Fifty Shades of Grey: What's the big deal?

I just don't get it. Such a big deal is being made over everything to do with 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.

The subject - BDSM relationships - is considered 'taboo' in the mainstream media, but it's not the first, last, and only time that a BDSM erotic novel has made it to the world of publishing and self-publishing. Angelika Devlyn is just one such author who I have read (and the writing and characterisation is not nearly as poor as Fifty Shades). Add to this the fact that the story has been outed as a very incorrect and damaging view of such relationships, and it makes even less sense.

Perhaps it is because the supposed conservative women of the West are finally interested in their own sexuality? Um, no, I think they were pretty clued up already - why else the success of Mills & Boon, which has been around since 1908, feeding the sexual imaginations of women for over a century?

Perhaps it is because the characters are interesting. Well, not the protagonist at least. And not any of Ana's family or friends, really... The only really endearing character is Christian Grey himself. He is exciting for women because he is not real. He offers women character traits that they long for in men.

Maybe it is their relationship? After all, it is based on complete honesty and openness. Except for the fact that it's not (see IDetonateAroundHim.Tumblr.Com for evidence).

And the writing? Surely that has to be a factor in the popularity? Um. No.

I truly think E.L. James was simply lucky - lucky to have arrived in the era of ebooks, lucky to have had the support of a major publisher who was willing to do the marketing, lucky to have the book made into an expected-Blockbuster film.

And she is also lucky because I suspect the film will see major attendance. However, it won't stand out as the century's most amazing erotic film, even though it's just been given a rating of 18 by the BBFC. Why do I say this?

Well, it will be a blockbuster because of the hype around it. Take the 'Twilight' series for example. The writing was also mediocre, but Stephenie Meyer was lucky enough to have Time Warner publish her book for her - this should be evidence that a film was in the works from the very beginning - and thus the best marketing team. All you need is to create a media hype to make everything think the story is the best thing since pink slime.

It won't be memorable because: 1) Many people have expressed disappointment in the actor choices; 2) There appeared to be no chemistry on set between the two actors, which is most important for an erotic film, while they also share no chemistry off-set either; 3) People will realise the story is not that riveting after all; and 4) the idea behind the erotic film - of erotic sex scenes - has been smashed completely by the revelation that only 20 minutes of the film are dedicated to intimate moments.

That latter point means, yes, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is a love story. Now, this is not to say I don't love love stories: give me 'Sydney White', 'The Lucky One', 'Sliding Doors', 'Pride & Prejudice' absolutely any day of the year! But the point of the novel is that it is something different, something taboo, something non-conservative; something meant to open our eyes to a different world, even if it is badly written, the relationship it represents is inaccurate, and the characters are boring and questionable.

The story is now targeted at the mainstream money-making box office, whereas the producers could have honoured the fans of the book and the idea behind the story by making it an art film. People would have gone to see it anyway. Oh, but the profits wouldn't have been so great. Damn.

{Image credits: Facebook/FiftyShadesOfGreyTrilogy}