Last weekend I found myself sat on the sofa catching up on the old blog and flicking through the channels to have something on in the background to keep me company. When I came across Enchanted, I originally planned on it being a ‘background’ movie but I found myself getting more and more drawn in. It’s a film I’ve seen several times before – I saw it in the cinema and have since bought it on DVD – but it’s one of those films that manages to hook you in without realising it, with its gorgeous gowns, catchy tunes and, of course, the dishy male leads.
My boyfriend came home from work around the mid-way point and was shocked to find me so engrossed – especially when I admitted to actually owning the film. He wasn’t impressed to discover that it was technically in his DVD collection. And I got to thinking. What makes the film so bad (in his eyes) anyway? Apparently ‘it’s made for a four year old; it’s horribly composed, horribly acted’, etc. I pointed out that it has an Oscar winner in it (and a five-time nominee!) and he pointed out that actors don’t make the film.
Back to the ‘four year old’ comment – harsh!
Yes, it’s a Disney film, yes, it’s about a fairy tale princess and yes, part of the story is told through show-stopping musical numbers, but there is a lot here for adults to enjoy!
In fact, it’s something of a guilty pleasure of mine. A film that opens in animated Andalasia, with an evil stepmother transporting a beautiful princess into real world New York on her wedding day, only for her to fall in love with a lawyer who doesn’t believe in true love? So far, so formulaic.
But for him then to fall in love with her and get captured by the evil stepmother-turned-dragon, and for the princess to climb the tower, slay the dragon and save the day? Well done, Disney! It’s about time a chick saved the day!
If this must be referred to as a ‘film for four year olds’, at least it’s sending out a decent message! In fact, as she climbed the tower, my boyfriend asked me if that’s why I like it – because it appeals to the feminist in me. Well, it doesn’t hurt, but I’m a sucker for the romance. During the ‘That’s How You Know’ sequence, the ‘hero’ thinks it’s stupid that you can know that someone knows you through their song, yet in the final act the couple are dancing and he’s singing to her! Swoon!
But why do we have to label such films ‘guilty pleasures’? I came across a Guardian article recently, as part of their Guilty Pleasures series, where Peter Bradshaw owns up to his love of Notting Hill. He began his article with:
‘Films are there very largely to give you pleasure: they are pleasure-giving devices, and if a film succeeds in giving you pleasure, shouldn’t you have the courage of your convictions and own up to it?’
Damn right! Why should we be ashamed to love the things that we do? And why do guys criticise us girls for loving a bit of romance? It’s no different to their love of Star Wars or World of Warcraft – a bit of fantasy never hurt anyone!
What are your ‘guilty pleasures’? And do you think it’s right to be using this label, or should we just admit that, deep down, we all love low-brow/trashy/formulaic/predictable/unoriginal films?