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Critics Indulge in POV’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’

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Tonight, July 12, 2012, Julie Moggan’s Guilty Pleasures premieres on POV (check your local listings). The documentary is an amusing and touching look at the immensely popular romance genre that tracks five romance devotees and their at-times escapist relationships with romance novels.

Critics have lauded the film for the balance it strikes between humor and profundity:

The film is beautifully constructed. There are no talking heads, no ‘expert’ analyses of the genre and no deconstructions of the essentially essentialist nature of the storylines. Instead the film is plotted — cleverly and covertly — like a classic romance novel. Connection, conflict and disappointment are all there. As, in one form or another, is love.
Jayne Rodgers, TQS Magazine

Moggan’s achievement [is] to give her film real emotional depth, without entirely depriving you of the pleasures of the mismatch between dream and reality.
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

[Roger is] one of the first of the film’s several charming and touching surprises… its subjects [are] treated with affection and respect with nary a trace of snark or ridicule.
Donald Liebenson, Chicago Sun-Times

Tender and hilarious… Moggan expertly weaves their stories together, portraying even their flaws with grace and dignity. The film may be about fictional romance, but the characters in Guilty Pleasures prove that the quest for love is just as powerful — and much funnier — in real life.
Josh Stillman, The Chronicle

Guilty Pleasures… is a movie about fantasy: creating it, living in it, and learning its limitations. Though ostensibly about Harlequin romance novels, very little of the film is about the books directly… for the most part the film focuses on five people whose lives are somehow informed by these books — either as writers, readers, or models — and examines how their vision of love and life has been affected (often negatively) by the stories they read and create.
Tom Elrod, Slant Magazine

Witty, provocative… Guilty Pleasures is never sentimental, only sweet.
Daniel Wakefield, DigYorkshire.com

Tune in to PBS tonight to watch Guilty Pleasures, or stream it online starting Friday, July 13, 2012.

Then visit us on Twitter @povdocs, Facebook, or our companion site for Guilty Pleasures to tell us what you thought of the film.

Guilty Pleasures airs tonight at 10 PM on PBS stations. Keep up with all of this season’s films at http://pbs.org/pov, on Twitter @povdocs or on Facebook.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.