Fifty Shades of Grey is about to be 50% harder to avoid – or worse. It wasn’t enough for a piece of poorly written Twilight fan fiction to rise in the ebook rankings and some how spawn two additional books for the series. Nor was it enough for the book to be picked up by a major publishing house, polished off and printed so it can be purchased at major book retailers. No! Now, the best-selling ebook, which is nothing more than pornography thinly veiled as ‘literature,’ now has a movie deal. (Read Carolyn Moynihan’s post about the book’s popularity with the over-30 crowd.)
I’m not sure how this book-turned-movie could end up with anything as ‘mundane’ as an R-rating. From the reviews and articles I’ve read about the book – it is predominately bondage pornography with a little plot mixed in. As Carolyn’s post states, the book has been wildly popular with women over the age of 30 but it also has a large teenage and young adult following. To meet the high expectations, the studio is in the midst of scouring the world for the perfect cast. After all, it’s highly important to find the perfect business tycoon/vampire male character and the submissive, easily degraded recent graduate female part.
What has me worried about this book is the number of celebrity endorsements it is getting. It seems every day another public figure jumps on the bandwagon. Ryan Seacrest said he is engrossed in the book and it’s his new love manual. Ellen DeGeneres is now the voice behind the audiobook. And on it goes…
But what really has me worried about the upcoming movie is the cast rumors that are swirling about. Every name being speculated, especially for the male role, has mass appeal with the younger generation. Take Ian Somerhalder for example. He currently plays the role of Damon on the Vampire Diaries, a young adult book series that has turned into a multi-season TV show. To the housewife crowd he might not be a household name, but to a high schooler – you can bet they know who he is. Of course, the ultimate vampire, Robert Pattinson is also rumored; as is Zac Efron (of High School Musical) and Ryan Gosling (of The Notebook and Crazy, Stupid, Love). All of this has me thinking the movie is going to seem pretty irresistible, even to a well-intentioned young woman.
Fifty Shades of Grey is turning out to be the perfect example of how people honestly, although mistakenly, believe that what they read/watch makes no impact on them as a person. They can read this hyped-up sexually charged novel in the quiet of their homes and still be an upstanding member of their community, Sunday church-goer and socially-conscious individual. The trouble with that way of thinking is that it simply isn’t true. Even if it doesn’t seem to impact you, it does. It has to.
At one point when I was in high school my sisters and I asked for permission to go see a movie that had one brief sex scene. We knew dad’s reaction would be a resounding no but we came armed with arguments. Surprisingly, he agreed to let us go – on one condition. We needed to eat brownies he made with a small portion of dog feces mixed into the batter. We wouldn’t be able to taste it, so it was no big deal, right? Of course, the very thought was repulsive.
We didn’t see the movie but the lesson was burned into out minds. What we let into our bodies through the senses remains with us – whether we realize it or not. Better to fill ourselves with positive, uplifting, healthy things and leave the smut for the garbage can.