Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tip#58: Indulge In A Guilty Pleasure, Part 1 - Adam Sandler - The Pacifer - Borat

There are some movies that we secretly enjoy because they energize us in some way. It's important to admit and identify the value of these guilty pleasures to, at least, ourselves.

The Pacifier (2005)

The action comedy film, The Pacifier with Vin Diesel is about a special agent assigned to babysitting duties to five kids. I'm surprised to admit that I had a great time. And yet a part of me was saying I wasn't suppose to be enjoying this light family movie. It felt like I was indulging in a guilty pleasure.

It was fun to see Diesel apply his tough guy persona into this movie from Disney. I've already enjoyed his non-tradition hero roles in other movies like Pitch Black,Chronicles of Riddickand Triple Xbut this film was different. This was a fish out of water story where he plays a Navy SEAL assigned to watch over a family of kids. So seeing him learn how to change a baby's diaper for the first time was hilarious.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Another film that felt like a guilty pleasure was the mockumentary comedy, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. You may have heard some of the press and controversy about this Golden Globe award winning mockumentary. I was already aware of the news and yet when I finally saw it I didn't know how audacious and over the top this film truly was. You have to see this movie to believe it! I now wished I had watched it with an audience because I'd love to have seen if people wanted to laugh at certain scenes but held themselves back.

This unconventional comedy is generated from a fictional tv journalist named Borat,played by Sacha Baron Cohen, who comes to the US from Kazakhstan to interview people across America about America. What was both humorous and riveting was that the interviewed people were real individuals who thought they were being documented with a real journalist from Kazakhstan. On first viewing I was squirming more in my seat at seeing the reactions of people after Boratsays or does something so incredibly offensive and yet delivered so innocently.

I was compelled to watch Boratagain immediately afterwards to study more of the reactions and how revealing human nature is in response to Borat'sbeliefs and opinions. It was like having a delicious chocolate sundae right after the first. And all the while I just allowed myself to laugh.

The multiple insights of what this movie mirrored about society and how we treat our differences were hidden gifts of learning. Under all the politically incorrect crudity were keys to better understand ourselves. This made me think of other invaluable insights people miss because they shy away from areas of interest out of fear of what others would think. The term guilty pleasures came to mind so I went online to find a definition and discovered these personalized ones…

1) "A guilty pleasure is defined as something you enjoy, even though you know it's bad for you."
Stephen Wong

2) "A Guilty Pleasure is defined as something that would ruin us if our friends knew about it."

3) "Guilty pleasure: Something that you enjoy that you think you shouldn't enjoy, either for personal reasons or because of the possibility of other's reactions."

At its core, I believe exploring a 'guilty pleasure' is about building your self-confidence and self-esteem. It's about trusting in yourself and acting on impulse. It's about fully knowing what you like and love and not having to justify it to anyone. If someone doesn't get your interests accept that they just don't get it.

Think about how many people live in your city or town. Someone somewhere will understand your interests. Someone out there is already sharing your guilty pleasure in the movies you secretly love, the books you enjoy reading or heroes you admire.

Adam Sandler Is A Movie Hero

I used to be embarrassed to mention that I loved Adam Sandler movies because of the gross, toilet humour he's known for. Read more on Tip#46: What Makes Your Laugh? But his movies have a lot of heart too. Just listen to the touching songs Sandler wrote and performed in The Wedding Singerand 50 First Datesand you'll understand what I mean.

When I finally found the courage to admit to others that I loved Sandler movies I was surprised to make instant connections with strangers who were quick to express a shared enthusiasm. It's as if they'd been waiting for someone else to admit they too shared a guilty pleasure.

So don't hold back your impulses for enjoying certain movies. Don't worry about what others might think of your taste in things. Stand your ground on what you feel strongly about and you'll build your self-esteem. Doing so will also help connect you with more meaningful relationships that are out there.

All movies have beneficial messages and you could be learning something new about yourself. There is great value in anything that interests you. So indulge in your 'guilty pleasures' if it makes you feel good. Feeling good is a good thing!

"To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
The Matrix

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the guilty pleasure piece. Guilty pleasures... a topic not talked about very often, but very important!