We all have them … guilty pleasure films that no matter what the day or time, we are enthralled by. They are films that when you mention the visceral thrill you derive from them – people gaze at you in utter surprise (How could you like THAT movie?). Admittedly I do not think that these films are that bad; I suppose they just did not do enough to capture a widespread audience. This is fair enough – but in the end what I like about films that fit into this category for me is that they are merely asking you to “just go with it.”
This weekend, I had the good fortune to feast on two of my favorites, both from 2003: SWAT and Down with Love.
Based on the television show of the same name, this film does play like a pretty long episode; at least in the second part. The first part of the film is basically a series of introductions to the chief protagonist/antagonist (Colin Farrel and Jeremy Renner). After this setup we are dropped into a somewhat ludicrous premise – our rag-tag SWAT team (headed my Samuel L Jackson) are given the mission transferring a billionaire, international super-criminal (Olivier Martinez) for extradition. Thanks to his public declaration of a reward of 100 MILLION DOLLARS to anyone who helps him break free, we are entertained to a host of comic criminal-types who use all sorts of armament trying to set him . I mean the action is OTT. But that is what makes this film enjoyable. There is also the occasional sharp, witty dialogue exchange between the actors.
But like I previously stated, the real star is the adrenaline/testosterone overload produced from the loud crashes booms and explosions.
Down With Love (2003)
This is obviously a throwback to those light (and sometimes musical) “battle of the sexes” comedies of the late 1950’s and 1960’s which often featured Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall. Although because the action is played for a modern audience the double entendre and innuendo are a bit more blatant.
In the leads we have Renée Zellwegger and Ewan McGergor with a supporting cast which includes David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Paulson and … Tony Randall!
The plot includes a smorgasbord of this sub-genre conventions, including switched identities and reversal of traditional gender roles. The hyper-stylized sets and costumes perfectly match films of the era and is another reason to sit back with your popcorn (or chocolate) and just enjoy!
What are some of your favorite “guilty pleasures”?