Fifty Shades of Failure: Why you should skip “Fifty Shades of Grey”

It’s that time of year again. The time to buy your loved ones chocolate, flowers, and cards with romantic messages that could have been said better in another language.  It’s also, apparently, the time of year to go watch a movie that glorifies domestic violence and the complete and utter violation of Safe, Sane, and Consensual (SSC) rules.

That’s right.  It’s the time of year where apparently, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the must-watch romantic movie. Due to the issues of partner stalking, domestic violence, and the lack of SSC–to name just three of the multitude of problems in the books–one must wonder why “Fifty Shades of Utter Failure” was chosen as the senior fundraiser trip when there are so many more options for a Valentine’s Day trip they could have done.

A simple Google search for the search string ‘everything wrong with 50 Shades of Grey’ nets a little over nine million results. The majority of those results are either lovingly created detailings of everything wrong with the BDSM aspects of the trilogy or terrifyingly on-point breakdowns of the abuse presented and excused in each of the three books (the best breakdown is the “50 Shades of Abuse” WordPress account, which also contains trigger warnings in the chapter-by-chapter listings, given the nature of the book being reviewed). Other results include absolutely nauseating discussions of how wonderful the trilogy is, the minutes of drinking games on various forums (‘divine goddess’, take a shot), and dramatic readings on YouTube (the best is the Nostalgia Team reading in various voices, including Mickey Mouse), to name a few.

As the movie is being released on Valentine’s Day (with an early release on Wednesday, February 11), one can only assume that the movie will be only slightly better than the books, given that it must be packaged for a wider audience (people are more likely to watch a movie than read a book in certain cases). Theoretically, this means that the movie could be better written and contain fewer problematic elements, and the cast interviews–especially the recent disastrous appearance from the co-stars of the movie–make it almost worth seeing, if only to view the utter lack of chemistry and the almost palpable (and somewhat murderous, if interviews are to be believed) hatred between the lovely Dakota Johnson and equally handsome Jamie Dornan.

The premiere of “Fifty Shades of Abusive Relationships” does make one wonder at the state of Hollywood, when this is the type of movie that they want to release for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is meant to be shared by couples, or friends, or the people who spend the day counting down to the post-Valentine’s candy sale. Nowhere is February 14 supposed to be a celebration of domestic violence.

Except, apparently, in Hollywood.  There are no redeeming features in this trilogy. It is abuse apologism in the worst form and contains very misleading information about BDSM that can lead (and has lead) to hospitalizations and one-way trips to the morgue.

Instead of going to see “Fifty Shades of Domestic Violence,” consider donating the cost of your ticket to a women’s shelter, a food pantry, or an animal shelter, and watch something vaguely holiday-themed on Netflix.

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