Mason students on “50 Shades of Grey”

Mackenzie Bailey, staff writer

If you are trying to figure out what to do this Valentine’s Day, the controversial, best-selling novel “50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James is making its way into theaters.

The pornographic, BDSM-based novel (that many even consider abusive) is definitely not to be seen with your family. However, can you see it with your significant other, with your friends or do you just go alone?

Mason junior, Stephen Self, described the book as “totally sex-driven” and continued on to mention that “none of the characters are particularly interesting; Christian Grey is a creep.”

Self mentioned that he has no intentions of seeing the film or following the series at all.

“There’s a saying that ‘everyone has a kink,’” Self said. “Mine are books that are actually good. Sorry not sorry.”

The Boston Globe agreed, referring to the book as “pretty rough source material.” However the article followed up by saying that the novel “was stripped of its worst parts and turned into a surprisingly warm screenplay.”

Senior Celina Machado does plan to see the movie, but expects to go with a group of friends or one other person.

“I would go with my significant other if he agreed to it,” Machado said chuckling, as if this agreement is unlikely.

Machado believes it is likely that other people will go see it with a significant other, as it is coming out on Valentine’s Day. It could easily be incorporated into plans.

“I’m going to see the movie, just because I think it will be interesting to see how they made it appropriate for the screen,” Junior Tara Jalali said. Although, she will not see it on Valentine’s Day, she will “probably  go see it with some girl friends though, definitely not my boyfriend, that just seems too awkward for me.”

Reviewers across the board discuss the frequency of sex scenes; yet note that the scenes are nothing too vulgar.

Eric Kohn from Indiewire notes, “The sex, well-choreographed for what it is, hovers on the verge of soft-core material but only offers fragments. With the book’s dirtiest sequences excised from the picture, even the most extreme bedroom sessions amount to little more than a teaser trailer for the source material.”

“50 Shades” might not be much different from what’s already on TV anyway.

The Boston Globe wrote that there are no scenes “any more shocking than what’s on cable.”

Which could be considered disappointing, or comforting to viewers.

“There aren’t very many erotic novels like this written for women,” Jalali said. “I think that has a lot to do with why so many girls are interested in it and are interested in seeing it. It may not be the greatest written book, but it contains material that a lot of other authors are afraid to write about.”

Alternatively, Sam Dial, senior, commented, “I wouldn’t spend money on it. It’s only as popular as it is because putting porn in the form of a novel made it acceptable to read in public.”

He believes most guys, at least who he knows, have the same opinion on the novel.

Reviews have varied, some claiming it was dull (USA TODAY), others applauding it for being better than the book (Hollywood Reporter), and many praising Johnson for arguably saving the film (Newark Star-Ledger, Los Angeles Times, Vulture).

The Boston Globe does, however, criticizes Jamie Dornan’s performance as Christian Grey, saying he is more nerdy than cool, and states that he has a “constipation face.”

David Edelstein of Vulture, writes that the film “is nowhere near as laughable as you might have feared (or perversely hoped for): It’s elegantly made.”

“50 Shades of Grey” is in theaters nationwide today.