Saturday, 23 May 2009

More Guilty Pleasures

As promised! : Guilty Pleasures 2 - Son of Guilty Pleasures.

This one is a lot more difficult as, with film and TV, one man's guilty pleasure is another man's CULT VIEWING. These are the ones I genuinely feel slightly guilty about.
Film :

Ratatouille. God I love the rat. My secret kitchen alter ego.

Murder On The Orient Express. I spend far too much time perfecting my Wendy Hiller impersonation : "You will have the goodness to bring me.. the poached.. sole. With one small new.. poTAto. And a grrrreeen salad." And Sean Connery saying to Poirot "Can you give me your word - as a foreigner..." And, most importantly, the fact that even though Poirot works out who dunnit, he lets them off because JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED. I always get a lump in my throat at the end where they're all drinking champagne. "Her name was, I believe, a Miss FrrreeBody."

The Amazing Mr Blunden. Made in 1972 by the same crew and producers as The Railway Children, and with an amazingly similar look and feel: strangely 20-something girls playing 13-year-olds in Edwardian pinafores and tam-o-shanters. Great plot though - all about ghosts, redemption, etc... makes me cry every time. A great Bank Holiday film. Also stars Diana Dors as a gin-soaked old hag with a very stupid, very pretty, blonde daughter - slightly poignant as 20 years earlier she might have played the part herself.


Oh this is a hard one to admit to, but luckily there's just the one - My Super Sweet 16. I am so embarrassed by this that I may as well have a bag on my head as I type. I usually hate reality TV of all kinds, as while I thrive on schadenfreude I hate the fact that everybody looks a fool, a pompous twit or a bully, regardless of their intentions. I have friends who are TV editors, and I am starting to think they're probably possessed of some kind of evil genius; editing is key to how someone looks on TV. That and appropriate soundtrack (amazing what the Benny Hill theme can do to, say, a dignified solicitor or adoring parent).

The fundamental point of this programme is to show, in all its blingy horror and grotesque excess, the lengths the VERY RICH will go to to ensure that their (for the most part) unprepossessingly spoilt offspring have the best 16th birthday party of all their peers. Action is invariably as follows: scene in a vastly overpriced dress boutique (it's always a boutique, never just a shop) where daughter screams at her friends for wanting to wear the same dress. Instance of daughter shrieking "I HATE YOUUUUU" at whoever happens to be handy (parent, BFF, boyfriend). Plan for party to be Moulin Rouge themed, only to remember that cow Kelly had the same thing for hers. Sulk. New theme for party (LA Gangsta!!! Great, we can all dress in as little as possible and dance in a way that our parents will disapprove of!!!) proposed. Invitations ostentatiously only given to less pretty girls and every boy in school. Guest list lost by bouncers. Tantrum. Tantrum. High spirits, saucy dancing, embarrassingly obviously hired cast members from Hollyoaks to boost popularity rating. Boyfriend misbehaves. Tears in ladies' loo. Then the high point of the evening - DADDY'S BOUGHT ME A PORSCHE!!!!!!! Credits roll.

I'm so humiliated by admitting this that I need to lie down. Off to watch series 4 of "The Wire" now to remind myself that I do have taste really...


So Lovely said...

Unfortunately we don't get My Super Sixteen here but I have to admit, that if we did I would probably be tuning in. I love reality TV as its really the only place that I don't have to bump into actors that I have worked with and don't particularly like.
My favourite film of all time is Auntie Mame - have almost worn the DVD out. As you can see I have very high brow taste.

Lola said...

My current guilty pleasure is watching The Wire - with, I'm embarrassed to admit, subtitles!!

However, it does make all the difference...!

Terrific post as always,


Lucy Fishwife said...

So Lovely - DUDE. Spill. Anybody famous and disgusting?
I left out all the films that are less guilty, like "Matter of life & Death", "Grosse pointe blank" and "Almost Famous" which I watch far too often. You get points for being high brow, although I bet I trump you with "Tampopo"...

Nora - Subtitles essential with The Wire (not guilty! cool!). We gave up feeling bad about them halfway through series 1, when the whole Weebay subplot became impenetrable because they talked too fast and too trendy...

Aparatchick said...

My current television guilty pleasures are:

1. What Not To Wear, in which our two hosts surprise some poor soul whose loving (?) family has nominated her to be overhauled (clothes, hair, makeup) by the hosts. Tears are almost always involved, self-esteem issues nearly always resolved.

2. Say Yes to the Dress, in which we see brides, bridezillas, wannabe brides, and mothers of the bride purchasing wedding gowns at a salon in New York. Unintentionally hilarious.

Coincidence: I just started reading A Place of Greater Safety.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Aparatchick - I'm torn. If my family/friends/husband nominated me to appear on one of those makeover shows, I can't decide whether I'd revel in the fabulousness of the new prinked preened me, or whether I'd be GUTTED that they thought I looked like an old tramp to begin with (although Mr F invariably says, every time I wear a dress, "Oh goody! You're not dressed like a teenage boy!"). Are you enjoying Hilary Mantel? Can't remember which of her main characters she freely admits to developing a crush on while writing the novel. My money's on Danton.

becky c. said...

I'm an old married lady in Ohio, but I love, Love, LOVE The Girls Next Door and will watch it whenever its on. Can't really explain the attraction, but I'm sadly hooked. So shameful.

Rol said...

Louise has made me watch Super Sweet 16 on occasion.

It's for that reason I'm currently wearing this straitjacket. For my own protection.

katyboo1 said...

OMG! I thought I was the only person in the whole world who watched and loved The Amazing Mr. Blunden. Am welling up just thinking about it.

I love What Not to Wear, and anything with Gok dragging away at some poor woman's 'bangers' like a crazy loon.

Am also reading H Mantel 'Place of Greater Safety' and loving it. Read 200 pages on the train yesterday and would have forgotten to get off except that my stop was the end of the line.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

My televisual crimes as follows:


Homes Under the Hammer

Dick Emery

George & Mildred

How Clean is Your House?

Dragon's Den

to name a few!

Aparatchick said...

Lucy, I am enjoying Hilary Mantel. The Cast of Characters list that ran 6 pages made me wonder just what I was getting into, but as of page 96, it's kept my interest.

French Fancy... said...

You are funny! You cheer me up! (enough with the !! already)

screamish said...

i MUSt see the Super Sweet 16, sounds great. I recently watched a doco called "World's Best Mom" or 3supermom" or something about the American best mother awards. truly frightening.

what's the wire? Heard lots of good stuff about it...

Tania Kindersley said...

Can't believe you know about The Amazing Mr Blunden. It was my favourite film when I was little (that and The Belstone Fox; I clearly had goulish taste). I was taken to see it in the old cinema at Marble Arch when it still had one enormous screen and there was an interval and the lady would come to the front with her tray and sell you plastic containers of Kia Ora, and I was so damn competitive I made my mother let me sit on the aisle so I could RUN the moment the lights went down and so always be first in the queue. No wonder they sent me away to boarding school.

My guilty pleasures include: The Way We Were, Rich and Famous (Candice Bergen and heavenly Jacqueline Bisset being a neurotic writer and smoking too much, wonder why I identify with that character) and box set after box set of NCIS, because I have a big fat crush on Mark Harmon.

Really please don't tell anyone I just said that.

Lucy Fishwife said...

God Tania I think we're probably more or less exactly the same age. My mother got bored with it so I spent my pocket money going to see it by myself every afternoon for a whole week at the Phoenix Cinema in Oxford. Still love it, and totally GUTTED it's not available on DVD. Who can we lobby??
Haven't succumbed to NCIS yet but I totally get the Mark Harmon thing - I used to love him in St Elsewhere. A proto-Clooney. Your secret is safe with me...