Human beings all have an irrational side. It’s what makes us so unpredictable, fun, and unique. Our sometimes illogical nature is often most evident in our likes and dislikes. When it comes to films, my tastes tend to fall in with the majority with a handful of loves and hates on either end of the bell curve that deviate from the norm. Then, there are those movies that defy logic. The cheesy ones I intellectually recognize are not good but I can’t help watching over and over again. Coyote Ugly definitely falls into this category. I can watch those coyotes dance on the bar to the strains of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” repeatedly and not tire of it. In fact, each time it makes me happy in a completely, goofy way and maybe that’s the appeal. Coyote Ugly lines up the clichés like school kids on a fire drill.  Jersey girl moves to big, bad city to become a singer (fill in big dream of choice: dancer, movie star, television personality) gets rejected, takes lowly job to pay bills, meets impossibly cute and wonderful guy who supports her dream, loses sight of her dream, loses guy, regains her focus, gets guy back, makes dream come true, and lives happily ever after. Don’t I wish? Don’t you? A happy, shiny future set to a catchy, top 40 soundtrack.

The Cutting Edge is another cheesy favorite. It stars D.B. Sweeny as an Olympic hockey player and Moira Kelly as a pairs figure skater thrown together for one last shot at Olympic Gold. I love the obligatory getting to know you/falling in love fight scenes while the two skate to overwrought music. Because nothing points to compatibility more than two people who have nothing in common except for constant bickering.

What is the appeal of the cheesy movie? It’s like the potato chip of entertainment. You know it has no nutritional value but it goes down easy and before you know it, you’ve washed it all down to the end credits. There are certain ingredients that make these guilty pleasures sneakily addictive. The actors are often not only likeable but also talented. Coyote Ugly scores John Goodman as the gruff but loving, blue-collar dad, Maria Bello as the outwardly tough boss with a marshmallow center, Tyra Banks and Bridget Moynahan as bitchy eye candy, and the charming Piper Perabo as Violet, the destined-to-be-a-star ingénue. How can you not like a girl who can set up her keyboards on a New York City roof and instantly create a hit? Even more impressive, she does it without the neighbors trying to throw her off the side of the building.

The inevitable romance and predictable happy outcome despite the obstacles thrown in the path of the fated to be together lovers, which back on planet earth would actually tear most couples apart, is a huge part of what makes these movies so appealing.

The ultimate, underlying attraction of the cheesy movie is that it doesn’t resemble anything that comes close to real life.  Sure, the characters struggle but their adversity is portrayed as fun. Violet joins her perfect guy as he works an early morning shift at the Fulton Fish Market, the last thing any flesh and blood woman would want to do and has what appears to be as good a time as if she were shopping at a half-off designer shoe sale.

In the world of the cheesy movie you know that love always work out, adversity is overcome, and the future looks bright. What’s your favorite cheesy movie?

One Response to “Big Screen Cheese”

  1. LOVE The Cutting Edge! I’d add in ‘Ballroom Dancing’ too. Is that the name of it? The Australian one about the ballroom dancing competition? Same obligatory romance but sooo good! And funny too.

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