Literary Musings

Fifty Shades of Why? A Bookish Movie Review

*This post may or may not have spoilers for the Fifty Shades trilogy by EL James, the erotic books about Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele that has been all the rage the last few years.

The reason why I’m not sure if this is full of spoilers is because I haven’t read more than a few pages in the Fifty Shades trilogy and I never will. Why? Because the few pages I’ve flipped through made me shudder and not in a good way. Cheesy dialogue and the one sex scene I read was awkward and not sexy at all.

But I did give in and watch the movie for two reasons. One: I was kind of curious about the hype and knew it would be quicker to watch a movie than to read the book. Two: Jamie Dornan. I’ve liked him ever since his short stint on Once Upon a Time.

And my reaction? I giggled. A lot. And rolled my eyes (which is kind of ironic given one of the scenes). And it wasn’t because I’m uncomfortable/immature about sex scenes. I watch Shameless and Game of Thrones and don’t even blush. I started reading super smutty fanfiction long before I even kissed a guy for the first time. Hell, I’ve even written sex scenes.

I giggled because everything was so over the top and so ridiculous and I’m sure the book was more descriptive but the movie? Yeah, the sexy scenes were not all that kinky and not in the least bit sexy. Even Jamie as Christian looked like he was in pain and he wasn’t the one getting whipped.

So here are just a few of my problems with the movie and I’m guessing the book as well:

  • So many overused themes. The naive virgin. The young sexy billionaire bad boy.
  • Christian is a stalker! Straight up. He bugged Ana’s phone and tracked her down. He followed her across states when she wanted to get away to think. Just ugh. And when she brings up his random appearance in her apartment her roommate thinks it’s sweet which makes it even worse.
  • Five minutes of Google searches on BDSM and you come up with a few simple facts. There needs to be trust and communication. The submissive should technically have all the power and should feel safe. Both partners should want/enjoy the arrangement. Yeah, not so much in Fifty Shades. I’m not going so far as to say there was rape but a lot of what Ana agrees to is only because Christian bribes/guilts her into it and because she doesn’t even understand sex let alone kinky sex.
  • There wasn’t even really a plot? “Sign this contract for a BDSM relationship. No thanks. (Sex anyways.) Sigh this contract. No thanks. Bye.” Yep, there’s the plot.

Um, really? No plot. Cliched characters. Inaccurate portrayal of everything the BDSM community stands for. Yeah, no thank you. I will definitely not read any of these books however I may watch the next movies (only if I can get them free from a library) just to laugh a little more and write another of these posts.


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