Thank you “Fifty Shades of Grey” for making my life look great


So today I decided to go see the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Tuesdays are bargain day at our local theater so I figured it would be the best time to go if I bothered to see it. I didn’t want to drag my husband to the movie because he hated the Twilight series for having no plot…and the Fifty Shades series makes Twilight look downright complex. I skimmed through the first two books of the Fifty Shades series and made it about halfway through the last book, so I did have an idea of what I would be in for with the movie.

First off, let me say that some of the others who showed up for the movie kind of surprised me. As I expected, there were groups of women, a few couples and quite a few single women like me there (this is the first time I’ve gone to a theater all by myself and that was actually kind of liberating in a way). What surprised me were the few single men (because this is billed as such a “chick flick”) and the 70 & 80 year-old women who came, one of whom (an adorable little old lady) sat right beside me. For a moment I felt like I was seeing the movie with my grandmother and that kind of threw me off balance a bit!

Anyhow, as I watched the movie, it was pretty much what I expected, a somewhat tamed down version of the book. Although I do understand why many women don’t like this series and think it encourages stalking, unrealistic expectations and domestic abuse, I don’t feel quite that strongly about it because there is consent. Anastasia may seem stupid in many ways and definitely makes some questionable decisions, but she is a consenting adult. She has quite a few chances to walk away and doesn’t do so. I know she seems innocent (maybe too much so for living in today’s world) but she does know what she is getting into, especially once she is given that contract to study.

As for Mr. Grey, I can see some of why the character is appealing to some women. He is rich, good-looking, can be sweet at times and represents a sexual fantasy fairly common to both sexes (that of being dominated or dominating someone else). Those aren’t the things that bother me. He is undoubtedly somewhat stalkery and controlling…but again, Anastasia’s character chooses to allow that to have him in her life. What truly bothers me about Mr. Grey’s character is how he is so messed up from his own abusive history that he wants to actually hurt women. He wants to cause pain. To me, there is nothing sexy about that. I know that there are those who like the BDSM lifestyle and enjoy a certain amount of pain…but I doubt that most true BDSM practitioners would want to cause pain to someone who clearly does not enjoy it or go beyond their partner’s pain threshold. I can see why the BDSM community hates this portrayal of their sexual fetishes.

As the movie neared its end I was surprised to see women in the audience around me crying. I sat there and wondered why they were crying. Were they frustrated and annoyed like me because Anastasia wouldn’t just say the safe word or yell stop? Were some of them victims of abuse in the past and this triggered that as they saw Anastasia cry miserably in pain? Were they simply feeling sad that Grey’s character was so messed up emotionally? Did they feel for Anastasia’s character, who clearly felt humiliated and heartbroken because the man she loved carried so much pain that he had to make others feel that pain? After the credits started, I heard cries of “is that it?” and “what the heck?” from others in the theater. Guess they hadn’t read the books.

As I got in my car and drove home, the main feeling I had was that I am so THANKFUL to have a husband who is not emotionally or mentally messed up like that. I’m glad that my husband has never once wanted to hurt or humiliate me. In fact, if anything, he would do anything in his power to prevent me pain or to take it away when I am suffering. So thank you Mr. Grey. You made my husband look even more wonderful and made me deeply thankful for what I have. You made me realize how strong I am because I never would have put up with your crap in the first place (had I been Anastasia that would have been one short book!). In the end, I guess fantasies are ok and maybe fun to indulge in to an extent, but nothing beats a good reality!

Is the ‘Twilight’ Saga really all that bad?

Along with the throngs of female fans, it seems that the ‘Twilight’ saga has another group that feels just as passionately about the series, although their feelings go in another direction.  It seems anywhere you go, whether it is online or in person, whenever the subject of the ‘Twilight’ movie or book series comes up, people take to their corners ready for a fight.  I’ve never heard someone say they “kinda liked” the series, it is either a love/hate situation it seems.

My question is for all the ‘Twilight’ haters out there…is it really worth the effort?  Now don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with the many men out there who have been dragged to the theaters by their wives or girlfriends to see what is obviously a chick flick.  Of course, I don’t blame those women, I myself have made my husband accompany me to each movie premiere…after all, what good is a romantic movie without the one you love?  Of course, the movies don’t seem to put him in the best mood, so maybe it backfires.

I also have to admit, that while I thought the books were decent, they will never be great literary masterpieces.  Ten years from now, the movies and the books will likely just be reflected upon as a fad.  I also must admit that while I do like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, I prefer them in other roles.  Stewart is much better in sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek comedies or horror flicks, and Pattinson can be a great dramatic actor as shown in ‘Remember Me’ and ‘Water for Elephants’.

That said, I still don’t get the excessive hate that radiates from some ‘Twilight’ critics.  Is the series really that much worse than many other teen movies?  Isn’t adolescence somewhat marked by ridiculous displays of emotion and endless drama?  And even if you want your vampires to suck blood rather than sparkle, is it really hurting anyone?  It’s not like all of the classic literature and movies about vampires will be overthrown by this one series.

Also, did you ever realize that by spending so much effort and time degrading the ‘Twilight’ series you are actually helping it to grow?  Even negative publicity is still publicity after all.  You might want to ask yourself as well why you want to spend so much time thinking about something you hate.  Is it a sort of masochism?  Hmmm….just some things to think about.