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Guilty Pleasures

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Discuss Media's Role in our Fantasies

  • Analyze covers of romance novels. What are their messages? What stereotypes do they reinforce? Who is the target audience and how do you know? Talk about what you learned from seeing the photo shoot in the film and discuss the ways in which media shape the content of our fantasies.

  • Convene a book club. Read and discuss a romance novel. Then watch and discuss the film. Follow that by reading and discussing another romance novel and note any differences in the post-viewing reading experience.

  • Using Stephen's board as an example, create your own vision board. Share it with people who can help transform your visions into reality.

Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

Every four seconds a romance novel published by Harlequin or its British counterpart, Mills & Boon, is sold somewhere in the world. Julie Moggan’s Guilty Pleasures takes this global phenomenon seriously, even as it provides an amusing and touching glimpse into the lives of five romance devotees. Ironies abound in the contrasts between the real lives of the books’ readers and the fantasy world to which they escape. At its core, Guilty Pleasures explores a universal human struggle to reconcile inner fantasy with the tragicomic truths of real-life relationships. It reminds viewers that everyone must ultimately find their dreams in the real world.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will watch documentary video clips that provide a case study of a woman who reads modern-day romance novels and tries to recreate a fantasy from a novel in her real life. Students will break down and analyze her behavior, and then use a psychological theory of motivation to explain it.

Reading List

Delve Deeper

This multi-media resource list, compiled by Erica Bess, Susan Conlon and Martha Perry Liu of Princeton Public Library, provides a range of perspectives on the issues raised by the POV documentary Guilty Pleasures.

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