Monday, 9 March 2015

Fifty Shades of F'd Up Indeed...

Like so many other hot-blooded women in the world (and this guy who totally got busted, and it is absolutely hilarious) I succumbed to my curiosity and went to see Fifty Shades of Grey a couple of weeks ago. If you read that sentence and were disappointed with me, I'm sorry....I swear I'm smarter than that, but I couldn't resist. After reading the first book and abandoning the second part-way through, I had to see what the fuss was about.

Ok fine, I'll admit it. My curiosity was completely related to the sex scenes and how they would translate to the big screen. Or, as one of my wonderful friends would say, "do they show the P going into the V?"

Now you know the awful truth...I watched the movie purely for the sex scenes. Oh, and I actually read those atrocious books. Well, one and a half of them. In my defence, however, I only read the first one due to my occasional commitment to a book club (shift work really fucks up your ability to make regularly scheduled commitments). I started the second book out of boredom on a night shift (dirty secret #3: I read that smut at work...gasp!!) and about halfway through I started skipping the endless, mind-numbing descriptions of Anastasia staring up at Christian from beneath her eyelashes and biting her lip, and heading straight to the sex scenes.

Side note: how the fuck does one look up at someone from beneath their eyelashes and come off as attractive? The first time I read that in the book, I wondered about it. When I came across it for the millionth time (this is no joke, she does it so much in the book I thought I'd never get to a sex scene), I tried to recreate the look in the mirror. The result was not pretty, and I'm fairly certain if I looked at a guy that way I would immediately be taken to the emergency department for fear that I was having a seizure or a stroke. But I digress.

Isn't everyone who's taking in that movie doing it to see the sex scenes? Aren't we all just a little bit curious as to how they take softcore porn from a terribly written "romance" novel and turn it into a supposed blockbuster film that grossed over $500 million in global box offices? Yes, yes we are. Especially since the sex in the books pushes the boundaries on what people consider "normal" sexual activity and displays a BDSM lifestyle for the world to see.

As I watched the movie I found myself surprisingly astonished at how explicit the sex scenes were. It seems I was expecting a modicum of restraint with respect to that aspect of the book, which is funny given the only portions I paid much attention to in the books was, in fact, the sex scenes. And there was definitely P going into the V in the book. I'm not generally a very critical movie-goer; I see films for their entertainment purpose and my evaluation of them goes just barely beyond their most superficial presentation. I.e. my biggest disappointment is when a movie's best scenes are in the trailer. And if a comedy can make me laugh, then I like it. If a scary movie can scare the shit out of me (which most of them do because I'm a complete chicken shit when it comes to scary movies), then I think it did its job.

My biggest critiques of Fifty Shades? Number 1: Anastasia gets wildly expensive and ridiculous gifts from Audi, an Apple laptop (no luxury brand marketing happening there, nope, none at all)...yet she uses a fucking flip phone. If Christian was really the control freak they purport his character to be, he would have bought her a bloody iPhone 6 to go with that new laptop.  Movie producers, you dropped the ball on that one. Critique number 2: there are several scenes in the movie where glasses of wine are poured, but never consumed. What is wrong with these people!? You're about to let a man use nipple clamps and whip your most sensitive body you not need a little wine on board for that?? Was there a position on set for someone to go around drinking all of the wine that was poured? Because if so, I need that job.

I was serious when I said I'm not overly critical of movies.

I know, I know...films are an art form; and what is art if not a commentary on some facet of the larger social context in which the art is produced? If that's the case, I should really get into some deeper screenings of some of my favourites. Dumb and Dumber obviously has some greater meaning to it, not merely the discovery of the most annoying sound in the world and the difference between a pull-over and a cardigan. Back to the point...can you tell I'm writing this on less than 8 hours of sleep in the last day and a half? Sex is absolutely pervasive in our society; wasn't it just a matter of time before it became so overt as to allow porn screenings under the guise of a "blockbuster romance film?"

To that point, I have to share this with you: a video of Russell Brand (click here to watch) sharing his views on sex, porn, and its prevalence in today's society - including its prevalence in mainstream media and how that affects us little human beings consuming this on a daily basis. I came across the video whilst surfing Facebook a few days after I'd seen the Fifty Shades movie (we all know "surfing Facebook" is a euphemism for "online stalking") and frankly, I couldn't have shared my own views in any more of a concise or well-articulated manner.

You know what they say about curiosity?

It killed the cat.


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