I have three daughters. The oldest is married and thirty-something (she’ll kill me if I quantify the “something”). The next in line is twenty and still relatively new to western civilisation although adapting remarkably well. The youngest is twelve.
I remember some discussion when ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ first came out. Now the movie is out. I thought it was one book – I learnt today it is actually three books. The hype surrounding the books seems to be exceeded by the hype surrounding the movie.
“… the film has already been a hit in Australia for Universal, becoming the studio’s “second-biggest opening day of all time“, with more box office records expected to be broken this opening weekend.”
WOW! For a movie made from a book that is frequently given a review rating of one (yes, 1) that is some opening.
Yes, Fifty Shades Of Grey is more appalling than appealing. It’s domestic violence dressed up as erotica. And if there’s one thing this movie is not, it’s erotic.”
Source: Daily Life
Mia Freedman has a rather different view, although Mia seems to want to have her cake and eat it too in her review. Seems she disagrees but respects the views that oppose hers, because they haven’t read the books. All three books are necessary, it seems, to comprehend the nuances of the deep and meaningful story.
What’s fascinating to me is that I honestly feel like I saw a different film to the one they described. Having read all the books, I brought a level of knowledge and understanding and context and familiarity to the movie that non book readers just couldn’t.
Madonna, who we believe knows a little about sexy stuff, has described the book in less than glowing phrases.
“It’s pulp fiction,” she said. “It’s not very sexy, maybe for someone who has never had sex before. I kept waiting for something exciting and crazy to happen in that red room thing, and I was like, ‘Hmm, a lot of spanking.’ I also thought, ‘This is so unrealistic because no guy goes down on a girl that much.’ I’m sorry, but no one eats p—-y as much as the guy in that book.”
All women with a public profile, Madonna’s profile not likely to be eclipsed for some time.
What about a woman without such a public profile? Let me introduce Kaye Deeley. This is a collaborative article, as here I present Kaye’s view on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
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Yet another reason why I can’t stand Mia Freedman or understand why she gets so much traction with so little substance. Just the paragraph:
” Oh, and another thing I’ve heard said by non-book reading viewers of the film is that they hated the way Christian used a condom in one of the sex scenes. I LOVED THAT. Thought it was one of the best things in the whole film. If you read the books you’d know that condoms are mentioned and their application described in EVERY SINGLE SEX SCENE until she goes on the pill. I think that is tremendous and I love the way it’s done in a pretty casual, off-hand way that normalises condoms. As they should be.”
Goes to show Freedman missed the fucking point completely. The use of condoms in the story wasn’t about “safe sex”. It was about a controlling misogynist making sure that his slapbait didn’t get pregnant and have any control over him. Freedman misses the whole part where “Christian” then organises his own doctor, who prescribes for all his abuse victims, to take control of Ana’s body etc etc. Freedman needs to read some Friedan then perhaps she’d understand why EL James was incapable of writing anything other than “mummy porn” that plays into the whole myth of domination by consent. Feedman no doubt wouldn’t even understand why she wears lipstick and high heels.
I was talking to a male friend yesterday about a female friend who is looking for permanent work so she can qualify for a tiny little mortgage to build a house on land she owns outright. He was perplexed by the fact that she can’t get a loan that is probably less than what some people pay for their cars and said “well she should talk to my bank manager cause I don’t have a permanent job and I get loans”. I had to make a quick decision about whether or not to bother to educate him on the entrenched systemic sexism in the banking system but decided I didn’t have half a day to waste.
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Kaye’s field of expertise is Social Science.
I haven’t read the books. I have no intention of seeing the movie – or movies as is bound to be the case. There are far better and more important things with which to occupy my mind, such as climate change. Or what our government are planning with Medicare. Helping the kids with homework. Children in detention. Yes, all work and no play makes Jill a dull woman. I can think of far better entertainment for my daughters and I. Something that is exciting, fun and not a psychological mine field. With a strong female character. Yes, I see Mia believes the female character in Fifty Shades of Grey is the one in control, but that might be a bit deep for many of the audience who will see it – is that the message most will get? What of the young males who will go for the titillation factor and completely miss any deep psychological message detected by Mia? What message are they going to get?
OK, it IS just fiction. Badly written fiction from all accounts. The hype surrounding both the books and the movie tells us something: what is it telling us? I’d like to hear the views of young women such as Caitlin, who sings a great parody song asking Tony Abbott “Why you gotta be so rude?”. I wonder if Tony and Margie have read Fifty Shades of Grey?
Author Kristen Lamb has written a very comprehensive piece, Is Romance Devolving?—50 Shades vs. No One Puts Baby in a Corner. Highly recommended reading!
There are absolutely hilarious reviews of the books on Goodreads.