Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

To see or not to see 50 Shades of Grey on DVD?

It's safe to say that I'm not a fan of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, from the bad writing to be found in all of the three of the books(which I have not read but have heard plenty of godawful passages quoted to verify that fact) to the mixed messages about romantic relationships,plus the condescending "Mommy porn" label pasted on folks who enjoy the series.

However, I do have a strong urge to watch the film adaptation now that it's out on home video. Since I mostly rent DVDs(and Netflix won't have this title available until June), my decision to see this kinky train wreck for myself isn't based on budgetary concerns.

Rather,it's more of a question of standards for me. Sure, I'm no stranger to trashy stuff and far from being a total prude yet even considering this viewing option is making me squirm. That in itself is bothersome, as it makes me feel like a little old lady and despite what some might think, there are a good number of open minded people amongst the older generation,more so than you would imagine:

I have seen my fair share of sexy shockers, from Body Heat to Basic Instinct and even went on to sexy sleaze such as Wild Things(where a certain Kevin showed off his Bacon strip briefly) and Poison Ivy. Sex in and of itself isn't really the problem or the derivations from the social norm that it takes, it is the desire to simply shock that can be replusive.

Back in the day, I recall the clamor that arose around 9 and 1/2 Weeks back in 1986. That movie also had a Mr. Grey(Mickey Rourke) who tested the limits of his new love interest(Kim Basinger) to the point where she walked out on him because she simply had had enough. It also happened to be based on a book, a memoir by Elizabeth McNeil who claimed this was her true story.

The reaction to the film was one of scorn, with very few critics willing to praise it(one who did was the late Roger Ebert) and it not only bombed at the box office, the movie also earned a few Razzie nominations. However, two made for video sequels came after it and there is a small cult following out there, with many fans fondly recalling the infamous food scene that rivals Tom Jones for edible lust onscreen:

Even that movie,however, didn't receive the nearly hysterical  reaction that Showgirls  did about ten years later. I vividly recall seeing separate lines for movie goers to have their ID checked before being allowed to buy a ticket  to that begging to be mocked sexed up soap opera.

Much like 9 1/2 Weeks, Showgirls tanked at the box office but made up for that loss on home video and is an official cult classic(they even made an Off,Off Broadway musical out of it!). Hard to believe that anyone took this movie seriously but it did rile up plenty of people who were just as outraged at how abusive the sexual relationships were as well as the graphic nudity:

So, in a way, this whole 50 Shades controversy is nothing new. The only thing that really drives me to see this movie is sheer morbid curiosity. Just how bad is it and is it any worse than the book?

Let's face it, folks, this sad little saga is not going away any time soon. Despite the original director and screenwriter leaving(El. James is having her husband write the next script) and the chance that the two lead actors might not return, they are going ahead with the sequels. The studio is even planning on keeping Valentine's Day as it's official opening date, determined as all get out to make this franchise work for them.

That's no reason to watch the first movie at all but I might still do so anyway. After all, I am a person who celebrates bad movies once a year at this very blog and this certainly qualifies on all levels in that department. On the other hand, I'm not sure that I can add anything new to this conversation.

Well, I still have time before 50 Shades is available at Netflix, so please feel free to share your thoughts about this-should I see it, yes or no? If I do, I'll probably write about it here, just not for the official Bad Movie Month feature in August. One thing that I do hope is that a Rifftrax for 50 Shades turns up in time to make this cinematic experience a bit more palatable:

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