Thursday, September 9, 2010

My DVD Collection is More Embarrassing Than Your DVD Collection

I'm almost two months into this journey called motherhood, and I expected to have blogged more about the adventure. What can I say about being a mom so far? Rob looks super cute in his camo onesie, I find his burps impossibly charming, Pampers Swaddlers are my diaper of choice. I'll blog about all of these things, then I'll sell the movie rights. It's fascinating, compelling stuff. If my new life as a mom were made into a movie, I wouldn't want it to be some kind of Oscar Award darling like Slumdog Millionaire, no sir-ee. Those films are seen once or twice in the theatre, possibly purchased on DVD to add to your collection and make you seem sophisticated, but are rarely viewed or quoted. Nope, I'd rather go down in infamy--as a guilty pleasure movie. I'm talking Weekend at Bernie's, people. You know what I mean: the movies we all know and love, even if we hesitate to admit it for fear of ridicule.

Clearly, I have no pride or fear of ridicule, as demonstrated in my sometimes embarrassingly candid blog posts. I'm so revealing, I stop just short of showing you my stretch marks...but I will admit that I have stretch marks. In need of further proof that I have no shame? This real phone conversation took place last Saturday:

Amy: What are you doing?
Me: Laying on the couch, watching My Girl 2
Amy: What?! Don't tell me that!
Me: No?
Amy: No! Make something up. Jeez.

Pfft. Whatevs. If you can't tell your bestie that you're watching a forgettable, never-should-have-been-made-in-the-first-place movie sequel on basic cable, who can you tell? It's not like I ordered it off of Netflix. This got me thinking more about guilty pleasure movies: What are they, and why do we love them so?

To me, a guilty pleasure movie is a film that you secretly love, watch repeatedly, and includes at least one of the following components:
1. A complete lack of redeeming social or artistic value (see: Joe Dirt)
2. A commercial and/or critical failure-including straight-to-DVD movies (see: Willard)
3. A musical (see: Grease 2)
4. A film that has not withstood the test of time (see: Working Girl)
5. A film that could only appeal to a small, specific group of people (see: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

Here is just an overview of my favorite guilty pleasure films. I've mentioned some of them before. You may recognize some of these as your own personal faves, and you may also unearth some buried treasure. You're welcome!

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
It's Christina Applegate at her finest and it's like opening a 1990's time capsule. Also, there's the backyard fashion show that can't be missed.

"Oh, how ya doin Mom? Yeah, no everything's fine. No, Mrs. Sturak's not here. She um, she went to the yarn store. Yeah, she's crocheting this massive doily for the couch! I...I gotta go Mom."

Mamma Mia
It's a musical. 007 sings, Karen from Mean Girls gets married (or does she?) and Meryl Streep shows us a side we've never seen before (did you know that was possible? Neither did I) in a role many felt was miscast. ("many" = "me")

"I don't care if you slept with hundreds of men, you're my mom, and I love you so much."

The Lather Effect
What a positively horrible title. This film wasn't released in theatres, but when a Connie Britton, Peter Facinelli, Tate Donovan, Ione Skye, Eric Stoltz movie comes on Showtime, you sit down and watch it. Now that I think about it, the presence of Peter Facinelli in a film is like a barometer for whether a movie will be good. He's not the most prolific or high profile actor of our generation, but everything I've seen him in I have loved. This movie bills itself is as "A 'Big Chill' for Generation X!", but if you're sitting here wondering what "Big Chill" means or what "Generation X" means, or if your answer to the question, "What is Generation X?" is "my children's generation", this movie isn't for you. Great soundtrack, though.

“So remember, my friends, if you’re going to rinse and repeat always beware the extra bubbles."

Student Bodies
It's a low-budget horror spoof from 1981 starring a cast of unknown actors. You're gonna hate it.

"Hasn't there been enough senseless killing? Let's have a murder that makes sense!"

Muriel's Wedding
Muriel's an Australian misfit who moves to the big city with her best friend to reinvent herself and live the life she's dreamed of. Oh, and the soundtrack of her life is by Abba.

"When I lived in Porpoise Spit, I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to Abba songs. But since I've met you and moved to Sydney, I haven't listened to one Abba song. That's because my life is as good as an Abba song. It's as good as Dancing Queen."

This movie is as ridiculous as it is star-studded. It's campy and over-the-top; so much so that you know they're in on the joke. Ladies, you'd be hard-pressed to get your man to sit through it, but I'm telling you it's comic gold.

"Actors don't like to play coma. They feel it limits their range."

Three Men and a Baby
I didn't know this was a guilty pleasure movie until I suggested watching it one day and my entire family mocked me. What? It's a classic 80's film, it was directed by Mr. Spock, it has a music video montage, it has Ted Danson in drag, and it was the highest grossing film of 1987. If that's not enough to convince you, then here are the only two words that matter: Steve Guttenburg (muy caliente!)

"I had to go to four different stores to buy four different kids of formula. Three different kids of diapers, bottles, towels, you have no idea how much crap these kids need."

God Said "Ha!"
What do you mean, you've never heard of Julia Sweeney's one woman show that tells the story of the worst year of her life--she and her brother were both diagnosed with cancer, and her entire family moved in with her--and she tells her story with a quiet, sweet humor and poignancy that is rare in entertainment today? Still not convinced it's a gem? I dare you to watch only fifteen minutes of it and change the channel. You won't be able to do it.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure
It's so much more than just a tale of a boy and his bike. It's Tim Burton's directorial debut, and has some of the best one-liners.

"You don't wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel."

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Marilyn may not have invented the dumb blonde persona, but she perfected it. Her Lorelei Lee is funny and silly, while at the same time vulnerable and endearing. Along with sassy, wise-cracking Jane Russell it's absolute perfection.

"You DO wear it on your head. I just LOVE finding new places to wear diamonds!"

Can't Hardly Wait
I wouldn't have to search far to find someone who loves this movie as much as I do, provided I find somebody who attended high school in the 90s like me. This movie was not a commercial success, but has risen to cult status with its fans (I think...I don't know how you verify something like that)

"Yo, I gotta have sex tonight! I mean peep this - They say here ninety-two percent of the honeys at UCLA are sexually active...It means I gots a ninety-two percent chance of embarrassing myself. I roll up on that shorty be like, "What's up yo?" she be like, "You don't know 20 different ways to make me call you Big Poppa" cuz I don't yo."

Imitation of Life
A deliciously melodramatic tale of race, class, family, love, and sacrifice. Served with an extra helping of saccharine-sweet fluffy goodness. I prefer the 1959 version, mainly for Sandra Dee.

"Don't you believe in chasing rainbows?"
It's a musical, it's a tearjerker, it's a story told in flashbacks, and it contains heavy doses of brassy Bette Midler.

"What the hell is this, a piano bar or a Nazi work camp? I'm singing my heart out for bupkus, peanuts. I'm eating dog food and you can't even give me fifty dollars you already owe me?"

1 comment:

  1. Love Beaches, Can't Hardly Wait, and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead. Some of my other guilty favorites include: Picture Perfect with Jennifer Anniston, ConAir (Might go down as the worst southern accent but I love watching it), and Troop Beverly Hills!