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Midlands Movies Feature - Guilty Pleasures

By midlandsmovies, May 28 2015 12:58PM

Guilty Pleasures


By Jake Stevenson


“What’s your favourite film?” A relatively easy question for most people to answer when asked. Star Wars, The Godfather & The Shawshank Redemption would be a lot of people’s responses, and you’d nod approvingly or shout excitedly in agreement.


But what your reaction be if someone said with no hint of irony, Analyse This? Or Michael J Fox’s third finest hour (behind BTTF & Teen Wolf) The Secret Of My Success? You’d probably ask them to repeat their selection in case you’d misheard them, or laugh in their faces. You’d probably then proceed to tell them why they’re wrong in many, many ways by using many, many colourful expletives. However, perhaps that person, is simply being what most people aren’t when discussing their favourite film, honest. All their doing is accepting the fact that their guilty pleasure isn’t something to feel so guilty about.


My guilty pleasure is Major League… I feel dirty in admitting that but it’s the truth. I first discovered the 1989 baseball comedy starring Tom Berenger, a pre-Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen & a young Rene Russo in the mid-nineties. I can’t recall the exact circumstances of how I came to watch it, other than it was late and it was on BBC1. I stayed awake all the way through, mildly entertained by the oh so wacky team mates valiantly trying to win a pennant in order to foil the nefarious plans of the team’s owner Rachel Phelps (the wickedly cougar-ish Margaret Whitton). “Hang on” you’re thinking, “mildly entertained? Shouldn’t you have found it a classic underdog, comedy romp if you like it so much?” Well yes I should, but I’m all too aware of how middle of the road it is. If it was that funny and that well-made, it would’ve been valued as such and therefore wouldn’t be kept out of sight, like the black sheep of my brain’s mind when discussing all things film. I like it so much due to its mediocrity, not in spite of it. Because it’s so bland, because there’s no stand out comedic set piece to rival the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles or the razor sharp patter of The Odd Couple you can watch it from start to finish pretty much completely zoned-out and not have your enjoyment of affected in any way.


To be honest, I watch it mostly when I’m ill because I can fall asleep, miss 20 minutes and not feel the need to rewind it, safe in the knowledge that I’ve not missed anything vitally important. You try watching Goodfellas or Interstellar whilst feeling the drowsy effects of Night Nurse in less than five hours, it’s impossible. Schindler’s List, City Of God & The Shining or all cold stone classics, but despite the fact you’re in awe at the varying degrees of artistry on show, you wouldn’t watch them on a wet February afternoon would you? Much better to veg out to Bad Boys.


Most people can appreciate the complex flavours of a dish like Asparagus, Pea, Broad Bean & Herb Salad on a Warm Tomato Tart Fine, with Whipped Briliat Savarin Brie, but day to day they’d always prefer a chip supper.


You shouldn’t have to feel snobby when listing your favourite cinematic dishes. For every medium-rare chateaubriand like Blade Runner, you can enjoy every once in a while, there’s the ham & cheese toastie of the original Fast & Furious to chow down on more often.


I know this may be coming across like I’m an advocate for the (further) dumbing down of popular culture but all I’m suggesting is for people not to feel so guilty about their guilty pleasures. If you enjoy it, don’t feel ashamed about it, shout it from the roof tops, embarrassment be damned!


My favourite film of all time is Major Le… Fight Club!

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