"Fifty Shades" is not on my list of "must-see" movies of 2015 and for only one reason.
One person who is beyond psyched about the February 2015 release of 50 Shades of Grey? My mom. She told me several times that she read the book and is going to see it the day it hits the multiplex. You know who won't be accompanying her? Me.
I am one of few women out there with absolutely zero interest in seeing this film. It's not that I don't get the hype and the hoopla. I do. A film and its source material about BDSM seems like pretty racy stuff. But it's not enticing to me. I flipped through a few pages of my mom's copy when visiting her and it didn't pull me in. It's BDSM-lite or softcore porn for moms. It's a Harlequin romance for the millennial era.
The psychology and physicality of the BDSM world is way different than the marketing and the hype behind it. It's not like a movie studio can promote a film where scrotums get stomped on by a woman wearing spiked stripper stilettos. On the surface, that's a physical and extreme act, but it's also the manifestation of something much more psychologically motivated. It's about a true master and slave relationship.
And if I am going to invest my time reading or viewing something that explores an alternative lifestyle or a fringe counterculture, I don't want a glossing over. I want to get to the marrow of things. To me, Fifty Shades Of Grey is a vanilla and fluff take on BDSM. How ironic is that?
Some of my friends frequent FetLife, a real BDSM lifestyle site. Some doms and subs are hardcore into latex wear and of truly giving of yourself to serve your master. That includes everything from walking their dog to letting them have their sexual way with you. I poked around — no pun — on the site once and while it was more than intriguing, it was not something I wanted to explore in my life. But it was eye-opening because the rules and specifications left nothing to interpretation.
The 50 Shades of Grey doesn't intrigue me. It feels like a typical cat-and-mouse romance or relationship Darwinism. It still feels like the basic thrill of the chase and wanting what you can't have, with some spanking throwing into the mix. Christian Grey has issues and can't let anyone in, and while he tries to put up BDSM parameters with Anastasia Steele, he eventually realizes he can't live without her and it's no longer about wanting to dominate and control her. Zzzz.
Poorly penned erotica, which is the prevailing criticism of the book, doesn't seem to be the place to explore the depth and breadth of giving yourself up to someone physically, so you can psychologically reliniquish control, be relieved of whatever pressures you have in your life and truly let go, which to many practicioners, is an act of love. That dynamic is way more interesting to me, but 50 Shades seems like it's more about a man wanting to control a woman despite his fear of commitment. Just sayin'.
I'm sure Christian and Anastasia fanatics will come at me and accuse me of ignorance and of throwing shade at their beloved Fifty Shades because I only flipped through a few pages. But art has to be magnetically attractive for me to invest in it; a good and compelling book is one you can't put down. I was barely interesting in picking this one up. I wasn't gripped.
Instead, you can find me wirh my nose buried in The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers.