I am a firm believer that you can learn a lot about someone by asking them what their guilty pleasure movies are. The reason why is because a person’s “guilty pleasure” reveals a little bit about their intellect as well as a little bit about their emotions. The very definition of a guilty pleasure is a struggle between these two sides that exist in every person. I love learning what makes someone happy as well as what a person believes should make them happy.
However, one thing I don’t think we talk about enough is the other side of the coin. That is, the movies that we think should make us happy that just don’t. I call them guilty apathy movies. These are those films where I recognize on an intellectual level that the movie is well-executed. It’s a solid idea that’s written well, acted well, shot well, and edited well. These are the cases where it’s incredibly difficult to point at something and say “welp, there’s the flaw that killed the whole thing” (not that I won’t try anyway).
Yet at the same time, guilty apathy movies just don’t punch me in the gut and make me feel something. They’re not fun the way something like Adventures in Babysitting or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is fun. They don’t give me a precious “d’awww” moment like When Harry Met Sally or Crazy, Stupid, Love. They don’t rip my heart out like Steel Magnolias or Pay it Forward. They don’t make me laugh the way I laugh at Mean Girls or My Cousin Vinny. They don’t inspire me like Sing Street or Whiplash. They don’t take me on the adventure of Kingsman: The Secret Service or Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.