once Reese Witherspoon's sanctimonious virginal goody-two-shoes character enters the scene and the movie throws in its lot with her, and the rakish Phillipe actually falls in love with her (as opposed to simply jumping into bed with his sister and having wild incestous sex), I just lost it altogether. The movie that began as great fun--an adult romp--turns melodramatic and all moral. It bothers me--this siding with the moral virgin. After all, why couldn't the Gellar character, with all her appetites, have triumphed? But no, the Ryan Phillipe character is made to suffer moral pangs and so is the audience, whether it wants to or not. Naah, I hated the way director Roger Kumble turned what should have been a blackly comic sexually charged teen-movie (sort of like Wild Things) into a sob-fest.

Enough ranting. Let me move on to my guilty pleasures--movies that I see time and time again simply because I love them. The pleasure isn't actually "guilty" because most of these movies wouldn't be considered "trash" at all. I have a rather sentimental attachment to them and watch them because--well, because they make me laugh and cry. So, without further ado, here's the list

Moulin Rouge
The Last Days of Disco
Shakespeare in Love
The Opposite of Sex
Far from Heaven

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