Fifty Shades of Grey Might Be the Mass-Market Starter Smut You Deserve

A Movie That Transforms Belltown into a Place Where Billionaires Live and Fuck

Comments

1
Paul, I applaud your review.

I'll probably never see this movie because I'm gay and not into bondage, so there seems little of interest for me here.

I nevertheless commend your thoughtful and mature review. It may not be my thing, and it might arguably be a crappy book, but it has apparently sold more than 100 million copies, so someone's buying it. The story has an audience. Sometimes a truly heinous movie deserves a patented Lindy West takedown. But I agree that a lot of the reaction 50 Shades I've seen so far sounds like the insecure tittering of middle school boys. There may be perfectly legitimate criticism of this movie, but please, please stop with all the slut shaming and misogyny. Thank you, Paul, for not going there.
2
"50 Shades of Grey backlash ... is inspired by discomfort with the idea of women’s sexuality"

That's one of the dumbest strawmen I've read in a non Breitbart/RedState/etc site in quite a while. Who's backlash?

My sense is that most backlash has been of the feminist variety, from people who find it oh-too-convenient that one woman's internal desires just happen to be making all of a man's fantasies come true, and questioning exactly how "empowering" that might be. It's an argument I don't buy - people-pleasing is a pretty common personality-type among men and women; taking pleasure in filling someone else's desire - even at expense - is what paypiggery and femdom is all about and almost certainly cuts evenly both ways across the binary.

But getting back to the point - I haven't read anything suggesting the underlying issue is a "discomfort in a woman's sexuality".
3
Just to echo the sentiment of @2, most of the criticism I have read of the books is that the relationship depicted is abusive and that the woman protagonist is basically portrayed as a blank slate whose desires are all prescribed to her by the man.

This is contrary to your reading of the film, but maybe the film and book are quite different.
4
a crazy, manipulative, stalking douche-bag happens to find a girl naive enough to fall under his 'spell' and somehow she is the one who is in charge?
5
Agree with @1. Don't know if I'll ever see it, but this review was a pleasure to read.
6
I recently read a great article (http://theramblingcurl.blogspot.com/2014…) which goes into detail about many of the abusive aspects of Grey's relationship with Ana. I couldn't make it through the first couple of chapters due to the terrible writing. I'm hoping there is not as much romanticized stalking and outright abuse as was in the book.
7
Secretary: still the best mainstream film about BDSM.
8
http://bitemebat.tumblr.com/post/1108487…

I have no idea if the link will work - but here is a review from someone who really didn't know what to expect and ended up completely horrified. It sounds very much like the stalking and abuse is very prevalent in the film.
9
So they make jokes about how poorly written the book is, they diminish the countless real-life women who decide to visit—for the first time in their lives, maybe—a sex toy shop after being drawn into the story.

No. The make jokes because it could have literally been written by a computer. Here is a 50 Shades of Grey text generator:

http://www.xwray.com/fiftyshades/
10
@7: It is also the worst movie about self-harm.
11
In the trailer, a smoking hot looking blond woman, either the office manager or executive assistant, walks this mousy woman into this dood's office.

So, instead of the smoking hot blond, it is the mousy woman who is to be the submissive ---- how more gay can you get?????

Obviously, should have been called, Fifty Shades of Gay!
12
@6 I haven't read the books, but I've read similar sorts of critiques that point out that they romanticize abusive relationships. While this kind of critique is valid and worthwhile, I think it sometimes misses the point that this is fantasy, and people fantasize about really dark stuff sometimes, and it's not necessarily unhealthy. For some people, fantasizing about scary stuff can even be a way to work out fears and trauma. I think assuming a naive audience that doesn't recognize that some things that are hot as part of erotic fantasy would be unacceptable in real life is not giving FSOG fans enough credit.

By the way, can we agree that the FSOG triology has at this point joined Das Kapital and Ulysses in the league of books that people talk about all the time without having actually read them all the way through?
13
Yeah, I can't be bothered to see a movie about tea grading.
14
I'm not much of a reader. Is the book actually poorly written? Is that a fair piece of criticism or is it as Paul suggests, cultural sour grapes?
15
@14 you decide:

"I feel the color rising in my cheeks. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto."

"Pulling down his boxers, his erection springs free...Holy Cow!"
16
yawn,,,the novel is already in the book piles in Federal Way garage sales, and the fine film will have about three weeks in the Cineplex Corporate Film Houses, then have a massive $$$ showing in living rooms, then into obscurity with other Major Releases....

But, Paul, one very slight quibble:" Local audiences will find the establishing shots of Seattle at night to be validating—there were cheers at the press preview I attended—but the particular flavor of street-level Seattle is missing, presumably because the movie wasn’t filmed here." Uh huh, so the painting doesn't look like a bathtub because it is of a kitchen sink? Yes, yes, very good, now trying coloring in the horsey part...you can choose any color of crayon that you want!

The background post viewing hipster conversations on this will be like having a filling done.

Amen
17
@15 Yikes. I'll repeat that I'm not much of a reader of creative fiction but that made me cringe.
18
I have to admit I read the book for a stupid book club and then saw the movie with the same club.The movie is better, but both were extremely boring and poorly written. And the creepy woman in front of me who came alone was obviously masturbating.

What confuses me most when I think about why so many women love this story is that the main character never actually likes any of the BDSM Gray talks her into. She ends up leaving him because she is so disgusted by the fact that he wants to hurt her. The only reason she stays with him is because she hopes to transform him into a normal boyfriend and he's hot. It would be one thing if she started out turned off and then discovered she loved being whipped or flogged or whatever, but she never does. While I know it's judgmental of me, it's sad that so many women are aroused by a book that has nothing to do with the girl's own pleasure.