I remember the fan-girls drooling over Edward and his lack of emotion. I remember hating people asking me if I were “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob.” I remember wanting to scream when people would get mad at me for not having read the book “Twilight.” Why, dear Universe, why is this happening again? The novel that the new film-mania of “Fifty Shades of Grey” is based on doesn’t hide the fact that it was originally written as a fan fiction of the novel “Twilight.” My first question would be why anyone would want a fan fiction of something that was already pretty terrible. My next question is what is it that causes people to flock to it?
The film opened in theaters Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Opening weekend it grossed more money than ever anticipated, especially considering the ratings that multiple critics have given it. The film made $81.7 million dollars in the first three days alone. This is more than any movie that could be classified as a chick-flick has ever made. It has a whole following behind it as well, all the way up to domestic violence groups trying to boycott the movie, claiming that the sexual relationship between the main characters, and seemingly the entire point of the film and novel, is that of an abusive one. This has also been said of “Twilight” as well (though strangely never about “True Blood”). This leads to my final why: why is this so interesting to women that they are flocking to see it or read it? The only answer I can think of is the kinky content.
Lars von Trier directed a series of films that released in March of 2014 entitled “Nymphomaniac: Volume I and II.” This pair of films starred Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jamie Bell on top of others. As one could tell based on the title, all of these films are about the same type of content of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” What’s the difference? One actually gave audiences what it was craving and the other didn’t. With the idea of eroticism being the only thing appealing about a movie or book, it would be safe to assume that the potential audience would be wanting a certain level of activity as well as visuals. Here lies the difference between American directors and really any other country’s directors.
In his film, Von Trier fulfills all of the things that the imagination could come up with in regards to a film about eroticism. It shows body parts that the audience loves to be titillated by, usually in the form of porn star stunt doubles. It has dialogue that would make anybody blush, and it follows through with a great storyline that holds the audience captive. The main thing that almost all reviews are saying about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” including the user reviews that are often times harsher than the professionals, is that there is a lack of all of these things. The storyline is lacking, which is to be a bit expected of the first film in a trilogy. But the thing that most people are upset about is that there is a lack of scenery to the film, and that all things wild that were supposed to be there, aren’t.
So with a film that is lacking the one thing that promises to be its salvation, why did it gross so much money in so little time? Maybe there’s something that I’m not seeing. My suggestion to anyone who’s debating seeing it is to check out Lars von Trier’s film instead. It promises to be everything that you’re searching for in “Fifty Shades of Grey” and more.
Article by Krista Skweres