Fifty Shades of Something That Ain’t Love

Every blogger in the blogosphere has put his or her two cents in about Fifty Shades of Grey, both the book and the movie, the latter of which came out in theaters yesterday, just in time for Valentine’s Day. So it’s time for me to add my two cents to the pile of change.

I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but I have been tempted to read the book simply out of curiosity, just to see if it’s really as bad as critics have said. (I don’t see how it could be worse than anything Danielle Steel writes.) Supposedly, it began life as Twilight fanfiction, so that fact alone tells me that it can’t possibly be any good. Even so, that’s almost beside the point.

What bothers me is that the movie came out around Valentine’s Day, and it’s not a sweet, corny romance like something written by Nicholas Sparks or even a goofy romantic comedy with Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller. Love is not what’s being glorified in the movie, based on what I’ve read in summaries of the plot. It’s about lust and control and how a relatively innocent college-age kid is taken advantage of by a rich (but still somewhat young) businessman.

I thought love was about sacrificing for the other person. I thought love was about compromise, not coercion or manipulation. I thought love was about communicating with each other and getting through hard times and helping each other through life… because life is hard enough as it is. Why make life even harder by getting into a relationship filled with lust and confusion… a relationship that causes you to second-guess yourself and rethink what you thought love was?

Yeah, I understand that it’s “just a movie,” and without all that violence, lust, sex, confusion, and coercion, there wouldn’t be a plot. But thankfully, for every movie (and book) like Fifty Shades of Grey, there are fifty more that tell stories about real love. So go find one of those to watch (or read) instead.