A few weeks ago I watched a movie that was on TV, it being a rather slow Friday night. It was based off the first book of a series I had heard of, but never read. The movie was good, and the little love story intertwined was just enough to make me watch the movie again and again. I loved it, and now want to read the book... but part of me wondered why it took an evening of nothing better on TV for me to finally see it! Being the first in a series, I googled when the second movie would come out, only to learn that this movie that I so enjoyed F-L-O-P-FLOPPED at the box office, so much so, that no subsequent movie is in the works. Maybe I just have awful taste in movies, but the fact of the matter was that the movie flew right under the radar. I don't go to the movie theatre often, so I never saw a trailer for it. Additionally, it lacks a certain level of misogyny, abuse, or the controversy of homosexual Mormon men choosing to marry women that floods every media outlet these days. Hardly viral worthy stuff... ya know?
I remember when the book Fifty Shades of Grey was first published. The fanfic Twilight inspired spin-off was popping up in a few articles here and there, the Ellen Degeneres show, and heaven knows what else because of it's erotic nature and comedically crappy writing. Leave it to the general public to prove that sex sells, even if it is cheap, poorly written sex. But alas I digress....
I knew very little about Fifty Shades of Grey. I knew that the women of my faith had been advised not to read it, as it was basically porn in novel format. I knew it had grown in popularity at a frightening rate. I knew that it was about some sick-nasty, rich guy who had creepy... I mean, "singular", sexual taste. And I also knew I wasn't going to read it.
Then they advertised the making of the movie and all over the internet people declared who their desired actors for the dream-role would be, and aside from my not minding attractive people appearing even more on the internet, I could have cared less. And then.... it happened.
Once a glimpse into the movie went public, people went nuts. Like, certifiably. People who never post to FB were suddenly sharing, liking, writing and "signing" boycott petitions. Controversial bloggers were increasing their site traffic by critiquing, analyzing, and ripping it wide open. People of faith, women's rights activists, and Fight the New Drug proponents rose to the occasion to expose the content of the up and coming movie that proves to be nothing short of horrific. I even saw an article recently that shows quotes from the stars of the soon-to-be box office hit stating how personally disturbed they were portraying these characters and were sickened by the actions they performed-all of this, very convincing.
It convinces those who have not read the book something they already know: that it is raunchy and abusive.
It convinces those who have read the book something they already know: that it is raunchy and abusive.
But it's also done something that I think those making the film anticipated, and those against it didn't realize they were enlisted to do: Advertise.
Can we be honest? Fifty Shades of Crap (aherm, Grey) has plagued our social media outlets, and will continue to long after February 14th. With every good intention, we have re-tweeted, posted, and expressed our strong dissatisfaction with it's content, and in so doing have made it impossible to ignore.
Let me be clear in that I will not be seeing this film. My upbringing, moral code, and plain distaste for the material makes this so, but that's not to say that all of the constant talk hasn't made me wonder. What could possibly, really be portrayed that has everyone's panties in such a twist?! (excuse the choice of words. haha)
That being said, if I were not a person of a particular devout faith, nor had been warned against the dangers of pornography my whole life, or just plain didn't think this movie could possibly be deserving of all this hype, it would be difficult to resist going to see this film based on the simple fact that I wanted to understand what the heck all the hubbub was about.
And I can guarantee I am not the only one.
Like all controversial things, the advertising of such carries the smallest expense as the audience does all the advertising it needs. And though I can hope all of the attempts to deter the viewing of this film are not in vain, I think it is safe to say that we've beaten this horse dead, and everyone can smell it from a mile away.
I recognize the irony of this post. Posting about how posting about this has made it not only hard to ignore, but rather even encouraged it's viewing... but I felt it needed to be said.
Valentines Day is coming, and so is Christian Grey. Instead of proclaiming what love is NOT, let's let the mystery die, and instead express what love IS... free of Fifty Shades of Advertising.