The pornification of Hollywood

“…With Fifty Shades, Hollywood has put big money, talent, and the promise of sequels into a story where the sex goes far further into the realm of kink than the usual choreographed wrestling under wind-blown sheets with body doubles. And while the trajectory of James’ trilogy of books takes Ana and Christian out of the bedroom through an outlandish thriller on their way to domesticating young Mr. Grey and delivering home, hearth, and family by the finale, Christian’s well-accessorized “red room of pain” is now a spot on Hollywood’s backdrop next to Charles Foster Kane’s warehouse and Rhett and Scarlett’s staircase.

What hasn’t been discussed, though, is the simple fact that no one watches porn for the story while no one really watches a movie for the sex. With Fifty Shades, we have a film that, production values aside, is as dreary and rote as the most pretentious ventures in plot-heavy ‘70s eurosleaze like The Story of O – a film that Fifty Shades resembles in no small part.”

  • Jay Currie

    Tried the book. I was done after 40 pages. Can’t imagine the movie.

    Not sure I agree with Rick on the resemblance between 50 Shades and O. O had a point, 50 is about shopping and redeeming a lost boy (or so I have read).

    As to pornification – Hollywood is the only place on Earth where the more explicit sex becomes the less interesting it is. We live in a pornified world where sex ed talks about activities which were strictly under the counter 40 years ago. And the more explicit the society as a whole becomes the more valuable ideas like risqué and naughty end up being. The overt, in your face, sexualization of the awful Kardashians makes sense of the whole return to “ladylike” sensibility of characters like Robin Wright in House of Cards.

    To enjoy the frisson of transgression there have to be rules to break and, in matters sexual, those rules are created by the people involved. And, for good measure, a lot of that is about creating personal standards. All concepts which Hollywood and the rest of society tossed out as repressive years ago. (Which may explain why box office receipts have been in free fall.)

  • Hard Little Machine

    You can’t sell sex to women. You have to sell the idea of sex. The story. That’s why so much TV is emoting and mood music. To chick it up. 50 Shades isn’t porn it’s the feeling of porn. That’s the sweet spot. It’s an old moldy aphorism but it’s still true. Men use love to get sex. Women use sex to get love.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    And what is the point of “50 Shades/”