Fifty Shades of Throwing Shade

I will take any excuse for a night out with one of my best friends while our baby-daddies hold down the fort. This includes spending $50 on dinner, drinks, and full price movie ticket for a movie that was nowhere near my top five. My friend, a fan of the books, really wanted to see Fifty Shades of Grey, so I obliged.

I have no problem with the premise of the book/movie, even if it’s not a choice I would personally make. I do have problems with the execution of the tale, but literary criticisms have not hurt E.L. James’s bottom line one bit. I freely confess that I read the first book out of professional curiosity. Was it as bad as the literary snobs claimed? Was the sex that titillating? Was the love story compelling enough to birth a trilogy? It seems unfair that a book in the C+/B- range should be so successful when truly well-written fare struggles to sell a few thousand copies.

The book, and the movie, lived up to my expectations. Not truly horrible, although I rolled my eyes enough times to earn my bum a visit from Christian’s twitchy palm. Not great, but intriguing enough to keep me engaged until the end. There are plenty of lessons to glean in what not to do, but also examples of story structure well implemented, as Larry Brooks points out.

Good or bad, Fifty Shades has us talking. Talking about feminism, quality writing, sexuality, and casting choices (I like Jamie Dornan but he was not a great fit for this role). It is frustrating to listen to the opinions of those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie, yet proceed to make judgments and cast aspersion. I very much appreciated Nikki Broadwell’s take, because while she isn’t a fan of the book, and just read it out of professional interest, like me, she READ THE BOOK. This is an example of an informed, yet impassioned, opinion.

While part of me regrets spending time/energy/money on a so-so film, at least I can take part in the conversation with some level of credibility. And it made watching The Onion’s review that much more fun. The Fifty Shades phenomenon is on my list of soft limits, but I look forward to moving on to the movies that really feed my soul, like Pitch Perfect 2 (that was one of the previews, by the way, so almost worth the price of admission right there).

If you want to join the fun and throw me a few cents, click through the link below. I completely understand if you have better things to do with your time, however. If you have already partaken of the book or movie and want to share your kinky thinky thoughts, please leave a comment. Nicely. This corner of the Internet is not a Red Room of Pain.

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