Hollywood’s Fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey
In just a few days, the film adaptation of the wildly popular novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, will hit theaters and I can’t help but take a moment to really appreciate the phenomenon. Not only has the book (and its two sequels) done incredibly well but it seems to have sparked somewhat of a sexual revolution and awakening among women. It’s worth noting, however, that many men have picked up a copy and even Doctor Oz dedicated an entire episode to the book.
Of course, the hype hasn’t escaped the Hollywood crowd with many celebrities expressing their love for Fifty Shades but what is it that has everyone so captivated?
Radio and television personality, Ryan Seacrest, feels like the book has had educational value. In an interview, he admitted: “I’m obsessed. I’m past the bathtub scene, so I’m making progress. It’s fascinating to see something like that capture the zeitgeist and also it’s really interesting to read… And I’m using it as a manual. I think it can be a study book for a lot of people… Parts of it can be a workbook.”
He may be onto something. An article appearing on the Doctor Oz website, the author acknowledged that, while the book was certainly hot and steamy, he discovered a few important themes that could benefit male readers. What he gleaned from the writing was that women need to feel valued, it’s okay for men to be vulnerable and sensitive, sex is an important communication tool and should be viewed as a journey rather than a destination and, finally, that intimacy demands trust.
I have read all three of the books in the Fifty Shades trilogy and I have to say that the author of that article is pretty spot on. It’s more than just “mommy porn” (as many sites have described it) – it delves into relationships on the most basic, primal and intimate levels. It’s uncomfortable for many but has led to some thought-provoking and helpful discussions in both regular life and among the media.
As Amanda de Cadenet, host of The Conversation, explained: “Whatever it is that gets women to talk openly about what’s going on for them is a good thing. So whatever that catalyst is, I’m for it. . . But I also know in real life being blinded by desire to such a degree can only get you into trouble. It’s a fantasy, and fantasies are awesome as long as you don’t start living them in real life.”
While she seems to be rooted in reality, there are some actresses who became more than willing to live in a fantasy world. Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson are just two of many actresses who expressed interest in being cast in the film adaptation.
Victoria Beckham loved the book so much that she gave a copy to her mother and supermodel, Bar Rafaeli, lamented over the fact that she was nearing the end of the series by tweeting: “on my last 100 pages of Fifty Shades Freed — a sad day. A very sad day. I do not want it to finish.”
Whether you love her or love to hate her, Kim Kardashian definitely represents a lot of what is happening in pop culture and, after asking her Twitter followers if she should read the book, she clearly became enamored. Her love for the series is so well-known that it actually earned her an advance private screening of the movie which, she says, is “soooo good!”
Have you read the books? If so, what did you think? Are you planning to see the movie? I will admit that, in addition to reading the trilogy, I do plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the theater this weekend. Let’s hope the adaptation lives up to the hype!
Croteau, J. (2015). Hollywood’s Fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/celebrity/2015/02/hollywoods-fascination-with-fifty-shades-of-grey/