Guilty Pleasures

Posted on November 21, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Ramblings, Reviews | Tags: , , , , |

Everyone has it. That one film they never admit to liking in public.  When asked to list your top 10 films, it’s not on there, despite the fact you’d happily watch it on a loop for a week.  It’s time to get it out in the open, and my guilty pleasure film is Free Willy.

I’ve loved orca whales for so long I can’t remember if I love the film because of the whale or if it’s the other way around. What I do know is that even though there is nothing that special about it, Free Willy makes me happy.  It’s the perfect film to watch on a wet afternoon or when you’re half asleep, and it never fails to cheer me up.  Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of my childhood, or because I still kind of wish I had a pet whale too.  All I know is that when those opening shots of the whale pod come on screen and that simple harmonica theme starts playing I’m hooked.

It might not feature among the greatest films of our time, but in fairness Free Willy does have a lot going for it.  While the idea of an angry disadvantaged child finding something to relate to in an equally messed up animal isn’t unique (I’d draw comparisons with Kes if I was less afraid of the ensuing outrage ) it’s done really well in Free Willy; not making a big deal out of the fact that Jesse has no family while at the same time using it as the device for why the pair understand each other.  Of course, a lot of why the film is successful is that orca whales really are beautiful (take that Flipper) but I reckon you’ve got to hand it to 13 year old Jason James Richter for what is a remarkably strong performance in such a young actor.  Pretty much the whole film sits on is shoulders and he carries it effortlessly.  Oh, and any film that can make Michael Madsen seem friendly has to get bonus points.

So there you go. I’ve admitted it.  Now it’s your turn.

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10 Responses to “Guilty Pleasures”

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Much of my taste in crappiness tends to lean towards Bruckheimer-produced Blow-em-Ups. However, I did do a top five of my favorite guilty pleasures. Give it a look if you want…

http://mcneilmatinee.blogspot.com/2008/08/modern-guilt.html

I defintely love films where things explode, but I wouldnt count that as a guilty pleasure, they’re just cool 😛
Shockingly I haven’t seen any of your guilty pleasure films. That’s my bad.

You aren’t really missing much, so please don’t run out and grab them on my accord. Great opost though – keep up the good work!

I have to say I have never actually seen Free Willy. I have been in a room when it has been on so have seen bits of it but never been compelled to watch it. I started work on a guilty pleasure article a few weeks ago and never went ahead with it as Ross v Ross got in first and stole my thunder.

Hi Katie, I love orca whale too, hmmm, perhaps I do have to check out Free Willy. Funny how ‘guilty pleasure’ posts are suddenly popping up in the blogosphere, but this topic will never get old as we all have ’em. Mine usually comprised of blow-em-up stuff like Madhatter mentioned (i.e. Face/Off, Die Hard 3), or those involving my fave Scot. I featured one of ’em earlier this month: http://wp.me/pxXPC-u0

Fandango, I’d love to read your guilty-pleasure post!

I’ll post it one day!

haha, thats funny Fandango, cos one of our guys was about to write a top ten music moments in film the other week until we spotted yours
stupid movie bloggers… man, they suck.

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for lack of replies I’ve been away again, but I’m back now and I’ll hopefully be blogging a bit mroe regularly.
Right then…

Andy: You haven’t seen Free Willy?! I order you to go and rent it right now 😛

I haven’t yet read the Ross’s guilty pleasures. I’ll be heading that way soon.

Rtm: See, as I said to MadHatter, I have absolutely no guilt about loving blow ’em up movies.

Let’s all pick a topic and blog it at once, that way we wont have to argue 😛

Free Willy, I’m guilty too! I’m 19 years old and I’ve seen a lot of movies, appreciate a lot of movies, but somehow Free Willy never lost its magic to me.
It’s my childhood. It reminds me of the days I was a kid and dreamed of having my own Willy. I remember me crying my eyes out at the end, every single time.
And I still love to watch it now and then, and it always makes me happy like I never grew up.

Hey thanks for stopping by, welcome to STRM!

All of those reasons are exactly why I still love Free Willy.


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