The Joy of the Guilty Pleasure


We all have them. Sometimes we want to pretend we don’t; to hold our heads high and claim that we have standards, but the truth is that sometimes our standards go out the window. Sometimes we just want to close the door when no one else is home, hide out in the safe space of our bedrooms and watch movies that most people can’t stand but that we can’t get enough of.

I’m speaking, of course, of our guilty pleasures.

A guilty pleasure isn’t just a film that we like and other people – even most people – don’t. It also isn’t really a film we like because of its flaws. A lot of movies reach that “so bad it’s good level” and that isn’t quite the same thing. No, a guilty pleasure is a movie you love in spite of its flaws. You know the movie is terrible, you see all of its faults and you don’t pretend not to. You enjoy the movie anyway because it represents fond memories of your childhood or it’s just a really fun time to be had and who cares that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense or doesn’t follow the filmmaking rules.

In some cases, watching these movies can be the most pure movie-watching experience we ever have. These movies represent an innocence inside of us. An innocence that, all too often, seems to be lost in the grind of our everyday adult lives.

Sure, they’re cheesy and full of plot holes and bad acting, but they touch something deep inside of us that we don’t often get to touch. These movies usually don’t take themselves too seriously, and they remind us – even if only subconsciously – that we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously either.

Other times these movies ignite in us a sense of rebellion against society and its rules. Liking these movies that we’re really not supposed to like can be out way of saying to society in a loud, definitive voice “you’re not the boss of me and I’ll do what I want!”

Whatever the reason, don’t be ashamed of your guilty pleasures. Wear them with pride and honor, knowing that those movies will forever belong to you.

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