Film: Guilty Pleasures

Thursday September 27, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Do YOU read romance novels? Did you know that every four seconds a romance novel published by Harlequin or its British counterpart, Mills & Boon, is sold somewhere in the world? The genre is certainly a gigantic industry, but is it the oddball, sideshow-to-real-literature that it is often portrayed to be?

Julie Moggan's delightful 2010 documentary takes an amusing and touching look at this global phenomenon. Guilty Pleasures portrays five romance devotees who must, ultimately, find their dreams in the real world. Ironies abound in the contrasts between the everyday lives of the books' readers and the fantasy worlds that offer them escape. This 60-minute film (which is not rated), recently seen on PBS, was an Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

The film presents a surprising cultural diversity: Japanese housewife Hiroko, who feels something lacking in her comfortable life; Shumita, an Indian woman who is separated from her husband; Shirley, English mother of three, who wants to spice up her marriage; Prolific English Mills & Boon romance author Gill Sanderson; and Stephen, the incredibly handsome and well-built American model featured on more than 200 Harlequin/Mills & Boon book covers.

Guilty Pleasures is a delightful and touching discovery of the depths of human emotion in what may at first seem the cultural shallows. This event is a collaboration with POV, PBS' award-winning nonfiction film series -