All I See are 50 Shades of Red

50 Shades of Red

So, the new 50 Shades of Grey movie is set to release next month.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Will I watch it? Likely. Did I like the books? No.

It’s been over two years since an army of  exhausted women with kids from around the globe mustered up some energy and went buck wild for the EL James’ Trilogy. I’m sure husbands everywhere are looking forward to another surge of action when the film hits cinemas, although ideally it would just go straight to DVD…

I was one of the last to get on the 50 Shades bandwagon and was the first, and only in my crew, to hop the hell off.

The moment the young, drunken Anastasia Steele fell at the feet of the composed and sober Christian Grey, was the moment the judgmental realist in me was awakened.

She’s 21. Let her figure it out for herself, Mr. Grey. Even if that means puking in a bush…

Yet I chose to read on.

Now, for those of you who don’t know me I’m a pretty open minded, easy going person-not too quick to judge. I’m generally a “different strokes for different folks” kinda gal so I was surprised to discover the angry critic brewing within me and so early into the first book, nonetheless.

But I guess for me, when it comes to the dominance of men over women, I just don’t have tolerance for it. Once I’d tapped into the controlling nature of Christian Grey’s character, I found myself mourning the loss of a naïve, young woman’s freedom. I couldn’t read on with an open mind while Ana’s character, a virgin nonetheless, was drawn into a world that would enlighten and smother her all at the same time.

Christian Grey was far too overpowering outside the Red Room of Pain for me to find him sexy in it.

Okay, okay. Maybe he was a little bit sexy…

Sure his character had some complexities and childhood tales that would melt any caring woman’s heart but the man was also obsessed with control and he had set expectations about how Ana should be.

I felt claustrophobic for her.

The way I saw it was, if you’ve requested some space and time to yourself and the guy turns up anyway- consider that a sign to get the hell out. Even if he is hot and arrived via helicopter, it’s still stalker behaviour.

Give the woman some room to breathe, I say- a chance to catch her breath.

I’m pretty sure if Ana’s character existed in real life she’d soon become a fan of the anthologies: I Just want to Pee Alone and I Just Want to Be Alone and that’s before the arrival of babies. Imagine what life would be like, at the Grey household, afterwards…

Unlike me, my friends weren’t spending their time analyzing the realism of the characters or the likely real life outcomes of their relationship. Oh no, they spoke of hot sex with their husbands and a new found sense of adventure in the bedroom. One friend revealed a bright pink hand print on her ass cheek during a playdate. Another confessed that she had photocopied sections of the books, for future reference, before returning them to their owner who then passed them swiftly on to the next borrower.

The books were going down so well with everyone around me.

I wanted in.

I wanted to know their joy.

But I just couldn’t relate…

“You’re thinking too much,” they said as they headed eagerly back into their new-found sex-fuelled lives.

Leaving me wondering, were they right? Maybe I did need to chill out.

So, I tried harder to relax.

I aimed to focus on the sex and ignore the storyline…

But I couldn’t do that.

The only passion 50 Shades of Grey instilled in my life was the passion to remind E.L. James that her characters were American, not British.

It’s an elevator, not a lift. She calls; she doesn’t ring. She picks up; she doesn’t collect. And she gets organized, not sorted.

And, “Let’s go throw some shapes on the dance floor!”?  What?! I don’t think they even say that in England anymore.

Each British-ism distracted me and further fueled my disdain.

The only way I would be able to come to terms with this romance was if Ana dumped Christian, bought herself a backpack and headed off to Thailand on a solo healing journey.

Alas, it wasn’t Eat Pray Love so that didn’t happen and, not surprisingly, I found myself literally rolling my eyes at the end of the third book when Ana becomes the head of her own publishing company along side her roles as the young mother and wife to a very damaged and incredibly needy individual.

And how exactly, was Ana going to focus on this high powered career? And when did Ana the Editor have time to develop her skills and savvy business mind?

She was far too busy losing herself into a far fetched, all-consuming world of sex, pain and somebody else’s expectations.

Had their affair been a summer fling I may have been able to accept it but all efforts to couple up, rescue and then have kids with this man, all while managing a successful career? It was just too much for me to take.

50 Shades of Grey rocks many worlds, but unfortunately not mine!

All I see are 50 Shades of red.

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Whiteway from

This post originally appeared on BLUNTmoms.

22 thoughts on “All I See are 50 Shades of Red

  1. Thank you! I too hated the book (I only got halfway through the first) and couldn’t quite put my finger on why…other than the atrocious writing that would repeat on itself over an over again.

  2. Hey Lesley, I totally get why you quit reading it when you did. Smart move. If only I’d walked away sooner, I could have spared myself some rage. “Over and over again” seems to be an ongoing theme in those books. Over and over and over. As if!

  3. I never stop reading when I start a series, well, until E L James came along. I did make it through the first book, but yes yes yes! For all the reason you say I could NOT read the rest of the series. The man was a stalker! He preyed on nearly every facet of her. ICK!

  4. I love your review. I have never actually read any of these books. One of my friends tried so hard for me to read them but once she told me the story line I was extremely uninterested. Like you said what is so grand about a women whose who life is controlled by a man. Oh but his life sucked as a child. I guess that gives him an excuse to be a complete a**. Plus my sex life with my husband was amazing enough without me needing to read a book about how to let my husband “abuse” me in the bedroom.

  5. THANK YOU! Ugh. Everyone I know looooves the books they’re soooo great can’t wait for the movie.
    I agree with you 100%. I was rooting for the guy who’s just a friend but has a crush on her. Or just for her to have her own life. Junk. I forced myself to read all three just to see what happened, and felt dumber after.
    Even the erotica was not that great.

  6. I live in a strange alternate reality where my husband is a fan of Twilight and 50 Shades and I just….it takes everything I have to be nice when he asks, dumbfoundly, why I’m not into them.

  7. Ok I confess did not jump on the bandwagon, and not even thought about reading this. My oldest daughters girlfriend bought the book for her, she is an English major and after about 40 pages she stated that the book would be good for kindling only!!! She said it was a horrid read!.. Seems she was correct.

  8. I could not agree more!! I got as far as the middle of the second book before it became a blur of the same sex scene, the same playful banter, and the same controlling bullshit. That was not sexy for me at all. And I’m pretty open-minded about things usually too…

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