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Happy Valentine's Day

Rating: 2 votes, 1.00 average.
When a book is turned into a movie, we often hear the same lament: “Damn, they ruined it!” The novel’s beautiful prose and careful plot development are reduced to clichés and excuses for explosions. Beloved characters get written out or transformed into caricatures. (Don’t get me started on the butchery of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work.)

Thankfully, that didn’t happen with America’s most widely read and widely viewed BDSM franchise: the Fifty Shades oeuvre. How did they avoid the problem? Simple they started with horrible novels and ground them into horrible movies!

Lovely and Sad, one of the best writers I’ve yet met, lamented the Fifty Shades books even as she plowed through them: “Those books are really tough going. I have nothing against Godawful. But this is Godawful squared.” Since I vigorously avoided the books, I’ll simply celebrate my confidence in her judgment.

Folks who have reviewed the films suggest that they’re worthy adaptations of the original mess. The Atlantic: “an awful trilogy (finally) comes to an end.” BBC: “a total disaster.” The New Yorker: “impersonal, empty, expensive.” Entertainment Weekly: “a guilty pleasure, without the pleasure.” Vanity Fair: “There’s hardly a plot to be found in this obscenely silly film.” Irish Times: “Last gasp of a decrepit phenomenon.” Daily Mail: “Fifty Shades of Awful!” The kindest things I’ve read are (1) Dakota Johnson is really good and (2) things have been throttled back so much that the third film isn’t really offensive (because it’s neither shocking nor enthralling). Critics within our community put it this way: “It’s a great D/s movie except for misunderstanding the ‘D.’ And the ‘s’. And dialogue.”

Happily, Refinery 29, a site targeting young women is offering up 11 movies that are Way Kinkier Than Fifty Shades Freed. Their list, in chronological order:

  1. Belle de Jour (1967), housewife as kinky sex worker
  2. Story of O (1975), ummm … they tried hard
  3. Maitresse (1975), he finds her dungeon
  4. 9 1 / 2 Weeks (1986), incredibly compelling for the first 90% of the film IMHO
  5. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989), best way to a woman’s heart starts with tying her to the bed
  6. Tokyo Decadence (1992), a film for which “WTF?” is a decent reaction
  7. Basic Instinct (1992), uhhhh ...
  8. The Piano Teacher (2001), rather more graphic violence than MSM normally permit
  9. Secretary (2002), which I like a lot; it’s got a real spark.
  10. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), meh, Angelina Jolie is briefly a domme
  11. A Dangerous Method (2011), Sigmund Freud advises Carl Jung to pick up the paddle!

The original article offers trailers of each.

What, I wonder, did they miss?

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.


Updated 02-14-2018 at 03:45 PM by Solis



  1. lovelyandsad's Avatar
    To be fair, there is a lot I admire about 50 Shades. The franchise singlehandedly kept the publishing industry going. In part it was the novelty factor, but EL James touched a nerve (so to speak). I know people whose eyes were opened to new things by the books -- and some of them have even found their way onto this site. And let's not forget that she wrote the novels for fun, as fanfic, never expecting to make any money off of them. Who among us who have posted stories on this site don't harbor dreams of our work being discovered and then becoming filthy rich off of them?

    I should also say that I have always loved the LOTR books and I am also a huge fan of Peter Jackson's LOTR movies (although not The Hobbit trilogy, which was a travesty).


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