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Guilty Pleasure Films

The Guardian has a new series starting on their film pages called ‘My Guilty Pleasure’. The series will focus on the movies Guardian critics are ashamed to confess they enjoy.

Film critic Peter Bradshaw’s guilty viewing is nineties rom-com Notting Hill.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty tame choice of ‘guilty pleasure’ viewing.

Why would anyone find Notting Hill that shameful a film to admit to liking? Is it the genre? Romantic comedies tend to elicit a hefty dose of derision amongst film critics.

I have my own qualms with Notting Hill as a film, and as Bradshaw rightly points out, Richard Curtis (writer) and Roger Michell (director) have managed to completely white-wash and ‘poshify’ the West London borough, conspicuously ignoring the Notting Hill Carnival, which has been an annual event since 1966.

Perhaps it’s because Bradshaw is a respected film critic, writing for a widely-read broadsheet. (Read: everything should be intellectual and high brow). Or maybe, it’s just that he’s a white male of a certain age, and enjoying a Grant/Roberts love fest is not the ‘done’ thing. Who knows?

‘Notting Hill’ is not a guilty pleasure, but an entirely innocent one. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian film critic.

I’m looking forward to reading what the other critics will reveal as their ‘guilty pleasure’ film of choice.

I have no shame

Personally, I don’t think I care enough about what people think of my cinematic choices, to have a proper list of ‘guilty pleasure’ films. Then again, I don’t get paid to have an opinion on the matter (mores the pity).

I enjoy films. I like watching them and I like talking about them. I enjoy silly movies like Mean Girls (so fetch!) alongside the big hitters like Amistad. I happily watched the Fast and Furious franchise, including Tokyo Drift. But I also have Oscar winners in my collection. Basically, I enjoy the activity of watching movies, especially at the cinema. Don’t get me wrong, I can critique when necessary, but I’m a pretty easy going gal, (did I mention, I don’t get paid to do this?) so I rarely critique films with as much depth and fuss, as the Bradshaw’s of the world.

Mean Girls (2004). © Paramount Pictures

Although, when fellow movie buff Chris Byrne of Cinematronix asked me to chose my top five, (which soon became my top eight), I had a hard time deciding what makes a film great rather than just good. Maybe, I should try and find my guilty pleasure films? I have a feeling it would be a damn sight more embarrassing than Notting Hill.



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