Monday, 17 February 2014
Fifty Shades of... well, not very much, by all accounts...
They're toning it all down for the cinema, apparently. At least, that's what I read last week, anyway. All those sex scenes that made women all around the world reach for E.L. James' bestselling novel are, allegedly, being cut or toned down or sanitised, or something. America doesn't want an NC-17 rating for this hotly anticipated movie, because that could kill it at the box office. Want to know what I think will kill it at the box office? Taking out the frigging sex, that's what! I mean, come on, I didn't even like the bits in between, if I'm being honest. I actually found myself skipping large chunks of the story just to get to the sex because I honestly didn't enjoy reading the rest of it, but that's just me, obviously. And, another thing, I also expected a lot more sex, given the hype. There were times when I found myself saying "is that it?" Oh, don't get me wrong, some of those scenes were HOT, but there just weren't enough of them for my taste. But that's just my taste. I know this trilogy of books have an incredible amount of fans, and who am I to knock that? If I, as an author, could have just a smidgeon of the success and the following E.L. James' books have created I'd be kicking my height from now 'til the next millennium. But I'm getting off-point a bit here. I'll return to my opinion of the book itself in a little while. What I'm concerned about at the minute is this sanitising of a story that is, quite frankly, based around sex! Cut the sex out, and is it actually going to be worth watching?
I have no doubt that, once it's released, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' - the movie - will smash all box office records. Women will be rushing to their local multiplexes in their droves to see how one of the most talked-about books of the past few years has translated onto the big screen. But, if the rumours are true and most of those all-important sex scenes are cut to shreds, is it actually going to be any good?
I, personally, didn't take to the character of Ana at all. Not one bit. I found her quite irritating, to be honest. And as a writer I always feel slightly uncomfortable criticising another writer's work because E.L. James obviously did something right, but I'm just giving my own personal opinion. And I'll probably be shot down in flames now by saying that I didn't even find Christian Grey himself all that appealing. I liked the idea of him, don't get me wrong. That whole being swept away on a sexual fantasy thing is a massive turn on, no doubt. I'm a girl who's a huge fan of escapism, but I just didn't take to him much, either. Which is why I haven't bothered with the other two books in the trilogy, yet. But that's just me. Like I said, these books have been mind-blowingly successful, as have others that came after them - Jodi Ellen Malpas' 'This Man' trilogy springs to mind. So there's definitely a market out there for this kind of stuff. And I myself write romance very much on the steamy side of the tracks - it's NC-17 rated, let's put it that way - but I can't even begin to put myself in the same bracket as Jodi Ellen Malpas or E.L. James. I have yet to have even a taste of that kind of success, but I'm not giving up hope of it happening. ;-)
However, the major selling-point of the 'Fifty Shades...' books was the sex, was it not? Sex sells, and nobody can really argue with that. But what kind of movie will 'Fifty Shades of Grey' minus the sex really make?
I'll still be going to see it. Despite everything I've just said, I'm curious enough to see how this book translates onto the big screen to actually pay money to see this movie, which I don't do lightly, believe me. Even Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling haven't been enough in recent months to make me part with the best part of thirteen quid. But, my sister and I have already planned a day out shopping followed by a visit to the cinema to see 'Fifty Shades...' next February, and I'm intrigued, to say the least. Even more so now the rumours are rife about those sex scenes, and what could now be a lack of them.
However, this is all still rumours, let's not forget that, and there'll probably be a lot more of those as the release date for this movie draws nearer. Doubtless the hype that will surround this film will be ten-fold on what it was for the books, with or without the sex. But, I still have my doubts that it's going to work in the same way the book did without the scenes that make these novels so popular. I may be wrong, and I'll quite happily stand corrected if I am. But in my opinion a sanitised and toned-down version of what E.L. James wrote just isn't going to feel the same.
On a final note, though, I absolutely LOVE the official movie poster that's just been released. That is clever. That alone could actually make me want to see that movie... Now, could someone actually buy the television/movie rights to my just-as-sexy (although there's no bondage involved, yet, but I haven't finished writing the final installment at the time this was written, so there's still time...) 'Striker' trilogy of books? I really want a poster like that!! ;-)