Pick of the Day

Time Out

The Observer

The Guardian

The Times

The Mail on Sunday

 

Pick of the Week

The Independent on Sunday

The Mail on Saturday

Radio Times

Inside TV

Total TV Guide

 

Awards & Honours

Nominated for a Grierson Award – Most Entertaining Documentary 2011

Winner of the Best Feature Documentary Award – Sidewalk FF 2011

Winner of the Special Jury Award – Mendocino FF 2011

Winner of the Jury Award – Nantes British FF 2011

‘Film of the Month’ Danish Film Institute, March 2011

Winner of ‘Best Pitch’ Britdoc 08

 

Official Selection

London BFI Film Festival 2010 – New British Cinema

IDFA 2010 – In competition for Best First Appearance

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2011 – Opening Night Film

ZagrebDox 2011 – Official Competition

Krakow Film Festival 2011

Goteburg International Film Festival 2011

Guadalajara International Film Festival (Mexico) 2012

Norweigan Documentary FF 2011

EIDF (Korea) – In competition 2011

Nantes British Film Festival 2011

Mendocino Film Festival 2011

Sidewalk Film Festival 2011

Vilnius Documentary Film Festival (2011)

Naples International FF 2011

Salem FF March 2012

Sebastopol FF March 2012

Planete Doc FF (Warsaw) May 2012

Rocky Mountain Women’s FF 2011

Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011

Open City Film Festival 2011

DocVille 2011

 

International sales

POV/PBS, CBC, SBS, VPRO, DRTV, NRK, YLE, SVT, DBS, Sky NZ

 

PRESS

'This lovely documentary looks at the phenomenon from both sides...Sharply edited, without mocking its subjects, this is a film that acknowledges the power of these grown-up fairy tales'. The Sunday Times, Victoria Segal, April 2011

 

‘The skill behind this cheeky and charming doc is that it delves into the stories of those who have built their lives around the raunchy page turners’. The Times, Alex Hardy, April 2011

 

‘Funny, grim and unexpectedly revealing’. Time Out, Phil Harrison. April 2011

 

‘Guilty Pleasures is a delightful and touching discovery of the depths of human emotion in what may at first seem the cultural shallows’. POV, PBS America, July 2012

 

'The film avoids belittling its characters, instead giving a warm, funny and smart approach to the universally human search for true love’. Danish Film Institute, April 2011

 

‘Julie Moggan's documentary…..has blossomed into an affectionate, witty, perceptive celebration of all the lovers in the world.’ London BFI Film Festival, Michael Hayden, 2010

 

‘This is an affectionate, uplifting and often laugh-out-loud celebration of the search for true love.’ Birds Eye View Film Festival, Gali Gold, 2011

 

'The film is an awesomely colorful, musical celebration of the desires and realities of the people it portrays. In examining the collision of fantasy and day-to-day life, the film offers a rare combination of levity and heart and serves as a reminder that documentary can be humorous while heartfelt’. Full Frame Documentary Festival, Sadie Tillery, 2011

 

‘Moggan's achievement was to give her film real emotional depth, without entirely depriving you of the pleasures of the mismatch between dream and reality. What Moggan showed you wasn't a revelation exactly – that real love will always depart from the Mills & Boon boilerplate that "Gill" was committed to. But it was very touching and it did supply some unexpected uplift. Hiroko's husband overcame his defects as a dance partner to waltz her to a victory in a local competition – a distinctly underwhelming romantic hero by Mills & Boon standards, but a real one nonetheless. And Phil, we learned, suffered from crippling depressions and had effectively been saved from suicide by Shirley's tender understanding that perfection only exists between the covers of a cheap paperback. Moggan supplied them with a classic "in-love" montage at the end, larking on the beach at Blackpool as The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" played on the soundtrack (Phil's choice). In a lesser film it would have been a sarcastic moment. Here, it was uncloyingly sweet – a happy ending that wasn't in denial about how fragile happiness can be’.

The Independent, Tom Sutcliffe, April 2011

 

‘A well-nourished documentary shot in the UK, US, India and Japan, Guilty Pleasures is as pleasing if ultimately as fanciful as the Harlequin Mills & Boon romances it part-documents, part-mirrors. Moggan’s…screenplay is gentle and smart…it doesn’t betray or belittle…They (the characters) are all looking for a happy ending, and so, it becomes clear, is Moggan’s documentary. And she demonstrates a capable set of hands as she guides her interviewees towards Guilty Pleasures’ fulfillment. With funding from Channel 4 in the UK alongside Norwegian and Finnish backers, Guilty Pleasures, which premiered at the London Film Festival, is a handsome affair for a TV doc’. Screen Daily, Fionnuala Halligan, October 2010

 

‘Julie Moggan’s vibrant feature traces the experiences of five individuals from around the world marked by their particular connections to Mills & Boon romance novels. We meet a successful romance novelist whose female pseudonym produces countless bestsellers, a male cover model in search of a soul mate and three women enraptured by paperback romances, whose perceptions of relationships are entangled with the scripted portrayal of courtship. As they navigate love in a modern age, we are captivated by their endearing and all-too-human journey'. IndieWIRE, Michelle Koh, Feb 2011

 

‘Bosoms heave but hearts are broken in "Guilty Pleasures," an engaging if diffuse doco that explores the world of Harlequin/Mills & Boon romance novels. Feature debut for helmer Julie Moggan interviews authors, regular readers in three different countries and a male model who regularly poses for the covers, revealing the gaps between the books' fantasies and real life without sneering at the fans themselves. Pic's warmth will bring smiles to viewers…’. Variety, Leslie Felperin, November 2010

 

''This is a film about loneliness and isolation as well as the pleasures of bodiceripping fiction…she (Moggan) captures moments in which the lines between Mills & Boon-style fantasy and real life begin to blur. More often, though, the gulf between the magical, escapist world of the novels and that of everyday existence simply can’t be bridged. You notice the number of times the film shows kettles boiling or characters doing the cooking and washing up. The novels may be all chocolate and champagne but the reality for their readers is more likely to be fried eggs and Brillo pads. As for Moggan herself, even if her own Mills & Boon habit hasn’t outlasted the production of Guilty pleasures, at least she now understands perfectly why women continue to consume the books in such huge numbers.’ The Independent, Geoffrey MacNab, March 2011

 

‘One of the few selected documentaries for this year’s Birds Eye View Film Festival could not stand out more in the category this year. Celebrating 100 years of Mills and Boon… Brit filmmaker Julie Moggan summarises two years of work in a tribute to the source material that makes women across the globe hot under the collar. It’s incredibly well executed throughout and brings out through the material the sort of humour that will have a smile plastered to your face for 90% of the film, stopping only when Moggan asks you to. You find yourself connecting and sympathising with these people even if at first you’re reluctant to and by the end of the film you will be cheering their accomplishments in ways that Hollywood simply can’t muster. A fantastic new filmmaker, Moggan never misses an opportunity to highlight irony, be it in the choice of soundtrack or the use of framing. She also delights in the humour of these people’s everyday choices, a perfect example being our Northern reader’s husband picking out a Valentine’s Day card with the incredible approach “Straight in, straight out, just like the SAS. It’s the sort of stuff that can’t be written, bound by a common theme that is recognised by thousands of people. It’s a tribute, but on a broader scale, celebrating the effects of old fashioned romance, or its lack of, as opposed to the success of the Mills and Boon name. Ludicrously funny, unfaltering and at times surprisingly deep, this is one of the best documentaries in years and brings a new light to a franchise commonly dismissed as churned out lit'. Film Juice, Beth Webb

 

‘Somewhere in the world, a Mills & Boon book is bought every four seconds. This witty, provocative documentary is equally deserving of such a wide, and wide-ranging, audience. Never mind how the books are processed and printed, how many synonyms there are for ‘manhood’, or which series is the raunchiest (‘Blaze’, since you’re asking) - this film focuses on the real-life people behind the bookshelves, not the bed sheets. Guilty Pleasures is never sentimental, only sweet’. DIGyorkshire.com, Daniel Wakefield, March 2011

 

‘This lovely, lighthearted doc is about the romance-novel industry….Obviously the contrast is between reality and the escapism offered in the books but it is very nicely done.’ Globe & Mail, Canada, John Doyle, Feb 2011

 

‘Moggan plots a simple but enjoyable path between her subjects, from their Mills to their Boons and back again…. Moggan’s film is a feel-good recognition that nobody’s perfect, despite the ideal lifestyles we’re marketed. With mutual support, equality and some imagination you’ve got a good shot at happiness. No matter how often or simply it’s written, who doesn’t want that?’. Eye For Film, Paul Griffiths 2011

 

‘Beautifully constructed. There are no talking heads, no ‘expert’ analysis 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, confilct and disappointment are all there. As, in one form or another, is love’. TQS Magazine, Jayne Rodgers 2011

 

‘Most people don’t stop and think about the ramifications of reading romance novels. Director Julie Moggan thought about it for a year straight. The resulting documentary, Guilty Pleasures, is a tender and hilarious exploration of Harlequin books and their effects on the lives of everyone from the writers to the readers to the scantily-clad cover models —the film offers a candid look at the divide between storybook romance and realities that are not quite so glamorous…. 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’. The Chronicle, Josh Stillman, April 2011

 

‘…even today, someone, somewhere, buys a Mills & Boon every four seconds. This startling statistic is thrown out early in Guilty Pleasures, a fascinating, slightly unsettling documentary by Julie Moggan on the world-conquering romantic bonkbuster colossus…The people Moggan meets who are involved in making the books are as entrancing as the women who read them....Moggan’s documentary becomes far more than a film on the ins and outs of bodice-ripping fiction: it’s a picture of dissatisfaction and loneliness, less about grinding, more about the grind’. Herald Scotland, Damien Love, April 2011