Is Secretary Just as Bad as Fifty Shades? Erika Moen On the Other Mr. Grey

Comments

1
I've been telling people this for over 10 years. The only reason this movie gets a pass is because its a much better movie than 50 Shades.
2
@1 There's also the fact that we're quick to jump on flaws in movies/literature we can't stand even as we can overlook glaring plot holes in movies we love.

That hypothetical movie I hated? How DARE they use a 1956 Cadillac in a scene OBVIOUSLY set in 1953! Stupid, lazy film-makers. But Indiana Jones apparently holding his breath while he clings to a Nazi U-Boat for days/weeks at a time? Oh come on, it's just a movie!
3
Neither movie is a 'how-to' or a documentary, right? Who cares if they follow the real-life strictures of the bdsm community? Are we going down the whole 'people are gonna emulate this so we better get up in arms' path?
4
Savage

Do you ever end one single day of your life without typing BDSM OR GLBQT?

5
A typewriter?! My god, this movie is old.
6
unpaid reader

keyboarding?
7
Secretary struck me as PG-13 lite BDSM.
8
The problem with 50 Shades, in my eyes, isn't that it got BDSM wrong, it's the multiple rape scenes, the stalking across state lines, you know, shit like that.

None of which happens in Secretary.

Erika Moen also wrote a review of 50 Shades and said it was like junk food, not good but occasionally hits the spot, so...I find her whole take on the issue really depressing. It's a book about rape and emotional abuse, there's nothing acceptable about it.
9
@8 wait, can't we have fiction about that involves rape and other nasty things? There's a ton of much more explicit rape fantasy literature out there in the word, should this stuff be relegated to non-mainstream venues? I, maybe naively, see 50 shades as rape (or at least abuse) fantasy 'porn' and don't really see much harm in people getting off on stuff they wouldn't want/do in real life
10
@3 & @9 Winner.

Yes, 50 Shades depicts a ton of rape and abuse and stuff. So fucking what, some people--a lot of people, apparently--have fantasies about rape and abuse. As long as they're grown up enough to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, dafuq is the big deal.
11
At least in mainstream film when they have vanilla sex they always include the important scene where they first talk about birth control and STDs and review everyone's expectations. It's weird that only in S&M movies is all the boundary setting and fine print left out.

Oh, wait just kidding. You never see that boring bullshit in a movie. They kiss and there's a cut to the sheets. It's kind of like action movies where you never see them having to reload in gun fights. Or pump gas or buy car insurance before car chases.

Except of course in really intelligent action movies like John Wick, where reloading your gun becomes not just a limitation to be overcome for the sake of verisimilitude, but a jumping off point for even more badass feats to goggle at. Just like declaring intentions and agreeing on limits before sex can be hot but you have to have a brain.
12
Has anyone raised the question if EL James ripped off her shit pile 50 shades book idea from this mediocre movie? Or is the name of the male characters just incredibly frickin' coincidental?
13
@12

I nominate you to investigate. I want to know what's up with this. And what about Jean Grey, am I right? That's some bullshit right there. Who do they think they're fooling?
14
Secretary I liked. That trailer? Such a misrepresentation. o_O
15
Both are just The Story of O revisited no? Didn't read or watch 50 Shades, but it looks that way.
16
What the heck?

Secretary is not intended to be a "romance" in the traditional sense. While she definitely learns healthier practices and sense of self, Spader's character isn't portrayed in the same "mysterious sexy stranger" light.
17
Why was Paul Constant fired?
18
Guardians of the Galaxy got all wrong what guarding the galaxy is really about.
19
I'm not going to watch 50 Shades, nor am I going to delve into the book, which has been panned by almost all kinksters. I loved "Secretary" because she had agency. She read and/or listened to books about kinksters. She grew and learned to understand things about herself that most people can't understand. Spader was a reckless dom, who unleashed himself in inappropriate ways, but at least the end was good. He found an enthusiastic sub, who loved the whole dynamic as much as he did. In contrast, "50 Shades" seems to see BDSM as a disorder to be cured by the right woman. It sends a horrible message to both genders. "Secretary" depicts a very flawed man, and a very empowered woman. "50 Shades" is puritanical propaganda.
20
@19: Agreed. In 50 Shades, Grey's interest in BDSM turns out to be a pathological condition due to childhood abuse that he needs to be "saved" from. Secretary is about two lost and confused people who find each other and are ultimately saved by their shared kink. That's a pretty big difference that Moen overlooks.
21
@8: She also said 50 Shades reminded her of the trashy Sonic the Hedgehog pornographic fanfiction she used to read as a teenager. Definitely judging her for that.
22
I'm still going to see it. Make my own mind up.
I didn't get off on " Birdman",
So others' opinions are just that.
23
@15 - I think The Story of O (the book) was vastly hotter than either Secretary or Fifty Shades.

However, and it's been a while since I've watched it, but Secretary was all about an all-time champion power-bottom, or rather, the best example of topping-from-the-bottom I've ever seen. Spader's character, while outwardly, ostensibly in the superior power position, attempts to end the BDSM (and generally sexual) relationship a few times. She refuses to allow it. Moen is clueless and shooting from the hip.
24
@23...still a classic in my mind. True BDSM erotica...I just mean, weren't the other two striving for that and missed the mark?
25
P.S. 90's O surpasses original
26
A main point of Secretary is that he grows just as much as she does. At the beginning of the movie, he's a dom who doesn't know how to treat his subs, so he treats them badly. He's selfish, and gets his own satisfaction from his relationships, but doesn't really know how to make sure his partners are also treated well. He doesn't really know what he's doing, so we get to see the screaming ex, the trashed office, and he's a mess. By the end of the movie, he's been transformed into a thoughtful, caring dom with an enthusiastic sub for a partner. And everyone is happy.

Essentially, the story is about how someone can transform from doing BDSM wrong to doing it right.
27
Wow, it is almost like instead of portraying an imaginary, instantly perfect and fake relationship, the filmmakers of Secretary descided to portray a relationship where both members are kind of clueless and learn how to make their relationship work through trial and error.

Portraying life/relationships as imperfect amalgamations of wants, needs, and mistakes? What a crazy concept for film.
28
The difference is that 50 shades' overall message is that Mr. Gray is fucked up and his girl can fix him with love and guide him away from the eeeeevils of being a sadist. She doesn't like his perversions, but she thinks he's too hot to pass up.

The Secretary, by contrast, has a happy ending where these two people who were "made for each other", come to terms with their perversions and go on to live in S/M harmony. They both think their complementary perversions are hot, and they want to be with each other, although they initially think they can't be.

The former is wholly wrong, even if some of the right procedures are right. The latter is overall a good thing, even if some of the procedures are wrong.