Sunday, 27 July 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer - Good, Bad or Ugly?

The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer is out. We may have another seven months to prepare ourselves for the actual film but at least we get a sneak preview of Dakota Johnson looking winsome and Jamie Dornan standing outside a helicopter.

For any of us working in the sexy-book-writing business, it is impossible to ignore either the Fifty Shades of Grey books or the forthcoming movie adaption. It's the sexy book that even the people who aren't interested in that sort of thing know about. It's like in the 1990s when everybody had heard of the Spice Girls. Even your Granddad who stopped listening to Popular Music when the Glenn Miller Orchestra stopped playing in the 1940s.

And because everybody has heard of it, everyone has an opinion. The thing is, it's like Twilight.Well, obviously, it's like Twilight, it's rehashed Twilight fanfiction but the other way it's like Twilight is that it's neither as Amazingly Fantastic or as Irredeemably Terrible as 90% of people writing about it on the web say it is.

This meme will literally make the internet implode in on itself
Fifty Shades of Grey is not that bad really. I've paid money for worse erotica. I've certainly read a good deal that's better. So in the interests of defending something that is not that bad really (and go on E L James, you can put that I said that on the cover on the next release, if you like), here is what I think will be good and bad about Fifty Shades of Grey: The Motion Picture.

The Good
  • Look, this is a film that is more than likely going to have some spanking in it. There aren't nearly enough of those. Sure, Chross might list several hundred films on its Spanking in the Movies page but seriously, I've gone through all of those and most of them don't even count. Some of them are films I'd already seen and hadn't register any kind of spanking action in. (The Descendants, really?) Basically anyone who wants a movie with more than a passing nod towards spanking and BDSM has got Secretary and that's about it. So, any film where there's a good chance of seeing a girl spanked on the arse and enjoying it is cause to break out the champagne as far as I'm concerned.

  • The books- and now the movie - get people talking about domination and submission in the bedroom. People who thought they were weird, find out they're not so weird.They have a convenient shorthand to discuss introducing kinky stuff to their relationships. They don't have to feel like perverts any more - 100 million readers can't all be perverts! Lots of people found out that they enjoyed reading about bondage and spanking and anal penetration and learnt to really appreciate that a Kindle can comfortably be read one-handed. And you know what? Those people go on to find other books that they can read/mastubate to (I feel like there should be a portmanteau word for that. Rwank? Masturead? Choking the Chekhov? I'll get back to you.) So they go and check out or and that's good for readers and writers of erotica everywhere.
  • For all it's many faults (and it has plenty), Fifty Shades of Grey is not what a lot of people say it is. It is not a Rapist's Manual. It's not a Paedophile Con. It's not the worst thing to happen to the BDSM community since the beginning of ever. It's just a not particularly well written book that includes every romantic cliche in the world ever plus some spanking and bondage. Which is OK. Also, as far as I'm concerned, if something can upset an organisation as prissy sounding as 'Morality In Media', they're probably doing something right.
Much like the 'Passion of St Tibulus' in Father Ted.
"Is it a type of nudey thing, Father?"

The Bad

  • Oh, it's going to be terrible isn't it? Two hours of clunky dialogue, meaningful looks and 'tastefully' shot sex scenes. At least we won't get all Anastasia's drivelly dialogue though. Unless they decide to stick a voiceover on it peppered with 'Oh My's and 'Holy Cow's and making a million bloody references to her Inner Fucking Goddess. Maybe they'll make her Inner Goddess an actual character like Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio.

  • They're not even doing the decent thing and smooshing all three books together and making just one film so we can just get it over and done with. They're going to do all the books separately and I'll probably have to go and see them all because I can't remember which of the books has the scene with the snooker table. (There's something about a girl getting bent over a snooker table and spanked with a ruler that rather appeals to me, you see.) In fact they'll probably make more than three films. They'll split the last one into two because, what with Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, that's apparently what happens these days.
  • Once the film gets released, the waves of hand-wringing and soap-box thumping will start again in earnest. We'll be told that no good feminist could possibly approve of submission in a relationship, that any desire to mix pain and pleasure just indicates some kind of mental issues and - repeatedly - that anyone who has any desire to read (let alone write) erotic fiction is some kind of drooling imbecile. Which is bollocks, obviously because loads of us are lovely.

The Ugly?

This is the first shot we see in the trailer of Mr Christian Grey:

Hmm. According to the book, he is broad-shouldered, with dark copper-colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes. "He is not merely good looking - he is the epitome of male beauty, breathtaking."

That bloke up there? If he worked in the accounts department of your office, you wouldn't even really register him. You'd be like 'I think I know who you mean. Is he the one who's sort of non-descript?'

Not that I'd normally judge a guy on his appearance, but we already know that Christian Grey has a terrible personality.

So, how do you feel about the forthcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie? Excited? Disgusted? Or are you just doing a sort of insouciant shrug while you repanel your much cooler sex dungeon and put the finishing touches to your far superior spanking movie manuscript?


  1. Etta, many years ago, this movie "50 Shades of Grey", may have been censored, by the motion picture academy called Hollywood. Today the attitude is 'let it all hang out'. That in my opinion is good. For what the movie "Secretary", did for the spanking community a few years ago. "50 Shades of Grey", might do for the 'S & M" crowd. Let us all await the reaction. Come Valentine's Day 2015.

  2. You always make me laugh! Yes, he does seem a little non-descript, doesn't he? I usually hate movie adaptations of books, and when basing a movie on a mediocre book, I am not giving it much hope. But it will make scads of money and people will talk about it forever and hopefully they will all buy our books because we write way better characters than these two are!

    1. Heh. I think "Hopefully people will all buy our books because we write way characters" probably sums up the gist of my entire post.

  3. I wasn't familiar with Father Ted-- thank you for sharing that clip--hilarious! I'm the dork who never did get around to reading 50 Shades, so I'm looking forward to the movie filling in the gaps.

    1. Pretty sure not reading Fifty Shades doesn't makes you a dork! The thing with the books is that the sex bits are generally fine and the non-sex bits are pretty awful. Given that the film is likely to be concentrating on the non-sex bits and the expense of the sex-bits so you're probabkly better off reading the book.

  4. Loved this, Etta! You nailed how I feel about it too.

  5. Loved that clip with Father Ted. I don't know it. Yours is one of my favorite blogs to read. You are hilarious. OK, I was so disappointed that this man was playing Christian Grey. I had a much more beautiful man pictured and was really hoping for more than nondescript... I personally am looking forward to it and the film is VERY much like Twilight from the trailer. I don't care though. I loved watching Twilight too and reading the books - and although I only read 1 and a 1/2 of these books, I'll definitely see the films. I just hope they don't do Dutch voice over. Christ.

    1. Yeah but it's Twilight without the vampires! That's like doing Star Wars without the aliens or Fight Club without the fight club or something...

  6. I agree that Jaimie Dornan or whatever his name is, is not my idea of Christian Grey. I'm so often disappointed by who is chosen to play a particular character in a book, it's not surprising. Hopefully, by the time the movie ends I will see him as CG. I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle the movie.

    Did I think the book was good. It was steamy and I read all three. It's not literature, it's a read, it wasn't mean to be literature and BTW EL James is laughing all the way to the bank. I don't write literature either, I write a read and 50SOG definitely brought our genre to the forefront, so the more hype about this can only help us.

    That's my take and I'm sticking to it.

  7. Great post! The first thing I thought when I saw the trailer was, "Well, the girl playing Ana looks like she'll be less annoying than the actual book character, but could they have chosen an actor for Christian that didn't look like an intern?"

    He does look like someone that would work in the accounts department!

    1. That poster where you just see his back as he's looking out towards a Seattle skyline... I kept thinking it was Mike from 'Suits' in the picture. Maybe they should have got Mike from 'Suits' in the role.

    2. I like the guy that plays Harvey even better. I'm still wishing E.L. James had made Christian older. I always prefer business men to be older. All twenty year old guys in business suits look like they're playing dress up, to me.

  8. I think they should have a different person play Christian Grey and not this guy. He just doesn't do it for me. I read about two chapters from the first book and had to quit. I'm used to my wife's writing, which is dark and edgy. I'm all for romance, but not mixed in with my sex apparently. I started reading BDSM books in my twenties, and now I'm in my forties, so I guess I am a little fussy about kink books.

    I do enjoy a good laugh though, and the first time I read this post I was snorting and wiping tears from my eyes.