Top 10 All Time Favourite ‘Guilty Pleasure’ Movies

Written by  //  March 31, 2012  //  Media & Popular Culture, Uncategorized  //  4 Comments

We all like watching movies and depending on the mood, the occasion or the time of the day, we like watching different kinds of movies. A dull day calls for an action packed thriller and a tiring evening needs a feel good movie. But there is also a certain category of movies which one can watch any time and likes to watch every now and then. These movies are not necessarily the classics or Oscar winners but still there is something about them, the whole entertainment package which makes you feel that you can watch them as a default option. Most importantly, these are not the kind of movies that you would boast as your favourite movies while trying to impress a girl or while pretending to have an intellectual conversation with your co-workers. These are the films that you’ll most likely be watching when there is no one else at home and nothing interesting on TV. These are the guilty pleasures. So after elaborating on guilty pleasures (instead of just hyperlinking it ), here is a list of my top 10 all time favourite guilty pleasures. Please don’t judge me for this!

1.         Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

A movie for all ages, seasons and moods. The quest of Scott Pilgrim to fight the seven super human evil exes of Ramona (“prepare to face the wrath of the league of evil exes”) to fight for her love may sound incredulous but unless you have watched the movie, you can’t imagine the visual imagery which grips you and knocks you out at the same time. There is hardly a second where the movie slows down or becomes boring and the only way you can get up to get popcorn is if you pause the movie. Although I am no authority on graphic novels, but this is the most seamless conversion of a comic book into a film that I have seen. The transitions between the shots almost feel like turning over of pages and the visual effects seem right out of a comic book. Funny, sweet and with a thumping soundtrack. Yup, this one can be watched all day long.

2.         Zombieland / Shaun of the Dead

These are two of my favourite zombie movies. It is difficult to enjoy zombie movies that take themselves too seriously. I mean come on? The concept is inherently funny although slightly scary as well. Both these movies make sure that while they are spoofs of zombie movies, the chills are still there. The acting in top notch in both of them and so are the witty lines. It doesn’t matter if you have seen the movies earlier or not. If they are coming on TV, you can start watching them from any point of time and still enjoy them. Favourite sequences? The Bill Murray cameo in Zombieland is totally out of the blue and makes it difficult to not fall off the chair. In Shaun of the Dead, after the zombie epidemic being brought under control, the news reports with footage of zombies being very efficient at menial jobs seems quite believable!

3.         Fight Club

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love Fight Club and those who have never punched a wall in frustration. The latter will eventually come around. Describing the plot would be futile as most of us have watched Fight Club, quoted its dialogues on rooftops when drunk and in vivas when sober. Anyone who has spent more than a day behind a computer screen in a glass and concrete building can see the logic of Tyler Durden. The way you look at demo safety instructions in flights changes forever after watching this film and so does the way you look at a black eye.

4.         Devil Wears Prada

Yes, some chick flicks can be good. Okay I can’t think of too many right now but this one definitely is right up there. Firstly, there is Anne Hathway. Secondly, ah, there is Anne Hathway in those nice dresses. And yeah, there is Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt as well. Seriously though the movie strikes a chord with anyone who has felt a bit lost at a new job or wondered what goes inside the heads of ‘oohh…I just lovvee your shoes’ kind of people. Its sharp, smart and comes with a small dose of moral science.

5.         Vicky Christina Barcelona/  Midnight in Paris

These last two Woody Allen movies have been really entertaining. Although only the latter has got critical appreciation and an Oscar but both of them with an intoxicating blend of beautiful locations, attractive women, fantasy stories and soothing soundtracks make for some really delightful repeated watching. People always have interesting and witty conversations in Woody Allen’s films but these two films have been exceptionally easy on the eyes as well.

6.         Main Hoon Naa

There was something really fresh about this movie. SRK was actually playing an older guy, Sushmita Sen was looking hot, you could watch a movie with Zayed Khan without walking out of it and Suniel Shetty was really unintentionally funny. Okay, strike the last one out. Suniel Shetty has always been unintentionally funny. But the point is that even after repeated viewing this film remains entertaining for its unashamed and ridiculous ‘tribute’ to the bollywood style of filmmaking.

7.         Spy Game

There is never a bad time for a good spy thriller. This one is really slick even after ten years of its release. It does not have too much action (which gets boring on repeated viewing), has two really stylish actors in Robert Redford and Brad Pitt and a very smart script which jumps between Redford sitting in a room answering investigators and fragments of his stories scattered all over the world over a number of years. And all this while there is a tension sword hanging with Brad Pitt about to be executed in a few hours at a Chinese prison. What it lacks in terms of details and depth, it more than makes up with style and pace.

8.         The John Cusack films 

John Cusack is a genre unto himself. In a series of films like High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank and Say Anything, he plays a very likable guy who is struggling amongst other things to understand women. In High Fidelity he is always making lists including that of his top ten break-ups. In Grosse Pointe Blank, he is a professional killer nearing nervous breakdown while attending his high school reunion and meeting his high school sweet heart. In Say Anything he is a guy who realizes how fortunate he is for the most beautiful girl has fallen for him and is willing to build his life around her. In all of these, he is eminently likable and sincere while being funny and genuinely confused like, well, you would be.

9.         2012/ Tron Legacy

I am going to be a bit snobbish here and include two movies which look really good if watched on HD or blue ray. Many people criticize 2012 for its crater sized plot holes and scientific inaccuracies but as far as I am concerned, a disaster movie does not have to be scientifically accurate and therefore it does not matter if it’s a little exaggeration or completely unbelievable. What 2012 delivers is on stunning visual effects. And by stunning, I mean effects which watched on HD or blue ray clarity are impossible to look away from. My only fear is that 2012 may have killed off the genre of disaster movies as there does not seem to be anything left to destroy for future movies. Tron Legacy is another really slick movie with a soundtrack to jump off the roof. The virtual world as well as the shots of the real world are quite breathtaking. So are the two actresses who play Quorra and Gem. Having Jeff Bridges doesn’t hurt the acting department even though there is very little left for the actors to do. It’s really difficult to think of any other guy who’d be taken seriously after saying. “Hey…you are messing with my zen thing man..”.

10.       The Scream series

Anyone who loves horror movies would love the Scream movie series and so would anyone who likes comedies. The series is quite innovative in the way it creates a world of slasher horror movies in which the script as well as the characters are aware of the clichés of horror movies. Every movie feels like a fanboy paying tribute to horror movies all the while keeping it extremely funny and yes, scary as well. The motives of killers seem to be satirical as well but then serial killers need motives as much as action heroes need band-aids.

About the Author

Grew up in Jaipur, graduated from National Law School, Bangalore. Works with a corporate law firm to pay for books and movie tickets. Idolises Tony Stark and emulates Dogbert. Till he conquers the world, he blogs here (also):

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4 Comments on "Top 10 All Time Favourite ‘Guilty Pleasure’ Movies"

  1. aandthirtyeights March 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm ·

    Either I’m not intellectual enough, or I’m not hanging around with women who are intellectual enough, but “Midnight in Paris” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” surely don’t fall within this definition, “these are not the kind of movies that you would boast as your favourite movies while trying to impress a girl or while pretending to have an intellectual conversation with your co-workers.”

    Sigh. And here I was, thinking I’m being posh watching these movies and knowing vague trivia about them. Guess I’ll have to actually sit down and watch those Tarkovskys now.

  2. aandthirtyeights March 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm ·

    My guilty pleasures are in the “Tirangaa” / “Hotel” (Ramsay Brothers) / “16 December” / “Dulhe Raja” level. (And I’m only talking Hindi movies. Of course, there’s stuff like “Amma naana oka tamilammayi”, “Jagadekaveerudu Atilokasundari” in Telugu, “Arunachalam”, “Muthu”, “Avasara Police” (starring Silk Smitha and my favourite Bhagyaraj) etc in Tamil…

    In fact, at a star wedding I recently attended, I got so excited when I saw Bhagyaraj that I had to get a photo with him. I think even he was surprised by so much attention from someone from my generation. :P

  3. Nikhil April 1, 2012 at 5:32 am ·

    Dude!!! how can you possibly add “fight club” and “spy game” in this!
    The premise on which such movies are to be judged you have clarified in your opening statement.
    “These movies are not necessarily the classics or Oscar winners” – “Most importantly, these are not the kind of movies that you would boast as your favourite movies while trying to impress a girl”
    Fight club and spy game definitely do not fall in this category- in fact neither does vicky christina barcelona. Other than that i do agree with the substance of the article and “devil wears prada” I totally empathise with!
    P.s.- wenever u r wela do meet!

  4. Lekha April 4, 2012 at 9:26 am ·

    ID4! ID4! ID4!

    (The crowd clamoured)

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