Thursday, March 19, 2015

50 Shades of Grey (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies
"50 Shades of Grey" Is Mommy Porn

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

A British woman named Erika Mitchell discovered that she liked porn. Well, soft porn with a slightly kinky twist. Something a little more sensual than those bodice-rippers from Harlequin Books. So -- perhaps slightly embarrassed -- she wrote a sexy ebook under the assumed name of E.L. James. She called it "50 Shades of Grey."

She hadn’t had much experience with writing, except for some "Twilight" fanfiction under the nom de plume of "Snowqueens Icedragon." She describes "50 Shades of Grey" as "my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies in there, and that's it."

Fantasies indeed.

Rather than the implied eroticism of a vampire lover that was characteristic of her fanfiction, "50 Shades" ventured into bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, even a touch of sadomasochism. Or BDSM, as the shrinks like to call it.

To Erika’s surprise, other people shared her fantasies. Sales of the ebook took off. In fact, it became such a phenomena that Vintage Books picked it up as an ink-and-paper book. And E.L. James (Erika, that is) wrote two more volumes.

So far, the series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. And it’s earned Erika about $95 million (including $5 million for the movie rights).

Interested, you little pervert you? The cinematic version is currently playing around at the Tropic Cinema.

In it, we meet a college student named Anastasia Steele and a dynamic young businessman, Christian Grey. They are portrayed by two relative newcomers, Dakota Johnson (the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) and Irish-born Jamie Dornan (a first cousin, twice removed, of actress Greer Garson).

When Ana goes to interview Christian Grey, she finds him enigmatic yet charismatic. He’s attracted to her too. But as she quickly discovers his tastes run to the "non-normative." A control freak in his personal life, just like in managing his businesses, he likes to tie women up and have his way with them.

Being a tad naive, Ana is hesitant, but nonetheless gets sucked into his world of dark eroticism. After all, he’s a handsome, eligible bachelor. Not to mention that he reeks in the aphrodisiac of money and power.

Her Cinderella dreams are quickly replaced by a Rapunzel-like captivity.

Think: "9½ Weeks," that 1986 erotic romantic drama starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. But that was more of a male fantasy. "50 Shades of Grey" is designed to go after the female libido. Mommy porn, it’s called.

The question you’re asking yourself about now is will guys like "50 Shades of Grey"? Just go. You don’t have to be a Boy Scout to be interested in knot tying.

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