Friday, February 20, 2015

50 Shades of Gray

     It's an epic story filled with romance and disappointment; hope and fear. And at the very end, there is a dramatic scene that usually takes place in the bedroom.

     Often it starts out with so much promise, only to be tripped up on the shoals of experience, until we realize we can attain a more rewarding and satisfying relationship with ourselves and our loved ones through patience, tolerance, experience, and a commitment to family and friends, as well as the resolve to be true to ourselves.

     There is young passion, maturing into a deeper, more textured love. But the story is not without violence, and sometimes even death, along with the general ravages of time. I am talking about the experience of real life itself, in all its colors and textures, with all its rewards and disappointments -- and the result, for most of us, is 50 shades of gray.

    Wait! If you thought this post was about the new movie, based on last year's hottest book 50 Shades of Grey, you are sorely mistaken. The Grey in that story is a narcissistic, self-serving misogynist named Christian Grey, who lures the young and curious literature student Anastasia Steele into his lair of sexual restraint.

     I read the book and, believe me, it is much more an old-fashioned romance novel than any kind of modern, sexually explicit literary spellbinder. I am not likely to see the movie, because I suspect it is all tease and titillation, but does not deliver a true sense of resolution or completion, much less any real emotional impact.

     I read the book last year because my friend's wife said she'd read it and actually liked it. B tried to read the book and gave up -- not because it offended her delicate sense of sexual propriety (which she does have), but because she thought the book was repetitive and shallow. She couldn't get engaged with the story; and she put it down because she felt it just wasn't going anywhere.

     Anyway, B and I watched a truly romantic movie on Valentine's Day. On TV we caught Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, a classic that B (amazingly!) had never seen before.

     Casablanca is one great film that still holds up, more than 70 years later. And for those of you who were attracted to this post by the titillation in the title, to paraphrase Captain Louis Renault from the movie:  I am shocked ... shocked to find that you think there is some kind of pornography going on in here!

13 comments:

gigihawaii said...

I refuse to watch 50 Shades of Grey, because I hear it glorifies sado-masochism.

DJan said...

I have had little interest in either the book or the movie, but I do agree with you that Casablanca is a true classic that has stood the test of time. I tear up when I think of that last scene. :-)

c said...

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

Classic!

christina neumann said...

I agree with your wife. It is shallow book with no real plot except sexual dominance. Honestly, I cannot understand the mania( even my older sister) about this book.
I won't see the movie. But I did finish ( sorta ) the book.

Meryl Baer said...

A friend gave me her copy of 50 Shades but I could never manage to read it. Started, but gave up. More than once...And we also watched Casablanca!

Olga Hebert said...

I read one paragraph and decided the book was not for me and I have no interest in the movie. pleasure over pain any day for me. I did see the beginning of a Rachel Ray show yesterday where she was going to show make-overs on fifty grey haired people. I actually thought that is what your post was going to be about.
No, really.

Stephen Hayes said...

I just read a piece of trivia about Casablanca you might find interesting. Nowhere in the script did Bogey say, "Here's looking at you, Kid." to Ingrid Bergman. While filming, Bogey and several of the actors passed time playing poker. Ingrid saw them and asked them to teach her how to play. She was so slow making bets that Bogey took to saying, "Here's looking at you, Kid," prompting her to place a bet. The director heard the exchange and put it in the film.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Casablanca has one of the funniest lines I ever heard from a government official...nothing, I know nothing.

Tabor said...

I tried to read the book but also found it tedious. I have read that many critics feel the movies is a slog as well. I am in disagreement with the gender imbalance that it supports as love. Power it is, love it is not! Casablanca it one of my all time favorite films and I have seen it at least seven or eight times. One of the few movies that holds up to re-viewing.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hahahaha...I love how you compare a "classic" like Casablanca that has withstood the test of time in such an elegant way, with the momentary flash of the book/movie 50 Shades of Gray. Just like people who have weathered the storms of life and carry forward in an elegant (yet graying) way, we all have the choice as we age to make our lives reflective of something "classic" or just another momentary flash in the pan. That's the REALLY 50 (or more) shades of gray I find MUCH more interesting! ~Kathy

Friko said...

never read, never saw 50 shades. Never will, not likely. I hate being bored and I think that’s all book and film would do to me.

The other 50 shades of grey are with me, well and truly. I might try to hide, have done in the past, but I am more and more coming to the conclusion that a painted head of hair on a wrinkly body may not be all that great either.

Friko said...

Must re-watch Casablanca. Now there’s enough crackle there to light anyone’s fire.

Barbara Bomberger said...

My understanding is that the book is poorly written. I did see the film and it did have real glimpses of humor-that said, it required some serious editing to get to the R from the X rating. I will say (spoiler here) that the result at the end of the third book is that she has cured him.

Casablanca is my favorite movie of all time, and I have just lately returned from 50 shades of gray to brown.