A MAN’S Thoughts On “Fifty Shades of Grey” The Movie (A Few Spoilers Included)

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My wife and I went to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” earlier yesterday afternoon.  I’ll admit that I did start reading the book, but I did not finish it.  The movie is relatively new only having come out a few days ago, but I’ve heard a TON of different opinions about the book.  Most of these opinions have come from the series’ biggest fans, which are mostly women.

It seems that most throughly enjoyed each of the books. However, there have also been a LOT of others who have blasted the books because of the writing, the accuracy of what takes place, along with simply being displeased with the plot.

As with anything else, giving their own opinions are never enough.  A LOT of these people feel the need to blast other people for their opinions as well.  The most common I’ve seen (from comments online) from those who didn’t care for the books was that they felt all those who DID enjoy them lacked class or were beneath them in some way.  A good amount of these people have stated these opinions despite NOT having read the books; only having “heard” about them from other people.  What I’ve seen most from those who DID care for the books was that everyone who didn’t was a “hater” or that their “sex lives must be boring.”

Here is what I thought about the movie.

I already consider myself a much more openminded person than most people, so I like to analyze almost everything I do and in a much deeper way than others as well.  I am also an aspiring screenwriter, so when I watch movies now, I watch in a much different way than others do. I watch not only for entertainment, but it’s very beneficial for us to “study” movies to learn about how screenwriting is done.

But you’re not reading this to find out about that, right?

My opinion was that the movie was interesting and I was intrigued throughout. Now if that means I “don’t have class,” so be it.  Not sure how that can be determined by watching one movie; not to mention, I would love to see some of what the people who say that are into and how they live their lives each day.  Then again, they don’t even know about me other than the fact that I’ve seen the movie, so there’s no point in concerning myself with that much.

One opinion I heard a lot of was that the actors Dakota Johnson (Anastasia “Ana” Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) were not great choices and did not show a lot of on-screen chemistry.  I feel they were good choices and the chemistry worked as far as I was concerned.  I especially liked the fact that they clearly chose someone more attractive to play Ana’s roommate.  That is by society’s standards, at least, because between the two of them, if I had my choice, I would be more interested in Ana, since our personalities are a lot more similar.

Another aspect I was impressed with was that the writer (E.L. James) knew exactly what she was doing, whether people enjoyed the writing or not.  A lot of women, whether they admit it or not, will still go ga-ga over a good-looking man who is rich.  Let’s just put that out there.  That’s not a question.  Some women love to pretend they are the epitome of maturity, but with way too many who I know of, looks and money still take precedence over all else.

Why does this matter?  Some call this movie a love story.  I do not feel this is at all. Not even close. Of course, I’m not allowed to say that as a man. After all, I simply “hate” anything that comes close to depicting a love story because it does nothing but show me all my inadequacies, right? I’m jealous and nothing but a hater because I say that, right?

If your mind can’t make it past the phrase “haters gonna hate,” then stop reading now, because you won’t get the rest. Hell, I’d be surprised if you made it this far. If otherwise, read on.

First, let’s get something clear. I have NO issues with women being turned on by certain aspects of this movie. I would honestly think it was a little unusual if you weren’t. Even as a man, I could very well see being turned by parts of it. After all, there is ALSO a very attractive and in some ways, sexy woman involved.

However, again, a love story this is NOT. It becomes an issue with me when women try to tell me that it is as though I’m an idiot. I’m far from that, and I don’t need to watch AND read all three books to understand.

I’ve seen love stories before, many times, by the way. Again, if you’re assuming I haven’t, move on.

The part of the movie I was far from being turned on by were the BDSM elements. Now I’ve done research on BDSM because I wrote a very SMALL part of it into my last screenplay. A lot of people don’t understand and simply have no clue as to what BDSM is all about. As with anything, people will say what they feel without believing they have to fully understand what they’re talking about.

Whenever Christian grabbed Ana and kissed her, I had no problems. Even the sex alone was all right. By the tying up and physical abuse, I did.

Yes, that’s what it is. It is physical abuse under the guise of BDSM. Some feel they can say or do what they want as long as a clever title is placed on it. In other words, to say she was being beaten and raped wouldn’t fly, at least without saying that it’s simply “part” of BDSM. Then it sounds a little better, right?

Christian used his money and power to take advantage of a vulnerable young woman who was clearly attracted to him. This is NOT a new thing. Men do this all the time. The good looks and money allow a lot of women to overlook or flat-out not believe this is what’s happening. Good looks and money allow a LOT to be overlooked.

Ladies, I hate to break it to you or to have revealed that epic “secret,” but I know too many women who are like that. These are many of the same women who would post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as to how men are supposed to treat women only to throw all that out as soon as a man with good looks and/or money comes along. Hell, most of the time, the man isn’t even hiding the fact that that’s what he’s about, as Christian had many times implied that he’s “used to getting his way.”

Now if I walked up to some lady on the street and said the same thing as I’m NOT a billionaire and a man of average looks, most women wouldn’t even hang around long enough to let me finish that sentence. Hell, I’d probably be on the couch if I said that to my wife, and we’ve been married for almost sixteen years.

I honestly feel that a lot of women desperately want this to be a love story. There’s nothing wrong with desiring that, but what I saw was far from it.

More than once, Christian somehow found his way to Ana’s location without her knowing or without her consent. Last time I checked, that’s stalking. Along with that, after a night of her getting drunk beyond control, she wakes up at Christian’s home and has had her clothes changed. Now of course, all he has to do is SAY he didn’t do anything with her and that’s good enough. Then she has two pills and a glass of juice next to her bed that she doesn’t hesitate to take and drink. Why? Because he told her to. Again, an average, middle class man does this and do you take those pills? It was never explained as to what type of pills they were, but Ana just took them. But who would question that, right? Especially when there are cards that say “take me” next to the pills and “drink me” next to juice. That certainly makes it all better.

Many people argue that Ana consented to everything and knew what she was getting into. There was one point in the movie where Ana revealed that she was a virgin, so Christian decided to “show her what she has been missing.” That is NOT love. I know because I was that virgin before marriage (yes, as a man), and I was told that more times than I care to remember. Once it was clear that I wasn’t budging, that “love” went away pretty quickly.

Oh, right…because it wasn’t there to begin with.

For me, it was clear in the very beginning that he wasn’t looking for a woman to settle down with, but one in which to fulfill his fantasies of physical abuse. Yes, I get that this is what happened to him when he was younger, but ladies, I’ve also witnessed my father abuse my mother. How many do you would accept that from me or say that me beating the hell out of my wife would constitute as a “love story”?

No, Anastasia wasn’t “beaten the hell out of,” but you get what I’m saying if you’ve made it this far, or at least you should.

I’m also not comfortable with the whole “dominant/submissive” deal. I get that some people are into this, but I honestly just cringed whenever Ana called Christian “Sir.” Whether consenting or not, I just didn’t care for that. Even though I will admit that when Christian put Ana over his knee and spanked her a few times, her reaction was so cute. It was light spanking, so she sort of just giggled. I was all right with that. It did give me a chuckle.

Another reason I feel this can’t be a love story is because of the use of “safe words.” Now I understand that that’s what happens in the BDSM community. However, what could possibly be sexy about pushing someone physically so far to their limits that you two have to agree on a specified word or two to bring things to an end? For me, a love story would mean that safe words wouldn’t be needed. If I am with a woman intimately, then her body would tell me when she’s reached as far as she’s willing to go. Her words would tell me. Her eyes would let me know. I wouldn’t need her to yell out “safe words,” because that’s honestly how gentle I am. I wouldn’t dare push a woman that far.

Of course, who cares? I’m not Christian Grey.

Another point is the contract. Now if I’m not mistaken, a whole lot took place that was included in the contract that she never ended up signing, at least in this first movie. Even if she did sign, why was it necessary? Signing the contract means what, exactly? That she couldn’t “go back” on what she agreed upon, or else she would be held liable in some way? How is that love? The freedom to come and go, and do or not should ALWAYS exist and not be nullified by some contract.

Now they sort of did a nice job in the beginning by having Christian say that Ana was free to leave whenever she chose, or at least I thought so, until he began showing up wherever she was without letting her know.

Then there were the gifts of the books, the laptop and the car. While these could be considered as “sweet” gestures, it was simply to get her to do what he wanted.

Speaking of the contract, it would have been nice if, as she thought about it, he didn’t write to her and rush her to decide. I would even accept the whole “love story” angle if the texts from him as she thought about it said things like, “I miss you” or “Take your time.” I know he encouraged her to do research about being a submissive, but I couldn’t help but to feel that he would toe the line (sort of) only until that contract was signed. After that, there would have been no turning back.

I would get that some would read this and feel that I’m jealous of him. How could I be? He’s a FICTIONAL character. I won’t lie and say that I wouldn’t have been jealous of his type as a younger man, but now, I’m not in the least. I have no reason to be.

I asked my wife when we left the theater if she was into any of the BDSM aspects and she gave me a very stern “NO.” So if any of you think that my wife was into all of it and it bothered me, sorry to disappoint.

Now I do realize I said in the beginning of this that I said the movie was interested and I was intrigued throughout. That hasn’t changed. Confused? Well, my mind works differently than a lot of other people. I want to see where the story goes. Clearly, it wasn’t done. I may go on and finish the books just to see before the other movies come out.

This entire post may be confusing to people because it seems as though I have nothing but negative feelings about the movie. If you think so, go back up and read it again. The issues I mentioned weren’t entirely about the movie itself, but mainly toward those who will try and convince others that it’s a love story.

It simply is not. Period. I don’t care how the rest of the books turn out. It won’t change my mind. Why not? Because I’m looking at where this movie ended and I can only imagine what comes next. I look at what had happened up to this point. Now I can imagine that they would surely try and mold this into a sort of “love story” and that wouldn’t surprise me, but it really isn’t as it stands.

If you TRULY believe this is a bonafide love story, then take your daughter to see it. Tell her that the things Christian does are all out of love. Let her know all about BDSM and that this is where physical abuse is all right, as long as you “sign the contract.” Tell her that if she lets a man know she is a virgin, that it’s all right for him to totally de-flower her on the spot, because he just wants to show her “what she’s been missing.” Let her know to succumb to him after a few gifts. Tell her it’s all right for him to show up unannounced pretty much anywhere she is and then question her about any man she talks to.

I could go on. Again, let me reiterate that I have NO problems with anyone who enjoyed the movie as I did find it interesting myself. However, if you want to try and tell me it’s a love story, please do as I said in the last paragraph. If you can’t bring yourself to do those things, it may be time to realize that instead of trying to convince others that it’s truly a love story, you may need to ask yourself one question:

Are you trying to convince others that this is a love story, or are you trying to convince yourself?

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