Film Fest 2011 - Guilty Pleasures
Director/Photography: Julie Moggan
Producer: Rachel Wexler
Editor: Claire Ferguson
Music: Stuart Earl
In English, Japanese and Hindi, with English subtitles
With: Shirley Davies, Phil Davies, Shumita Didi Singh, Sanjay Singh Sandhu, Honmo Hiroko, Honmo Seiich, Stephen Muzzonigro, Roger Sanderson, Gabriela Gonzalez
Festivals: London, Amsterdam Documentary 2010
There's a Mills & Boon romance novel sold every four
seconds. Julie Moggan's film investigates the fantasies of true
love and sexual fulfilment that they promote - and their bearing on
the love lives of a handful of their producers and consumers.
Disillusionment seems inevitable, but Moggan's approach is fond and
good-humoured. Prolific author Gill Sanderson turns out to be a
balding Yorkshireman named Roger - who assures us he'd never call a
hero Roger. Chiselled cover model Stephen may be deemed to be the
man women want but he's a paperback reader himself, a consumer of
self-help lit struggling earnestly to find his 'twin
Without ever condescending to their fancies, Moggan profiles three avid readers in considerable depth. There's Brit fan Shirley, Hiroko in Japan and, somewhat alarmingly, Shumita in Delhi, who has been texting her ex for the past five years while devouring stories about women who actually love the men they think they hate.
Ultimately Guilty Pleasures makes it affectingly clear that for some readers there's fortification in recognising - even repeatedly - that the perfect union with the perfect man occurs only in very affordable paperbacks. It's not that these women haven't noticed that real love is often complex and tough, as well as ultimately more nourishing - and definitely funnier. - BG
What do more than a million women a month find between the covers of Mills & Boon novels?