Underwhelming shades of Grey

Yes. I watched it. I went on a lovely date (with a hot blonde) and watched the film everybody loves/hates to talk about. It was alright. I yawned in parts but other bits caught my interest (no, not those bits). I am intrigued about the casual inference that because Mr Grey is a sadist he is also, as he describes ‘Fifty shades of fucked up’, (his words not mine). This bothered me. There will be a lot of people who will watch and enjoy this film for what it is and probably won’t dwell on the fact that Christian Grey is portrayed as having mental health issues. Well, I’m the annoying person that will. Why? I’d like to ask the author the same question. Why write a book where your main male character is introducing a virgin to S&M, but that the reason that he does this is because his mother was a crack whore and he was subjected to child abuse. Sorry what? Was I the only one that picked up on that bit of the story line? To me it felt like they were suggesting that bondage can only be enjoyed by those who have serious psychological issues. Clearly this is an incorrect assumption, but I felt they glossed over this and made the film about a bland girl, who bites her lip a lot in an attempt to look sultry and is disappointed when the guy she likes isn’t into her in the way she wants him to be.

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Now I haven’t read the books as I was told by many that the writing was awful and as a rule I don’t do chick lit. I don’t do romance because it’s predictable and boring and generally lacks imagination. This book/film however had the potential to go against that, but I found out by reading reviews that it actually follows the same dull storyline (albeit unconventionally) to a happy ever after storyline #barf. And that finally to the joy of Ana, Christian Grey overcomes his psychological want to engage in BDSM because he’s found the woman of his dreams, and despite all the abuse in his past he works through his issues to become (as Ana puts it) ‘like a normal person’. Balls to it. So, essentially this massively influential series of books which I was under the impression was quashing the taboo of BDSM and bringing it to the forefront of modern culture, actually suggests that you can only enjoy it if you’re psychologically damaged. Which I think is really irresponsible and as much as sales in Ann Summers and Hardware stores have soared, the message people are left with is that sadism is wrong and people have to secretly enjoy it, else people might think they’re weird. Not only that, those that enjoy it are emotionally unavailable and engage in somewhat unhealthy relationships. Good one E.L James, apart from temporarily throwing a bit of spice into some people’s relationships you’ve actually given a big slap in the face to those people who healthily engage in S&M, who don’t have psychological problems and who aren’t emotional retards. But who am I to judge? I was just disappointed that the actor who plays Christian in the movie, in real life is Irish. Why wouldn’t you keep his Irish accent?! That would triple your ticket sales right there….

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7 thoughts on “Underwhelming shades of Grey

  1. Great review Vix! I also avoided that series of books, if you want to read some good BDSM novels there are lots out there that are great. I would recommend Anne Rice’s The taming of sleeping beauty for a great read. Let’s hope that not too many people that go to watch it are as clever as you and they are all just hoping for a cheap thrill! Luckily these days there is a huge community of very open people into BDSM that can squash such an idiotic view point under their thigh high PVC boots.

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  2. Just to see what all the hype was about, I read all 3 books, I was hooked on the first one. My wife thinks I read them for the porn (I don’t read porn, especially that style). Truth is I kind of related my childhood with Grey’s, his birth-mother and the pimp was a combination of my birth-mother. Where his escape is S&M, mine had been the dream world. Of course I too was lucky enough to find the right woman who helped me deal with those memories. I won’t go see the movie, I never can enjoy them as much after reading the book.

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  3. I enjoy women’s opinions about this book and your’s is very informed and insightful. My wife read the books and found similar issues to be a problem. Do you think that too many people ‘ride the surface’ of such stories without fully examining the implications of the story points…the same approach some take with the lives they’re living. For what it’s worth…

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    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s essentially just a boring romance in which the girl tries to change the guy for her own wants. She’s shown as ‘fixing’ him. Which is a shit view for people to have on relationships. I get that people want to read trashy novels as ‘easy reading’ in the same way you’d watch a shit movie. But I think this has had such an impact worldwide it just needed to be a bit more realistic and informed when touching on such a misunderstood subject.

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