We all have films that we're a little embarrassed to admit we enjoy. Maybe you're a tough guy who's got a soft spot for The Notebook. Or maybe you're one of the few people who actually still enjoys M. Night Shyamalan's films. Whatever the reason, there's something about these movies that makes you want to keep your enjoyment of them to yourself. Despite this, I've created a list of fifteen of my guilty pleasure films. They're (mostly) all from my lifetime - that's just how the list worked out, I suppose. I've listed them in chronological order from the earliest to the most recent. Oh, and I chose not to use any of the films I placed on my list of favorite "so bad, it's good" films even though a couple could've made this list as well. Diversity is key, right? That being said, let's get to it!
Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey
Why I Love It: Sure, it's a quintessential "chick flick," but there was something very real and very honest about the portrayal of the relationship between Johnny and Baby in the film that's a little hard to deny. I personally loved it a lot more than I thought I ever could, and that alone places it on this list.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dennis Hopper, Tina Majorino Why I Love It: I know that there's a lot of people who claim that this cinematic bust is one of the worst films ever made, but I've always been a bit of a fan. Sure, the Waterworld-themed stunt show at Universal Studios Hollywood aided my fascination, but I think it's an interesting look at what life might be like if the ice caps melted. Maybe the movie just came out ten years too early.
George of the Jungle
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Leslie Mann, Thomas Haden Church
Why I Love It: This is one of those films that I loved as a child and that happened to continue to love as I grew into an adult. Yeah, it's full of childish humor and dorkiness, but that's part of the appeal for me. I'd be embarrassed to tell you just how many times I've watched this flick over the years, but just know that the number is rather high.
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Viggo Mortensen, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy
Why I Love It: I might catch a lot of flak for placing this remake on the list, especially considering I consider the original 1960 film to be the greatest film of all time. However, I actually didn't hate the Vince Vaughn vehicle, finding him to be rather effective as Norman Bates. The film works even if it's a "shot-by-shot" remake of the original. It just seemed a tad bit unnecessary, but that doesn't mean it wasn't well-made.
Muppets from Space
Starring: Jeffrey Tambor, Rob Schneider, Ray Liotta, David Arquette, Kathy Griffin
Why I Love It: As much as I love all of the Muppet movies, I know that this one wasn't all that great. Still, there was something very clever about learning the origins of Gonzo's existence, and that made Muppets from Space all the more appealing for me. It's a big ball of fun even if it gets a little lame here and there.
Malibu's Most Wanted
Starring: Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Kal Penn, Ryan O'Neal
Why I Love It: I saw this movie during my freshman year of high school, and it sold perfectly to my mindset at the time. I was definitely the target audience at the time, but there's still something very engaging about the film. Jamie Kennedy is definitely charismatic as our lead, and the play on the rap and hip hop community is bitingly funny.
Scary Movie 3
Starring: Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall
Why I Love It: This was the first of the Scary Movie franchise I ever got to see. I remember watching it with my cousins on a trip back to Indiana, and I thought it was the funniest movie I had ever seen. Now that I've seen the first two films as well, I know it's not even the best in the series, but the nostalgia factor still makes this one a personal favorite.
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey
Why I Love It: It's a little bit embarrassing to admit this one, but when you've got a stellar screenplay (and a great performance) from Tina Fey as well as spot-on acting from the rest of the cast, it's hard not to enjoy Mean Girls. It took me a while to give it a chance, but now I own the DVD, and I have no shame in admitting as much.
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway
Why I Love It: This is probably the movie that most people give me weird looks for enjoying. Six years after the fact, I still know quite a few people who see Brokeback Mountain as that "gay cowboy" movie, and for years, I was just like them. But then my friend Claire talked me into watching it, and I immediately fell in love with the film. It's simply brilliant, and currently ranks as the fifth greatest film I have ever seen.
The Number 23
Starring: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan Lerman, Danny Huston
Why I Love It: When Jim Carrey has delved into more dramatic roles, he's bit a tad bit hit-and-miss. Critics claimed that The Number 23 was one of his misses, but I found a lot to like about the film. It's got a pretty good screenplay if you can get yourself into it, and I thought Carrey was rather good in the role. Yeah, it's different than his other stuff, but I think he holds his own.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Common, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine
Why I Love It: Smokin' Aces is one of those movies that you automatically know isn't going to be all that brilliant, but there's something that just draws you in and keeps you watching throughout. It's completely over-the-top and ridiculous, but that's part of the overall draw of the film. Add the fact that we have a who's who cast, and I think that this one's rather enjoyable.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchett, John Hurt, Ray Winstone
Why I Love It: When I first saw Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I hated it. The ending was so off-putting that it seemed like they had killed the franchise. After thinking about it for a while, however, I came around and started to see how it was similar to the previous films. Indy's still chasing a mystical artifact with supernatural power, and as ridiculous as the alien twist might have been for me, the Christian-based artifacts of the previous films were probably just as ridiculous for non-Christians. Although, I still don't condone Shia "Tarzan" LaBeouf in this one.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner
Why I Love It: I'd like to preface this by saying that I love the original 1984 film, and there was no way that the remake was going to live up to its potential, but I thought that the Jackie Earle Haley flick was sufficiently scary and fell into the same vein as its predecessors. In the vein of modern horror remakes, it went over-the-top, but it did so in all the right ways; ergo, I find it to be quite enjoyable.
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Cary Elwes, Sean Patrick Flanery
Why I Love It: If you read my review of Saw 3D (linked above, for your reading pleasure), you'll see exactly why I loved this film. Yeah, it was easily the worst of the franchise, but the final five minutes make the entire franchise worthwhile, in my opinion. In a way, the ending of Saw 3D validated my sitting through Saw V and Saw VI.
Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt
Why I Love It: This is the film that got me to create this particular list, so I had to put it on here. Yes, it was entirely cheesy, almost to a fault, but the religious undertones (or overtones, I suppose - they were that blatant) hit a chord with me. Add to the fact that Bethany Hamilton has been a bit of an inspiration for me, and you've got the makings of a perfect guilty pleasure for me.