Articles for the Month of February 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey—don’t believe all the criticism.

bigstock-Romantic-couple-in-a-hotel-roo-12127391As mentioned in my previous post, I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey Friday night. This movie is based on the first book in the series by E. L James.

I watched the movie knowing the basic story line, yet I can’t compare the movie to the book; I’m not qualified because I haven’t read it. One thing I find interesting are the anti-50 Shades posts and links flooding social media, with claims the movie glamorizes abusive behavior—some sites even list chilling quotes from the movie to prove their point.

The efforts to discourage viewers obviously haven’t worked, considering how well the movie has been doing, and those claims haven’t been entirely accurate. For one thing, I don’t recall the chilling quotes in the movie, and if they were there, they must have been taken out of context.

I can’t speak for the books—but in the first movie, the male lead, Christian may have issues—but he never forced the female lead, Anastasia to do anything. When she said “stop”—he stopped.

I saw Anastasia as a sexually curious, naïve yet spunky young woman who experienced an instant chemistry with charismatic Christian. Her character shares a trait with many naïve women, in that she hopes to “fix” the man she is falling in love with.

I saw Christian as a screwed up, basically good person, unable to have a normal relationship—imprisoned by his sexual issues which stem from an abusive childhood.

Could their relationship (if they were real people) be a recipe for abuse? Certainly. But I don’t believe it is bad to explore—via literature or a movie—how such a relationship might spiral out of control. Anastasia was okay with a playful spanking and a little rough sex, but she couldn’t wrap her head around the fact Christian wanted to punish her, hurt her. I never felt the movie condoned abuse. If anything, it could be seen as a cautionary tale.

As for the acting, I think Dakota Johnson did a brilliant job. I loved her in the role of Anastasia.

The viewing I attended was sponsored by a local woman’s business group as a charity event, as part of a “lady’s night out.” The theater was packed—with women. By the response of the audience I don’t think the movie is swaying women toward submissive behavior. When Anastasia stood up to Christian at different points in the movie, or got sassy with him, the audience cheered. They also laughed at the many humorous parts, lines often delivered by the talented Dakota Johnson. When the movie ended, the audience groaned—they wanted more.

One of my male writing friends asked me about the movie. His wife wanted to see it, and he was afraid he’d find the sex scenes so lame he wouldn’t be able to resist commenting, thus spoiling her enjoyment of the film. For some reason he seemed to think the sex scenes would have a bunch of sappy dialogue. Uhh…no…in fact, I imagine a guy might find the sex scenes in the movie pretty hot. As for me, I was a tad uncomfortable watching them in a theater filled with other women. But, they weren’t (IMO) any racier than what we might see on an HBO show, like Game of Thrones. I’d feel more comfortable watching those type of scenes at home with my husband. It isn’t something I want to watch with a group of people.

Another “issue” expressed with the film is the outrage by some in the BDSM community who claim the movie doesn’t accurately depict their lifestyle. Umm…I didn’t know there was some sort of certification process for the BDSM lifestyle. As I mentioned in the previous post, James never claimed to be writing a how-to on BDSM. I am fairly certain that if you gathered up all those who claim to be part of the bondage and sadomasochism community, you’d discover there will always be factions pointing fingers at others, declaring they are not doing it right, therefore are posers.

This movie isn’t for everyone. For those who dislike graphic sex or sexual subject matter, you’ll probably want to skip this one. But if you’re concerned the movie glorifies abusive relationships, I wouldn’t skip the movie for that reason.

Will the second movie fulfill the haters’ prophecy and glorify domestic violence? I have no idea. I’ll have to wait and see for myself.

Fifty Shades of Grey, today’s soapbox.

50Tonight I’m attending a lady’s night out function in Havasu—which will include dinner, cocktails, a fashion show and a short walk to the nearby theater to watch Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’m a little nervous. Oh, not about the movie—about going out in general. I’ve become a bit of a recluse these days, especially considering the fact that during the last eight months when I haven’t been in front of the computer, my hubby, Don and I were off to doctors’ appointments or the hospital. 2014 wasn’t a stellar year for our health.

We’re banking on a healthy 2015, and so far the prognoses looks good considering my recent news that I won’t need chemo.

This means it’s time to get back in the real world, and Don’s given me a nudge, telling me to go have fun with some lady friends.

I will be watching 50 Shades twice—because my mother wants to see it, and she won’t be going with me tonight. Mom read all three books, and is curious to see the movie. I started the first book, but life got in the way and never got back to it.

I find it interesting how some people are protesting the movie. As my daughter pointed out, she couldn’t remember any protests for movies like Saw. It seems the release of Fifty Shades has become something of a soap box for various groups.

On one side are those in the BDSM community who are insulted by the portrayal of their lifestyle. On the other side are advocates for victims of domestic violence who insist the movie promotes abuse. And then of course, are those who oppose anything remotely sexual.

Author Colleen Hoover mentioned on her Facebook page how some people claimed to be praying for her soul because she attended the movie’s viewing in New York. She happens to be friends with Fifty Shades author, E. L. James and even has a cute selfie of her and James on her private FB page.

I don’t think Colleen needs any help on her soul. Not long after becoming a bestselling author she was giving back, donating to charities, reaching out to others and staying grounded. She’s been an exemplary role model for those who find success overnight.

But back to the movie and those on their soap boxes.

For those in the BDSM lifestyle—get over yourselves. James never claimed to be writing a how-to for would-be doms and subs. She has an imagination and crafted a story—it is fiction. The story is hers. If you want to write a book that depicts “the correct” version of the BDSM lifestyle, write it.

For those who never read the book yet promote a boycott—really?? I get not wanting to watch a movie if it sounds like something you wouldn’t enjoy. But to actively protest something you haven’t personally watched, doesn’t seem quite right. Now if I heard puppies were killed during the making of the film, I would be all over the boycott.

Since I didn’t read the series I asked my mother this question: Do you think the Fifty Shades of Grey series promotes domestic violence? Mom (who is 86) laughed and said—no, not at all.

I’ll let you know how I liked the movie. Oh, and if you want to pray for my soul, go for it. I can use all the help I can get.

Good news today!

Book threeYes, I am working on Haunting Danielle, Book 3 —and after today, I’ll have fewer distractions.

This morning I received the news I’ve been waiting for. I don’t have to have chemo. Until today, I didn’t realize how distracted I was by not knowing. It’s like I can get back to living my life—writing my books—focusing on the stories I want to tell.

In a few weeks I’ll be announcing the official release date of Haunting Danielle, Book 3.

Life is good.