I love the concept of indulging in guilty pleasures.

Something you love doing, but know you shouldn’t, its illicitness making it all the more enjoyable.

The other day I indulged in one such pleasure.

I went to the movies on my day off when I was supposed to be writing.

Guilty Pleasures

Having a part-time job, the days I have off are precious and normally nothing is allowed to take precedence over my writing.

But I wanted to see this particular movie.

My partner wasn’t interested in seeing it, and I didn’t want to wait until it came out on DVD.

So I went to the Wednesday 2pm session.

I got some writing done in the morning, so I guess on the scale of hedonism my guilty pleasure was only a half-hearted effort.

The movie was Philomena, based on the true story of Philomena Lee, a retired Irish nurse.

Philomena enlists the aid of a world-weary journalist to help her search for her son, whom she was forced to give up for adoption when he was 3 years old.

It’s an excellent film with pitch-perfect acting from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

Here's a preview trailer.

The Pleasure Of Escapism

I love the whole movie experience.

The  escapism into another world, the immediacy of it and the total absorption of the senses.

And if you’re eating popcorn at the same time, all five senses are catered for.  

If I wanted to rationalise my guilty pleasure I could say I was studying my craft, which I was.

Writers can learn so much from movies, as most movie scripts follow the classic narrative structure of storytelling.

For example, setup, confrontation and resolution.

As I do when I read books, I find myself analysing all the components of the movie.

What parts of the narrative worked, what parts didn’t, if the characters rang true, and so on.

Some people believe that analysing a book or movie while you’re reading/watching it spoils the enjoyment.

But I’ve found that it actually enhances it.

The fact that I can appreciate the skill involved adds to the pleasure, especially as I can use the knowledge I’m gaining in my own writing.

So, where were we?  Oh yes, guilty pleasures.

What’s yours?  

Diffuse some of your guilt by sharing it here.

  • My guilty pleasure is popcorn. Enormous bowls of it – hot oil popped, with grated parmesan cheese, salt, and a light dusting of garlic powder. I put it in a massive lidded plastic bowl, shake to coat evenly, and then sit down with either a huge glass of cold milk or a hard cider on ice and watch one of my favorite movies while munching away. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one food – you guessed it.

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