(NOTE: This was the one Fansided article I’ve ever written where I wished I could swear.)
There was a time when I held out hope that Hollywood would come to their senses.
No matter what, they wouldn’t adapt Fifty Shades of Grey into a feature-length film.
The book was awful. I’m not just saying that. I read it. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. You cannot possibly say something is bad or good unless you experience it for yourself. Fifty Shades of Grey is, easily, the worst book I have read in my entire life.
And, for some reason, even after thirty-plus years on this planet, I have yet to accept the fact that money talks in the book and film business.
The part of me that thought that Hollywood wasn’t some corrupted, money-obsessed cesspool actually thought, “They’re not gonna make a movie out of this crap. They would never–.” Then, I found out that they WERE making a movie out of it.
The news was mostly greeted with pure frustration and anger from people who, like myself, could not believe that Hollywood was willing to embarrass themselves for the almighty dollar. Then, the casting started to happen…and my fears turned to joy when I found out the guy they wanted for the lead bailed from the project citing a really terrible script.
Not to worry, thought — the producers went from the dude from Sons of Anarchy to Jamie Dornan, whose biggest break in the business was to play The Huntsman in ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME. Fans of the book (yes, they exist) rejoiced: the film had not been cancelled.
Production was to resume even though nobody knows who the hell Dornan is besides the fact that he’s the guy to get when you can’t get Colin Firth.
A few months later, the first teaser trailer debuted. It was pretty much everything the book had to offer in about 90 seconds.
To the fan, it looked like another intense, yet pretentious sex drama.
To me, it was everything I’d come to hate.
The book is the “creation” of one Erika Leonard AKA “E.L. James”, a pen name, because even SHE was embarrassed to write this junk under her real name.
Leonard wrote the first installment of Fifty Shades as Twilight fan-fiction.
That’s right, folks, everything you’ll see on the big screen was because some book company decided to publish the uninspired masturbatory minutiae of a middle-aged British woman, which was based on one of the worst Young Adult series (and films) of all-time.
It gave birth to a horrible new phrase: “Mommy porn” because the media speculated that since it was written by a middle-aged woman, the entire audience was, therefore, middle aged (and stupid) and was the entire readership of the book. Also, the book has “porn”. Bad porn. I wish I was allowed to elaborate. I cannot elaborate.
I’m simultaneously a yellow journalist and saving you from reading this crap.
So, now, your Mom may be reading porn. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
I’d like to think that there are some really hot mothers out there. The kind who drive their kids to school and fantasize about getting railed by the studly poolboy. I’d like to think, however, that those mothers are intelligent. Not brainless zombies who get off on the notion that the local CEO wants to tie them up and beat them until they’re in tears.
Look at the trailer again. I mean, I’m not gonna proclaim that Robert Pattinson and Jamie Dornan are the same person.
Holy crap, they’re the same person.
James didn’t even change anything. Edward is Grey, if the picture didn’t clue you in. He discovers a meek woman and decides to get his rocks off because the girl is naive and doesn’t know any better. The book is Twilight with bondage tacked on. And the writing…for the love of Christ…there’s a reason why publishers don’t pick up authors from fan fiction sites: most of the prose seen on these sites is unacceptably terrible.
But here it is: Twilight, in all its glory, except Edward doesn’t glitter in the sun and, instead, gets off on tying you up and whipping you to death.
Oh, did I mention that E.L. James knows next to nothing about BDSM?
I am not ashamed to admit that I have friends in the BDSM community. They’re pretty nice, normal, down-to-earth people. All of them wanna have a talk with James and tell her that BDSM does not equate to abuse — which, by the way, is really what Twilight was centered around.
Oh, and because of her success in stealing Twilight and re-writing it as some sick submissive/dominant sex fantasy, James was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Influential People”. I, for one, cannot imagine how she made the list, save for the fact that others may be inspired to write loony garbage, based on their favorite books or films and get rich because of it.
If that’s what Time considers “influential”, then this is “Time’s Number One Boneheaded Move” and, thus, “time” they folded to do some soul-searching.
Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t, at all, good literature. It’s not the American Dream. It’s not the little person getting their big shot. It’s a series of three horrible books by an author who couldn’t write to save her life and who only got famous because a publishing company saw sex as the doorway to money.
The whole situation is a mess. It’s the ugly, cynical side of literature and film culture.
But what depresses me about the whole thing is the public who is already eating this up — and who will come out of the theater, thinking that any of this is “sexy” and that BDSM is exactly how it’s represented on screen when it’s nothing like what’s being portrayed. Or, they’ll believe this to be entertaining and long for the next two, eventual, installments in the trilogy.
Let’s stop pretending here and call this what it is: E.L. James is talentless. She took from a crappy book series and created her own crappy book series and now, she’s rich as hell and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Meanwhile, writers all over the globe, struggling to get published in any meaningful fashion, continue to struggle.
What’s the message here?
If I’m reading it right, it’s “It doesn’t matter what you’ve written. Write complete, indigestible, unoriginal material for mass production and you will be richer than God.”
I choose to remain an optimist.