Drama

The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies  

Alan Smithee
516 votes 94 voters 2.8k views 24 items

List Rules Vote up the best guilty pleasure drama movies.

While critical acclaim often dictates movie viewing preferences, sometimes you aren't looking for an intellectual challenge when you settle in for a night in front of the TV. In such scenarios, guilty pleasure drama movies can help you turn your mind off. While you may be ashamed to admit you love these corny films, they're often exactly what you need despite their many, many flaws. 

Guilty pleasure dramas are often big hits despite lackluster reviews, and there's a good reason for that. Sure, there's a time and a place for Citizen Kane or Casablanca, but sometimes you'd rather engage with the likes of Road House or Dirty Dancing. If you're exhausted from a long week, sometimes you just want something fun and easyThese cheesy dramas may be full of bad acting and dumb dialogue, but they cater to base level emotions well enough to get some cathartic tears flowing with minimal effort. If you're in need of such an indulgence, peruse this list of some of the cheesiest films of all time to find the best movie for your viewing pleasure! 

list ordered by
1
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Released: 1987

Directed by: Emile Ardolino

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as ...more

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2
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
John Cusack, Molly Ringwald, Joan Cusack

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Hughes

Sixteen Candles is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy film starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It was written and directed by John Hughes.

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#64 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #54 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #169 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

3
The Bodyguard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner, Debbie Reynolds

Released: 1992

Directed by: Mick Jackson

The Bodyguard is a 1992 American romantic thriller film directed by Mick Jackson, written by Lawrence Kasdan, and starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Costner stars as a former Secret ...more

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#133 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #80 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedfeaturing Every Song in The Bodyguard, Ranked by Singability

4
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow

Released: 1984

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren McCormack, an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of ...more

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#1,822 of 3,646 The Greatest Albums of All-Time #18 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #74 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

5
Cruel Intentions is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tara Reid

Released: 1999

Directed by: Roger Kumble

Cruel Intentions is a 1999 American drama film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair. The film is an adaptation of Les Liaisons dangereuses, written ...more

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6
The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner

Released: 2004

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a ...more

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#306 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #23 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cryfeaturing These Quotes From 'The Notebook' Will Have You In Tears

7
St. Elmo's Fire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson

Released: 1985

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

St. Elmo's Fire is a 1985 American coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film, starring Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Mare ...more

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#208 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #190 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #321 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

8
Flashdance is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Jennifer Beals, Lee Ving, Michael Nouri

Released: 1983

Directed by: Adrian Lyne

Flashdance is a 1983 American romantic drama film directed by Adrian Lyne. It was the first collaboration of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and the presentation of some sequences in ...more

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#61 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #176 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Beaches is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Bette Midler, Mayim Bialik, Barbara Hershey

Released: 1988

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Beaches, is a 1988 American comedy-drama film adapted by Mary Agnes Donoghue from the Iris Rainer Dart novel of the same name. It was directed by Garry Marshall, and stars Bette Midler, Barbara ...more

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#223 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #206 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #436 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
The Lucky One is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner

Released: 2012

Directed by: Scott Hicks

The Lucky One is a 2012 romantic drama film directed by Scott Hicks and released April 2012. It is an adaptation of the 2008 novel of the same name, by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Zac Efron ...more

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11
The Pursuit of Happyness... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

Released: 2006

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more

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#16 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #30 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cryfeaturing The Sad Tale Of Chris Gardner, The Man From The Pursuit of Happyness

12
Pay It Forward is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mimi Leder

Pay It Forward is a 2000 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was directed by Mimi Leder and written by Leslie Dixon. It stars Haley Joel Osment as ...more

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#49 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #418 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #19 of 37 The Best Single Mom Movies

13
Riding in Cars with Boys... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Riding in Cars with Boys
Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Brittany Murphy

Released: 2001

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Riding in Cars with Boys is a 2001 film based on the autobiography of the same name by Beverly Donofrio about a woman who overcame difficulties, including being a teen mother, and who later ...more
14
The Bucket List is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes

Released: 2007

Directed by: Rob Reiner

The Bucket List is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner, produced by Reiner, Alan Greisman, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Jack Nicholson ...more

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15
Forever Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood

Released: 1992

Directed by: Steve Miner

Forever Young is a 1992 film with elements of romance, drama and science fiction, directed by Steve Miner, starring Mel Gibson, Elijah Wood and Jamie Lee Curtis. The screenplay was written by J. ...more
16
Flicka is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Maria Bello, Tim McGraw, Armie Hammer

Released: 2006

Directed by: Michael Mayer

Flicka is a 2006 film loosely based on the 1941 children's novel My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara. The film is directed by Michael Mayer. The novel has previously been made into a film in 1943, ...more

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17
For Keeps is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Pauly Shore, Molly Ringwald, Conchata Ferrell

Released: 1988

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

For Keeps is a 1988 American coming of age comedy drama film starring Molly Ringwald and Randall Batinkoff as Darcy and Stan, two high school seniors in love. Complications ensue when Darcy ...more
18
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li

Released: 2005

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Memoirs of a Geisha is a 2005 American epic film adaptation of the novel of the same name, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Spyglass Entertainment and by Douglas Wick's ...more

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19
Georgia Rule is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Georgia Rule
Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman

Released: 2007

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Georgia Rule is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Garry Marshall and starring Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Huffman, Dermot Mulroney, Garrett Hedlund, and Cary Elwes. The ...more

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20
Mona Lisa Smile is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Released: 2003

Directed by: Mike Newell

Mona Lisa Smile is a 2003 drama film produced by Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures in association with Red Om Films Productions, directed by Mike Newell, written by Lawrence Konner and ...more

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21
Sweet November is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, Lauren Graham

Released: 2001

Directed by: Pat O'Connor

Sweet November is a 2001 romantic drama film starring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, reuniting the actors after their previous appearance as husband and wife in The Devil's Advocate. The film ...more

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22
Reign Over Me is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Adam Sandler, Liv Tyler, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mike Binder

In Reign Over Me, two former college roommates Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) and Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) run into each other years later and rekindle their friendship. Charlie, who recently ...more

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23
Lost and Delirious is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Mischa Barton, Emily VanCamp, Piper Perabo

Released: 2001

Directed by: Léa Pool

Lost and Delirious is a 2001 Canadian drama film directed by Léa Pool and loosely based on the novel The Wives of Bath by Susan Swan. Lost and Delirious is filmed from the perspective of ...more

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24
Center Stage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Drama Movies
Zoe Saldana, Amanda Schull, Donna Murphy

Released: 2000

Directed by: Nicholas Hytner

Center Stage is a 2000 American teen drama film, directed by Nicholas Hytner, about a group of young dancers from various backgrounds who enroll at the fictitious American Ballet Academy in New ...more

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