Attempting to Wrap My Head Around a 50 Shades of Grey Movie

One of my favorite posts of this year was one where Remy and I read 50 Shades of Grey together and discussed it afterwards. Not just because it was two dudes talking about something overwhelmingly beloved by 40 year old women, but it was an interesting exploration of a piece of pop culture that baffles me to this day.

But in the end, erotic novels are nothing new. They’ve existed for a long, long time, and through some miracle, 50 Shades is the one that broke through into the mainstream. It’s like a producer finally managed to get a porn movie to open in 3,000 theaters across the country somehow.

And now, that is what’s going to happen, as 50 Shades of Grey is being adapted into a movie because well, that’s what happens to best-selling books, no matter what they’re about.

As I keep reading new rumors about who is and who isn’t being approached for the film (Emma Watson, Daenerys Targaryen), I’m less titillated by the gossip and more curious as to how exactly such a project can even exist.

I predict a 0% chance of this happening.

Simply put, the book does not have a plot. Well it does, but it can be summed up quite accurately in this pargraph:

A young, frumpy-but-secretly-pretty woman gets to meet a reclusive, gorgeous billionaire one day. After meeting once, they become obsessed with each other and he gives her the old “you should stay away from me,” bit that makes her inner goddess inflame with lust for his hard-to-get-ness. Eventually, he asks her to sign a sex contract that says he will be allowed to treat her like shit and keep her like a housepet/love slave. She spends the book considered the offer while having sex with him every ten pages or so.

That’s it. That’s really it. One thing I’ll say about other erotic novels, at least there are usually other parts to them than the central romance. A barbarian fights a war and saves a lusty wench. A firefighter struggles with the death of his partner as he bangs the local waitress. SOMETHING in there to create a conflict, rising tension, ANY of that stuff a story needs. But here? There isn’t anything like that.

As such, a 50 Shades of Grey film will have to be a very good looking actor being a huge dick to an innocent looking girl while she narrates every single moment of the film. And as for the sex scenes? Unless they’re going full “Shame,” they won’t be allowed to come anywhere close to replicating the graphic nature of the original sequences in the book, which is the entire reason women were reading it in the first place. As I said, if the movie replicated the book to the degree it was supposed to, it would be the first wide-released porno in movie history.

A truly fantastic film everyone who doesn’t get offended by shit should see.

They could do that, and slap it with an X-rating . I’d actually applaud them for having the balls to do so. But if that was the case, theaters would be faced with a choice. Break their self imposed rules of not showing X-rated features? Or miss out on what could be a hugely popular film?

But let’s be real, they’re not making an X-rated movie. I have my doubts it’ll even be rated R. The only reason the film is being made in the first place is to make money, and a PG-13 would allow them to do that. It would be sort of hilarious to see twenty pages of an epic sex sequence reduced to the sort of under-the-covers, shoulders-only scenes we see in films with that rating, but it’s not like more graphic sex would solve the central problem of THE PLOT BEING COMPLETELY NON-SENSICAL.

The entire existence of 50 Shades as a film project just baffles me, unlike any other announced film ever has. It just doesn’t seem like it can possibly exist, and the final result might end up being one of the most hilarious disasters in movie history. But hey, boobs.

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  1. My prediction: either pre-production hell, or they’ll somehow get an amazing screen play that’s very loosely based on the book but actually makes it work.

  2. If they make this movie, here’s hoping it’s an epic fail. Disturbing people are even reading this garbage. It’s one book I wouldn’t mind an angry mob burning.

  3. Well, any actress that takes the part is going to be torn into by the blogosphere for supporting an abusive/dismissive patriarchy (and rightfully so in many ways). I see Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise taking the parts…

  4. I couldnt get past the first 10 pages of this thing. The writing is just a structural mess, I think I lost some intelligene while reading it, like watching Jersey Shore or anything Kardashian related.

    However, if they cast Somerhalder in it, I would go see because i am sooooo gay for Ian Somerhalder.

  5. Thanks for posting that link, Benny Bedlam. That review is made even better by the fact that about 17,500 out of 18,000 voters agreed that the review was “helpful”. That essentially means that even the idiots who are buying this book are forced to admit it’s moronic, and few people cling to delusions like Amazonians so that is one hell of an accomplishment.

  6. @LEM
    and the book series that began as fanfic is just as terrible as its source material. I predict that the movie will be as bad. (if it ever gets made, because honestly, it sucks worse than glittering “vampires”)

  7. Clearly you haven’t read the following 2 books. The entire story, (books 1-3) turns out to be an endearing love story! All of the books are written with extreme detail which is why I think it took 3 books. The love the characters have for one another is ansolutly heartwarming and yet heartbreaking at the same time. For me, the trilogy was more than just sex, its captivated my heart and I would be happy to see the movie interpretation. Oh and I’m 26 not 40… :o)

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