Guilty Pleasures

(2000) D: Robert Zemeckis. Starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt.
When I first heard about the premise to this film, it sounded B-O-R-I-N-G. But this film sucked me in, and continues to suck me in every time I see it. It’s truly beyond me as to why it continues to hold my interest, but there’s always something to be said for the “what would I do in that situation” factor. I’m telling you, it’s powerful stuff. Tom Hanks got all the credit for the success of the film, but there’s not enough that can be said about Zemeckis’s directing.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: There is not one single note of written musical score in the film until 1 hour and 43 minutes into the movie.

(1989) D: Emile Ardolino. Starring Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey Jr., Mary Stuart Masterson, Ryan O’Neal.
Overwhelmingly sappy and trite, this one still works for me. Cybill Shepherd is just cute enough, Robert Downey Jr. is just charming enough and Ryan O’Neal is just endearing enough.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Director Ardolino, who also directed Dirty Dancing, died of AIDS at the age of 50 in 1993.

(1989) D: Joel Schumacher. Starring Ted Danson, Isabella Rossellini, Sean Young, William L. Peterson.
Ted Danson may not be the best actor in the world, but he is irresistable. And this movie is just too funny and weird not to like!
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: It’s a remake of the French film Cousin Cousine.

(1995) D: Tony Scott. Starring Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini.
Yes, it’s formulaic and cheesy at times, but all that macho bullsh*t makes for a great popcorn flick.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Quentin Tarantino was brought in to do uncredited “punch-ups” of the dialogue. His major contribution was the comic book bickering.

(1987) D: Emile Ardolino. Starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach.
A guilty pleasure worth every teasing comment that gets hurled my way when the channel-changing stops on the film that features the most famously bad line ever: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Classic cheese.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Patrick Swayze was offered $6 million to reprise his role of Johnny Castle, but turned it down.

(1987) D: Adrian Lyne. Starring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Anne Archer.
It must be human nature to enjoy seeing the consequences of a forbidden temptation played out on somebody else.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Glenn Close still has the knife she used in the movie hanging in her kitchen.

(1984) D: Herbert Ross. Starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Penn.
Oh come on, you KNOW you love it!!
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The scenes where Chris Penn’s character had to learn how to dance were added to the script because Penn really could not dance.

(1982) D: Patricia Birch. Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft.
I may be one of the 6 people who actually saw and liked this movie, but I am not ashamed to admit it. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a tough chick with the best of them, Adrian Zmed plays the dorkiest cool guy in the history of cinema and Maxwell Caulfield is just totally dreamy. How can you NOT love it?!
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Director Birch was the choreographer in the original Grease.

(1993) D: Adrian Lyne. Starring Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Robert Redford.
Yeah, I know, it’s BAD, but you just can’t stop watching.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Originally designed as a star vehicle for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, with Warren Beatty taking the part of the millionaire.

(1986) D: Allan Burns. Starring Christine Lahti, Mary Tyler Moore, Ted Danson, Sam Waterston.
I’m ashamed to put a Christine Lahti film on any “guilty pleasures” list, but this film is SO movie-of-the-week that it deserves to be here. But it also deserves to be seen because Lahti and Mary Tyler Moore are totally, as ever, brilliant. And it’s SO ’80s!!
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Mary Tyler Moore only made three major motion pictures in the ’80s, Just Between Friends, Six Weeks (1982) and Ordinary People (1980).

(1994) D: Edward Zwick. Starring Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Ormond, Henry Thomas.
The #1 Guilty Pleasure of all time.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Despite the cheesy reputation, this film is actually an Academy Award winner for Best Cinematography (John Toll.)

(1995) D: Paul Verhoeven. Starring Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon.
THE camp classic of all time. Ever heard of a film so bad, it’s good? Here ya go.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Set an all-time RAZZIE Award record with 13 Nominations (with only 12 categories voted that year). Its seven “wins” tie it with Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000) as the most dis-honored film in RAZZIE History.

(1983) D: Sylvester Stallone. Starring John Travolta, Finola Hughes, Cynthia Rhodes.
I called this category GUILTY pleasures for a reason.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: One of only two non-Rocky films that Stallone has directed.

(1985) D: Joel Schumacher. Starring Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Mare Winningham.
Embarrassed or not, this film defined my generation. Yeah, it’s embarrassing. I’m even more embarrassed to say I love it.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: According to, Demi Moore had a drug problem, much like her character, when she was cast in the film. One day, director Joel Schumacher actually demanded that she leave the set because she was so high. Moore went to rehab for a week and returned—and stayed–clean.

(1994) D: Luis Mandoki. Starring Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia.
Don’t mistake this with Meg Ryan’s other “When…” movie because you couldn’t get further away. Ryan really shows some acting skills, beyond the cute-as-a-button side we know all too well. This film is sometimes too real and too honest, but its that honesty that make it so captivating and all-too-human.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The movie was based on ten pages of notes written by Orson Welles. Co-written by political funny man Al Franken.