50 Shades of Grey spanked, choked and seduced its way to being the top grossing movie for an opening weekend in February in American history. Although that sounds almost exciting enough to take a peek, for purely investigative sake, of course, I don’t think it will be seducing my interest anytime soon.
I know you may be scratching your head at this point thinking, “What?! A middle-aged woman such as yourself..uh hum..didn’t camp out the night before Valentine’s day to get a good seat….far away from everyone else….in the dark…by a loud machine?” Nope. And I feel dirty even just writing that to be honest.
Here’s the thing. I don’t watch a movie more than once. If I have to sit through any film for a second time, I will complain like there's a giant splinter in my rear. Not a pleasant thought, right? Well, it’s not pleasant sitting with me watching a movie twice…..and I just realized I digressed.
Back to my response. I would always answer, “Why in the world would you read these books three times?” And all I ever got back was some stupid, sly smile, combined with, “Oh you would know if you read it” remarks as if that would encourage me to pick up a book…HA, I don’t read books! If I can’t download it, I won’t waste my time finding a shelf for it to grow dust bunnies on.
So, since I have not read the books, nor seen the movie, I can only tell you what my reasons are based upon my observations of those who have read the book and/or saw the movie, reviews that I have read (yeah, I can download them) and my own personal opinion on films such as this.
First, I’d like to recognize an article that had to be the funniest review of this movie, EVER by Michael Tiberi of Elite Daily. Tiberi wrote, “I Watched Porn with 100 Strangers This Weekend and It Was Terrible.”
Before you go running off to see what Michael wrote, and I guarantee it’s a hoot, I will commend the chap for doling out $13 to see this film. He, and hundreds, if not thousands, of other brave men held their head high, and walked into the theater knowing that as soon as Christian did something remotely romantic, or shared an innermost secret that only men who are emotionally stable and in touch with their feminine side could utter, all the women near that man would give him a sneaky little glance of disapproval. “Hmm, you wouldn’t do that would you tough guy? MY husband ain’t even here because he can’t take the heat!”
Yep. Those are the thoughts of the middle-aged women sitting next to every man in there. But, as long as he held his partner’s hand throughout the movie, didn’t get up during super emotional moments to go pee, or peruse Facebook because he was bored out of his mind…he should have been okay and more than likely complimented as he walked out for being such an amazing and supportive man.
Now why would I feel this way about the men put through this horror? After all, I can't imagine that they chose to be there. Especially because this is not a man’s movie. Period. What we have here is what I like to call “mommy porn.” Simply put, this is the kind of film that no man should be unwillingly dragged to, and more importantly, if you’re into this kind of thing, keep it to yourself and enjoy it as yours alone.
I don’t really have to go into what the movie is about, you all know already. So cutting to the chase, this is why I just don’t find any interest in seeing it..yes at 40..and yes, still no interest. Like I said in the sentence above, I am 40. If you can tell me how a 27 year old Christian Grey is attractive to any woman over 30 without me throwing up in my mouth, I will retract my statement…not likely though.
Ok, so here is how I see this. Being “mommy porn,” that means that women presumably my age and older are fascinated and intrigued by a culture, a society if you will, that entertains some of their darkest desires without them having to fear condemnation. Interestingly enough, the highest ticket sales to this movie were in the South.
According to News Channel 3 in Memphis via the Washington Post, “A state-by-state breakdown shows moviegoers in Mississippi and Arkansas were first and second, while Tennessee had the tenth most eager number of people wanting to see the movie in theaters.” And even more interesting is that some Christian bookstores in these areas are completely sold out of 50 Shades of Grey paraphernalia. Yes, you read that correctly.
Are you starting to get what I am saying here? These books, and this movie, are essentially outlets, Harlequin novels if you will, for those women who cannot express their darkest desires within themselves or in their own relationships. In the South especially, thoughts or suggestions of “questionable sexual acts” are highly frowned upon. A woman in the church could be criticized mocked and unfriended (oh no!!!) if she were seen to be “slutty on the inside.” However, reading innocent novels and watching a movie following a young woman swept away by a handsome millionaire (and his sexual desires) is perfectly acceptable and frequently gives way to the ladies chatting about it as if they were only describing it for the sake of the other women who have not read or seen it. Perfectly safe and normal….. ok. And “mommy porn” is born.
The problem is while some women can rationalize that this is fictional fantasy and can get their jollies on and go on about their way, others sadly turn it into a quest for a real-life fantasy. With this comes all kinds of screwed up beliefs by young girls that being treated the way (I hear) Ana was treated is somehow sexy and alluring to men. It’s not. And if you have at least two brain cells you can easily figure that out as well.
If you have not heard already, USA today reported that a 19 year old college student was charged with sexual assault for trying out the ol’ BDSM moves that Christian Grey apparently made so enticing. Umm... I think when your girl says, “No, stop, I don’t like that!” it means she doesn’t like it…but maybe that’s just my opinion. Apparently even after he tied up her hands and legs, covered her mouth with a necktie and repeatedly hit her with a belt, she didn’t melt into his arms like Anastasia…wow who would have thought that would go horribly wrong? Sadly, too many people are too dumb to just watch the movie for what it is and not try to go out to do something ignorant.
Furthermore, to this kid’s defense, and I say that very hesitantly, where do you think he got this brilliant idea from? You think his buddies were like, “Hey did you know girls like being beaten and raped?” No, he more than likely heard girls his own age gushing over Christian Grey and how suave (ok 19 year olds don’t say suave) he is and how romantic the movie was, and how sexy he was being in control like that. That my friends, is the problem I have with these movies. If you are not satisfied in your own life and relationship you may veer too far off to the right and get rear ended…literally… by some tool who thinks you like it like that.
I was supposed to list 50 reasons why I won’t see this movie, right? I have certainly failed you there, but I hope I have given you at least one reason not to see it OR not to see it through rose-colored glasses if you do.