Tag Archives: E.L. James


SOURCE: Universal Pictures

“Mr. Grey will see you now.” “I’m actually leaving, thanks.”

My thoughts the night that I watched Fifty Shades of Grey:

6:05 p.m.: Took my girlfriend to Olive Garden before showtime. She tells me how excited she is to watch the movie. I’m thinking how badly I want to watch The Spongebob Movie instead.

7:11 p.m.: We drive up to the movie theater, pick up our tickets, and wait in line to enter the show. There are way too many couples here for comfort, especially dressed in black.

7:26 p.m.: Opening credits roll. We catch a slight glimpse of Jamie Dornan’s backside as Christian Grey. All of the women in the audience gasp, including the one right next to me.

7:28 p.m.: We meet Anastasia Steele, portrayed by Dakota Johnson, kissing her sick roommate goodbye before leaving for the day. One: I’ve never known any roommates of any kind to ever do this. Two: Did she seriously just kiss her SICK roommate goodbye? Is she not concerned about germs? Viruses? Cooties?

7:29 p.m.: As Ana parks her car, author E.L. James’ credit comes up for writing the book that this is based on. I suddenly remember that Fifty Shades of Grey was originally written as Twilight fan-fiction. God help me.

7:31 p.m.: Jamie Dornan turns around, and we get our first full-body glimpse of him as Christian Grey. The women gasp again. I’m assuming there’s some wet seats at this point.

7:33 p.m.: Okay, so let me walk through this. This girl’s roommate, who is an experienced college journalist, gets sick, so she asks her clueless roommate to conduct this very important interview with a multi-millionaire playboy for her? Why couldn’t she get one of her journalism friends to cover this story? I wouldn’t leave an interview that important to my inexperienced roommate, let alone one as inept and clumsy as Ana.

7:46 p.m.: Ana is working at her local department store when, EGADS! She meets Mr. Grey again. What a coincidence! I never saw that one coming!

7:48 p.m.: A few thoughts I’m having during this scene. One: Why is Christian shopping at a department store all by himself? Doesn’t he have people to do that for him? And if he went specifically into the store just to give Ana his number, again, why not have your people do it for you? Two: He’s buying, I kid you not, cable ties, masking tape, and rope. The women in the auditorium gasp again. Who on Earth gets aroused by this? These women are wondering what Christian would do to their bodies, while I’m wondering where he’s hiding the actual bodies. Ana even remarks that he’s now the complete serial killer. Honey. Lock up the store and call the police.

7:49 p.m.: The quality of this dialogue confirms that this is definitely based on Twilight fan-fiction. Johnson and Dornan’s chemistry is so wooden that they feel like those two motorized figures that pop out of a cuckoo clock. I’m hoping their acting gets better as the movie goes on.

8:03 p.m.: It does not get better.

8:18 p.m.: After meeting only a couple of times and playing Ellie Goulding over a helicopter ride to Christian Grey’s apartment, we finally approach our first sex scene, where Ana reveals that she’s a virgin. Christian grabs her whilst saying number 21 from the “Most Overused Dialogue” catalog: “Where have you been all my life???” Anastasia then quotes number 26: “Waiting for you.” Somebody please kill me.

8:30 p.m.: We’re an hour into this movie and I can’t tell you how badly I want to leave. I’ve heard way too many gasps and groans in the audience for my own comfort. The guys, I presume, are as miserable as I am right now. My girlfriend, meanwhile, is grinning from ear-to-ear through the whole screening. I’m starting to question this entire relationship.

8:42 p.m.: Ana is reading off Christian’s “contract” for him, which says what she is required to do if she is to become Christian’s “submissive” (BDSM term for friends with benefits). She firmly says “no anal,” and he winces. For the first and only time in this movie, I sympathized with Christian Grey.

8:43 p.m.: And finally, an hour into this movie, we get our first objectively well-done scene. In the dark hues of red and black in the negotiation room, Christian and Anastasia converse on what they would do to each other in the bedroom. The dialogue here is hot and heavy, and the sexual tension is bubbling just enough to where you can feel it simmering under the surface. The camera closes in slowly on both of the actor’s faces, while the editing cuts smoothly back and forth between their expressions while the music builds up. Fantastic. This is the kind of film technique this movie has been desperately needing 70 minutes ago.

8:54 p.m.: Back to the plastic sex scenes. Great. Just what I needed.

8:56 p.m.: Girls are squealing in the auditorium as if Justin Bieber walked in front of the screen. I see the depressed, defeated postures of the men surrounding me. One is burying his head into his hands. Another is leaning back in his seat, apparently trying to sleep through the torture. I think I heard one of them sobbing.

9:21 p.m.: We arrive at the, err, climax of the movie, where Ana discovers what truly arouses Christian Grey. It’s him whipping her back with a flogger. She’s crying tears to the equivalent of those Hallmark romantic comedies. “This gives you pleasure?” she exasperatingly asks. Well, duh. What did you think BDSM stood for? Big, Dull, Sour Moron? Not that it isn’t fitting for Mr. Grey, but I’m just saying, know your abbreviations sweetheart.

9:28 p.m.: Ana leaves through the elevator and says goodbye to Christian as it closes. They should have edited this shot into the beginning and saved us an hour and a half of agony.

9:50 p.m.: I drive my girlfriend home, and we discuss the movie over a glass of Pinot Noir. She asked me what I thought of the movie. I laughed hollowly. “This was my own BDSM experience with all of the torture and none of the pleasure,” I quipped. She seemed surprised. She tells me she actually really liked the movie and was looking forward to its sequels.

Anyhow, that’s the story of how me and my ex-girlfriend broke up.

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The Real Problem With ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

When a woman is screaming, crying and shouting at you to stop, I think there are at least a few indicators that she stopped enjoying it quite some time ago.

In recent additional controversy surrounding the sexually shameless movie 50 Shades of Grey, a recent sexual assault case came out linked with the motion picture. A 19 year-old University of Illinois at Chicago freshman was arrested for sexually assaulting a female he was formerly romantically associated with. After entering his dorm room and stripping down to her bra and underwear, the student proceeded to tie her wrists and legs to both edges of his bed, stuff a necktie in her mouth, blindfold her, take off her clothes, then viciously beat her with his fists and a belt before holding her hands behind her back and forcing her to have sex with him.

The excuse he told police when he was arrested? “He was re-enacting scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey.”

And people have the nerve to say the movie is as harmless as B-grade pornography (it’s actually C-grade, for those who were wondering).

Unfortunately, sexual assault is nothing new to America. According to a study conducted by the White House Council on Women and Girls, women make up the majority of victims, with one in five women reported to have been raped in their lifetimes. 98% of the perpetrators are male, with most of the victims previously knowing their assailants before they were assaulted.

However, the issue exists deeper than what can be printed on paper: it exists in the messages that the media is sending.

Take 50 Shades of Grey as an example. In the movie, the male character is a smooth-talking masculinist that angrily domineers over his sexual partner. The female character is an overly passive dimwit who is supposed to (literally) bend over and tend to her male master’s every desire.

Sex isn’t treated like a romantic act in 50 Shades of Grey. It’s treated like a service.

With that in mind, what message does the movie send to the masses that can’t think and act for themselves? One: that men are entitled to sex and that women should provide it to them because it is their role in life, and two: that if women don’t serve in this role, they deserve to be physically and verbally punished for their actions. It doesn’t matter what the filmmaker’s intentions were: what messages were viewers receiving when they saw a man being sexually aggressive and the woman enjoying it?

I am not placing the blame on either the man or the movie. What I am saying is that the gender stereotyping has to stop. Whether it’s in a movie theater or in a bedroom doesn’t matter. Women have the right to say “yes” or “no” just like any man does. We need to learn to respect that and acknowledge that so we can move on and improve the shabby society that we live in.

And before you say anything, yes, I am saying this as a 21-year old male college student. Look more at the words and less at the person writing them.

– David Dunn

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