My guilty pleasure is not necessarily looked down upon in the classic film community and it is definitely not obscure. Gone with the Wind is a typical movie to love and repeatedly watch alone in the dark, dank basement on the boxy TV screen.
That’s the problem though. In the world of academia, typical equates to “poor quality.” When asked by a professor what my favourite movie is (only in Film Studies does that happen!) my answer is usually met by a “Oh…okay” or “Ah.” One time I had an interview for a job involving the Film department and the interviewer asked me what my favourite movie was. I pondered for a while because I can never pick just one. I chose Gone with the Wind because I really do love it at this point of my life and Scarlett is my inspiration for staying strong through those stressful times as a student. The interviewer looked at me and commented on how typical it was even though he had never seen it.
What am I supposed to like? Easter European documentaries from the 1970s about political oppression?
Sure, the film can be overdramatic and melodramatic (I am not even going to get into the “racism” of the film), but I love the pure entertainment it gives: the eye candy; the emotional tilt-a-whirl; life lessons about procrastination and determination; and a four hour tutorial on how to lose a guy in twelve years. Escape is my drug and Gone with the Wind is my best dealer.
“Typical” my eye. I love Gone with the Wind. I don’t care that the music swells to make up for Leslie Howard’s lack of interest for the film, or that all the characters say each others names in every single line:
Disclaimer: I slightly exaggerate.
“Oh Ashley, I – I love you!”
“No, Scarlett. You don’t mean it, Scarlett.”
“I do mean it, Ashley. Kiss me, Ashley.”
“No, Scarlett. Scarlett, you know I love my wife, Melanie.”
There are many reasons why the film has such a mass appeal. I am a part of the masses and I don’t care if “everyone” loves this film. Just because I’m a Film Studies major does not mean I have to have more “sophisticated” taste.
Even though I’m unapologetic about my love for Gone with the Wind, I am still a shy person – especially in front of professors! Sorry, profs. You won’t sway this Windy over with your clever arguments and theories.
What film do you watch as a guilty pleasure? Let us know in the comments!
Katie is a Film Studies student in Canada and the co-host of a classic film podcast called The Scarlett Olive. The biggest star she and her co-host, Hilary, have interviewed so far is Ed Asner. For more information visit their website at www.thescarlettolive.com