Blogathon: AEOS’s Guilty Pleasure Movies

Jenna and Allie over at Chick Flicks decided to start their own blogathon about guilty pleasure movies. I learned about it from Caz over at Let’s Go to the Movies, who included some great guilty pleasure movies in his list. Be sure to check out his post.

The rules were simple (check them out here!), and the only one I broke (but with permission), is that I missed the deadline. Thanks to Jenna and Allie for still letting me participate! 🙂

Most of my guilty pleasure favorites, I must admit, are comedies, many involving romance. The intelligent movie-viewer inside me always seems to poke when I want to watch of these films, exacting that balance of guilt and pleasure that I enjoy indulging every now and then. Without further ado, here are five guilty pleasures movies I occasionally enjoy:

1) The Wedding Date (2005)

The Wedding Date

Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney in The Wedding Date.

Critical Consensus: It’s not a great movie. The plot is thin, the protagonist has security issues, and the overall storyline fails. But no one needs a rehash of what 90% of the Rotten Tomatoes critics thought.

Guilty Pleasure reasoning: I loved the chemistry between Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. The latter is hunky and confident in the film, making him a good lead. Messing plays a somewhat frustrating character at times, but nonetheless, relatable. Outshined by her over-the-top younger sister (played by Amy Adams), Messing’s character struggles with accepting her current status. The story takes place over in London, which was a nice switch from the typical rom-com in New York. The father figure is strong and funny (Peter Egan), and perhaps more than all the above reasons, I loved the soundtrack, which featured 90s Maroon Five and some Michael Buble hits.

Movie Fun Fact: The film score’s composer, Blake Neely, stretched his rookie composing muscles on The Wedding Date, the film being his first solo feature film assignment. The score was first released as a limited edition CD that quickly sold out, but has been repeatedly asked for after its success and popularity.

2) 13 Going on 30 (2004)

Jennifer Garner and Andy Serkis doing the Thriller in 13 Going on 30.

Critical Consensus: Same formula we’ve seen over again, but Jennifer Garner shines as the leading lady.

Guilty Pleasure reasoning: The scene when Garner and Mark Ruffalo dance the Thriller. Lord of the Ring‘s (2001) Andy Serkis plays a fashion editor, Judy Greer is the villainous best friend, and Mark Ruffalo is the lovable guy that got away. I always thought Jennifer Garner played her best character as Jenna Rink in 13 Going on 30. It’s a movie with a lot of sweet moments, both romantic and also hilarious.

Movie Fun Fact: Behind the Scenes footage on the DVD includes interviews with the main cast who talk about their younger self-portrayal counterparts. It’s always interesting to see who gets cast as the young version of an older, popular actor.

3) Jingle All the Way (1996)

Sinbad and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way.

Critical ConsensusJingle All the Way received mixed reviews, some scathing, and some hopeful that the movie made the OK mark.

Guilty Pleasure reasoning: I grew up watching this movie as a kid, cracking up. It became a family tradition at my parents’ home to watch this movie around Christmas every year, and somehow, we have continued on with this tradition in more recent years. Sinbad’s character, Myron, is so beyond insane at times, that you can’t help but laugh at the guy. Jingle All the Way makes people either laugh or shake their heads. I’m in the former group.

Movie Fun Fact: As of February of 2014, a sequel has gone into production, featuring none of the original cast. Instead, Larry the Cable plays the lead in the project.

4) Happy Gilmore (1996)

Christopher McDonald and Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore.

Critical Consensus: Dividng the critics, Happy Gilmore still managed to receive a fresh tomato on the Tomatometer, and even scored a 7 out of 10 on IMDB.

Guilty Pleasure reasoning: Back in the day when Adam Sandler knew how to make people laugh in his movies, the comedian seemed to have a bright future ahead of him. Happy Gilmore is one of those funny entries that make it onto Sandler’s list of “funny movies from ‘back in the day,'” and it remains one of my favorite quotable comedies that I will continue watching if I catch it on TV in the afternoon. His humor isn’t for everyone, but Sandler gave new meaning to the game of golf, and the hilarious work of the supporting cast (Ben Stiller, Christopher McDonald) won me over.

Movie Fun Fact: MTV awarded Happy Gilmore an award for the Best Fight between Adam Sandler and Bob Barker.

5) The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday

Kate Winslet and Jack Black in The Holiday

Critical ConsensusThe Holiday is yet another one of my guilty pleasures that received overall mediocre scores with critics, despite its well-known cast.

Guilty Pleasure reasoning: Hans Zimmer’s score is captivating in this film, so much so that I listen to it every year, especially around the holidays. I love the cast, although I enjoy the scenes with Kate Winslet and Jack Black over Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. Perhaps one of the greatest pleasures of viewing this film is the small part Eli Wallach (RIP) plays as the old, but not forgotten Hollywood screenwriter Arthur Abbott.

Movie Fun Fact: When watching The Holiday, I just assumed Kate Winslet was older than Cameron Diaz, given Winslet’s established filmography and graceful personality (perhaps her accent had something to do with it too?). I was shocked to discover that Cameron Diaz is actually three years older than the Brit!

It’s your turn now. What are some of your guilty pleasure films? Please join the discussion below, because I would love to know your thoughts.

My Christmas Movie List

Well, it’s that time of year again . . . you know, the weeks before Thanksgiving where everyone goes directly into Christmas-thinking mode, completely leaving Thanksgiving out of the picture before it even happens? Yep, that’s where I am RIGHT NOW. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to watch replay after replay of the Back to the Future series on TCM and Home Alone 2 on ABC Family, despite the original being a far superior movie.

These are my Must-See Christmas Movies:

Jingle All the Way

If you like cheesy, laugh-out-loud movies with a hint of California governor, then this is the Christmas movie for you. I make it a point to ALWAYS see this movie every year around Christmas time because it makes me laugh unlike any other. My Facebook page, under the Quotations section, included a hilarious quote that Sinbad delivers in this movie:

They sit there and use subliminal messages to suck your children’s’ minds out! And I know what I’m talking about because I went to junior college for a semester and I studied psychology so I’m right in there, I know what’s going on. They make the kids feel like garbage and you, the father, who’s working 24/7 delivering mail so you can make an alimony payment to a woman that slept with everybody at the post office, but me! And then when you get the toy, it breaks and you can’t fix it because it’s little cheap plastic!

And that’s just a taste for this deliciously funny movie. There is no other movie out there that includes a guy breaking into his neighbor’s house to steal a child’s Christmas present to give to his own son, getting a reindeer drunk, or running from the police and getting suited up in a costume with flying capabilities.

Home Alone

The first movie, by far, is the best of them all. The scene with the pizza delivery man is without a doubt one of the best scenes in a Christmas movie. I have replayed this scene over and over again just for laughs. All across the world, children will now be inspired to booby trap their own homes in hopes of catching two thieves breaking in. Watch out for the Wet Bandits (can you spell that for the police?)!

White Christmas

It’s true–I’m a sucker for a Bing Crosby song and seeing Rosemary Clooney dolled up exactly as a 50s movie star should look. It’s a great story based off a musical that makes it it’s own movie, so much so, that you’ll find yourself thinking the musical was based off the movie when you’re done watching it. It’s one of those movies that reminds you that actors had to be all-around talented then: great actor, great singer, great dancer. It wasn’t all about looks and appearances, technology, and the ability to half-act your way through something like many movies (and actors) are (and do) today. It’s the perfect movie to be watching during the first snowfall of the year. Don’t even bother trying to rent this movie–if you have any kind of cable, you’ll have no problem catching it on TV at some point in the next 5 weeks.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

No Christmas season would be complete without a little Charlie Brown, Snoopy, bossy Lucy, Linus and his blanket, and the little Christmas tree that could. It’s a classic that can’t be passed up this time of year. It has the age old story of the “true meaning of Christmas” without boring us inattentive, technology-ensued viewers. Schroeder always nails it on that teeny piano, and don’t say you don’t get a lump in your throat when Charlie confesses that he ruins everything, even though it’s far from the truth.

I’ve killed it. Oh! Everything I touch gets ruined.
-Charlie Brown