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10 Things We Can Learn From The Fifty Shades of Grey Franchise

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

We’ve all seen the trailer, nearly all of us wanted to go see it and almost half of us had the guts to go. I’m talking about the somehow highly anticipated sequel in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. It’s funny to think that when the first book of this BDSM trilogy came out, soccer moms and older generations gravitated to the book. Now, here we are in 2017 with a sex movie definitely intended for a young audience with Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik singing the movie’s main track. The fan fad of this book-to-movie adaptation is far from a surprise. Not only was it a popular book series because Hollywood snatched it up, a trend that has worked well for most book series, but it is also rather racy stuff. Who wouldn’t want to rebel and go see a sex movie? This movie franchise is definitely different as compared to the others like Twilight and The Hunger Games, however. There are ten very important things to learn.  

1. Book-to-movie adaptations have hit a new low

I’m not saying that all of these adaptations are terrible. Look at the Oscars, for example. Hell or High Water was an incredible film adapted by a gut-wrenching novel. I’m talking about the mainstream adaptations. In the days of Harry Potter, no movie could go wrong (well maybe part one of the seventh book), but it was an extremely successful franchise that never seemed to compromise the quality of the work. Now, however, the starting product is already not as quality as we’re used to. Series like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey are perfect examples of this. 

2. Sexual “experimentation” has never been so comical

This is going to sound weird to most people, but if you have read the books and watched the movies like me, you’ll know the makers of these movies are holding back big time, making at least the first movie a little funny. Other than the playroom itself, many times the films compensate the rather graphic scenes of strange dialogue and awkward sexual encounters. The fact that this is supposed to be BDSM/experimental sex is extremely puzzling and comical. 

3. Consent has never been more twisted in Hollywood

I am all for spreading the word about consensual sex. It is an important issue that needs to be constantly addressed with our youth, but Fifty Shades of Grey takes it to a ridiculous level. We see Chrisitan Grey ask for signatures on contracts, ground rules, schedules, etc. Although this is consent on a whole new level, not only is it misleading young people, but it is also deceiving. Even with this consent up until sex, that does not mean someone can’t take that permission away. We see this play out when Ana says, “stop,” and Christian continues because she signed the contract beforehand. Of all the things to cut, Hollywood, you couldn’t cut out that?

4. A bad book will always ruin the actors portraying them

Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Dakota Johnson. I think I’ve made my point. 

5. Shirtless scenes are supposed to make up for quality

There were nearly 11 shirtless scenes in the new Fifty Shades Darker film. Many audiences believed this was supposed to make up for the lack of BDSM scenes or “sexy scenes” at all. But I think it’s just another Hollywood scheme of being lazy. Who can look at the same shirtless chest for 2 hours and stay entertained? Am I right?! 

6. Secrets are sexy

Let’s be clear. This entire movie is basically a rich guy keeping secrets from his less fortunate “girlfriend” in a means to protect her from his incredibly “dangerous” life. Already the lies sound sexy. This is, of course, a slippery slope that Hollywood always finds itself snowballing down. Sure, lying happens in almost all relationships, but showing a younger generation that lying can “turn someone on” is one of the worst things the industry can do. 

7. Honesty in a relationship is far from what you thought it was

Beyond secrets, truth is also far from what you and I thought it was in a relationship. According to Fifty Shades of Grey, truth not only gets in the way of a relationship, it also doesn’t have to be the whole truth. To keep the mysterious sexy vibes going, just tell part of the truth and it will drive your partner crazy (in a good way?). WHAT?

8. Trailers are almost always deceiving

I’m gonna be honest I was a little excited for the new movie to come out this Valentine’s Day season when I watched the trailer, but just like every over-hyped film, the movie fell short in almost every way. I’ve personally learned, both from movie trailers and their subsequent movies, that trailers are the salespeople and somehow they get me every time, no matter how bad the film. 

9. Dakota Johnson needs a new agent

Even with this huge franchise success, it appears that Johnson is sinking with a burning ship that is this horrible excuse for a movie. She knows, and we know it. Whoever is instructing her to continue with the series should be fired on the spot. 

10. Sex will always sell. Always.

No matter how little, how poorly scripted, how uncomfortable or how just about anything else. People love sex, and they’ll pay outrageous movie theater ticket prices to go see it. 

I am a Writing, literature, and Publishing Major. I love Netflix, food, and sleep. College lets me experience all 3 of my favorite things simultaneously.
Emerson contributor