A Guy’s Take on 50 Shades of Grey

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 12: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan attend the UK Premiere of “Fifty Shades Of Grey” at Odeon Leicester Square on February 12, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images) Ian Gavan Getty Images Europe

50 Shades of Grey: No four words have paralyzed American males quite like them, since “Alabama hires Nick Saban” scrolled across our television screens eight years ago.

 

Spoilers ahead. 

We all knew it was coming out this past weekend, and for the women in our lives, it was basically the Super Bowl, Selection Sunday and a weekend trip to Vegas all rolled into one; part event and part life experience, but one that would absolutely would not be missed, under any circumstances. Basically, if there was a woman in your life — girlfriend, domestic partner, wife, friend zone friend, whatever — and you were a male between the ages of 15 and “dead,” there was a 100 percent chance that you were seeing 50 Shades of Grey this weekend. There was no reason to fight it, the more you struggled, the more punishment you’d receive in the end (something that ironically, was a major theme of the movie).

Yup, that’s right, as guys we all went through the 50 Shades struggle, and I do mean all of us. The movie took in over $90 million, making it the box office winner of the last few days, and the single largest opening ever on President’s Day weekend (which is fitting, since when I think ‘Lincoln’ I think ‘sexual deviant’). And whether you want to admit it or not, the fact that nearly one third of all tickets were sold to males, makes it almost certain that you saw it. If you didn’t, well chances are you probably will at some point in the near future.

Yet while we all went through the struggle together, the simple truth is that once we saw it, we had nowhere as guys to discuss that struggle. Our girlfriends and wives all got to chat amongst each other over cosmos and at work, but as guys, we never really got that opportunity. It’s not like you can go up to Craig in the cubicle next to you and ask him what his favorite 50 Shades scene was.

Nope, as guys, we have nowhere to discuss our 50 Shades experience… at least until now.

Here is A Guy’s Take on 50 Shades of Grey, full of my thoughts and opinions while watching it.

Ladies, if you want to know what your man is thinking while sitting through the movie, read below. And guys, if you need to get some 50 Shades thoughts off your chest as well, there’s a comments section below.  

Enjoy.

Christian Grey is the man. He’s a weirdo. But he’s also the man.  

For those of you who haven’t yet seen the movie, it opens with Anastasia — a shy and gawky, but sweet English lit major — showing up at the offices of Christian Grey, to do an interview for her school paper. The offices of Christian’s multi-nation, multi-billion dollar corporation are in Seattle, and the interview will run right before Christian gives the commencement speech at Anastasia’s upcoming graduation from Washington State.

(By the way, I’ve got to ask: Was this the single best moment for Washington State in the last decade? I think you could make a very compelling case. I mean, name one thing that’s happened, which is bigger for Wazzu than being prominently featured in one of the most anticipated movies in years?

To take it one step further, with Klay Thompson in the All-Star Game Sunday, could you say that this is the single greatest weekend in school history? I say so.)

Speaking of Christian, if you haven’t figured it out by now, he’s awesome, and basically opens the movie living the life every guy secretly wishes he had (even if he’d never admit it out loud to his significant other). He’s young, handsome, unattached, and rich beyond belief. What he’s actually done to earn his wealth is suspect — crap, for all we know, he could be the next Bernie Madoff — but it doesn’t really matter at this point. What does matter is that he’s cool, confident and cocky, the swag that can only come when you’re young, handsome, have made a crap ton of money, and haven’t been told “no” in half a decade.

Basically, I love Christian Grey.

Also, if he were a real person, I’d fully expect him to have a seat on ‘The Shark Tank’ panel by 2017.

When do we discover he’s into weird sexual stuff?

Full disclosure (and I think I speak for most every man on the planet when I say this): All I knew about 50 Shades of Grey coming into the movie, was that there was a bunch of weird sexual stuff involved. That’s literally it. I couldn’t tell you a single plot line, character, story arc, nothing. All I did know was that at some point, the whips and handcuffs would come out.

That’s also why I basically spent the first half hour or so of the movie, waiting for signs of Christian’s inner-freakiness waiting to come out. I knew they’d be there, if I paid close enough attention. And they were.

For starters, there’s the opening scene, where Anastasia is interviewing Christian, and he makes about 37 off-hand comments, that could or could not be perceived to be sexual innuendos. There were plenty of examples, but the one that comes to mind is when he is asked about his interests outside of work, and Christian answers by saying, “I enjoy various physical pursuits.” Granted, he could have been talking about hang-gliding and parasailing there, but it was evident that he was probably more likely thinking about hanging upside from a swing, and…well, ya know.

The next most obvious moment comes when Christian shows up at a hardware store where Anastasia works, just days after they met. For a second let’s avoid the obvious questions — like mainly, why would a female, 20-something, English lit major be working at a hardware store — and get to the part when Christian makes his purchases.

When Christian does go to the cash register, he’s only got rope, tape and cable cords. Meaning he’s either auditioning for a role as the third ‘Property Brother’ that no one’s ever heard of, or he’s into some freaky stuff.

The hardware store is where Christian goes from ‘Cool’ to ‘Creep.’ Not that Anastasia seems to mind.

As a guy, I couldn’t help but notice this, and I’m sorry, but it seemed a little far-fetched to me. As someone in his late 20’s, whose main interaction is with women in their 20’s, I can promise you, there isn’t a single woman out there who thinks that it’s “romantic” when a guy shows up at your place of employment, a day after you meet them. “Creepy” maybe. But not “romantic.”

You know what else isn’t romantic? When Christian shows up unannounced at a bar that Anastasia is at later that night. She’s standing outside with a male friend (classic “friend zone”), before Christian shows up unexpectedly, shoves the other dude out of the way, and whisks her away in one of his very expensive foreign cars.

All this leads to one very important question: How did he even know she was at the bar in the first place? Their only interaction that entire night was a brief phone call, where Anastasia casually mentioned she was out with friends. That basically means that the only way he could’ve realistically know where she was, is if he used some sort of cell phone tracking device.

By the way, how awesome is it being rich?

If he were “Christian Grey, assistant manager at Best Buy,” the act of using a cell phone tracking device to find a girl at a bar probably would’ve landed him a restraining order.

But because he’s “Christian Grey, billionaire,” it somehow comes off as “romantic.”

When does Anastasia realize her new ‘man’ is into, umm, “different” sexual stuff?

Honestly, after the bar scene, things get a little blurry for me (much like Anastasia, who may have had a few too many drinks that evening). There are essentially a bunch of scenes between the two that kind of run together at that point; one where she’s drunk, one where they share a piece of toast, one involving a helicopter ride to his apartment, one involving his mom walking in on the two of them while they’re umm, “doing stuff” (easily the most relatable scene of the entire movie).

However, ultimately the cat gets out of the bag (something Christian is probably into, by the way) sometime around the third date, where Christian shows Anastasia his “play room,” which, in case you haven’t seen the movie, is as creepy as it sounds. The “play room” is full of toys, whips, and basically every other tool and gadget that a sexual deviant could ever want or need.

(By the way, Ellen Degeneres did a hysterical bit on the “Play Room” yesterday. Check it out.)

The “play room” is also the first sign for Anastasia that Christian may be a little, ahem different. And it leaves her with an interesting dilemma: What to do next?

Give Christian credit for breaking out “The Contract.”

It was right around this time where I started to lose interest with both the movie and the plot-line, but then Christian pulls the ultimate boss move: He makes Ana (at some point, Anastasia starts simply going by “Ana” so I figured we’d do the same here), agree to look over a contract before the relationship progresses any further.

Now for those who haven’t seen the movie, “the contract” isn’t so much a consent form (although there is a non-disclosure agreement signed at some point), as much of a list of all the freaky things that Christian is into. And some might have found the contract a little weird, I actually thought it was bad ass.

Think of it this way: Remember last week when Jerry Tarkanian died, and all of a sudden, every national columnist started calling him “The last honest college basketball coach?” Basically, Tark was the only guy who was willing to admit that he gladly recruited questionable character guys, only cared about basketball talent, and didn’t mind bending the rules if it benefitted his team. I mean seriously, who would fess up to everything Tark did? There will never be another like him. Again, he’s the last honest basketball coach there ever was.

So what does that have to do with 50 Shades? Basically, that Christian Grey is the Jerry Tarkanian of sexual deviants. Sure he’s into weird stuff, stuff that will most certainly scare some of his suitors away. But at the same time, they say “honesty is the best policy” and as far as I’m concerned, Christian Grey is the last, honest sexual deviant out there. Rather than hide all the weirdness, rather than run from it, rather than pretend like everyone doesn’t have a ‘Play Room’ filled with whips and handcuffs and…. wait, woops, I didn’t mean that last part.

But what I did mean is that Christian embraces his inner-freakiness. It’s actually a pretty commendable trait.

From there, Anastasia’s “agreement” to the contract is the most unbelievable part of the movie to me:

Well, ok there were three unbelievable parts of the movie to me, only one of which involves Anastasia and the contract. In no particular order here is what’s most unbelievable to me:

1. For starters, Ana’s roommate was the school’s valedictorian. Wait, I’m supposed to believe that she went from rolling around on the couch with some punk rocker, to giving a speech to thousands of her classmates about the meaning of life? As Cris Carter would say, ‘C’mon, man.’

Look, I’m not trying to be rude here, but doesn’t it seem a little far-fetched? I’m not saying the roommate was necessarily “dumb” per se. But she doesn’t strike me as someone who’s splitting atoms in her free time either.

2. Also, what’s up with the ugly leather jacket Christian is wearing throughout the movie?

I know that has nothing to do with anything, but it just seemed out of place for a guy so well put together. I mean maybe if he were the coach of Auburn football or something, I’d by the leather jacket.

But as a multi-billionaire who has a team of people who helps him make every decision in his life? You mean somebody didn’t think to throw their body in front of that?

3. Finally, isn’t the part where Anastasia “agrees” to the terms of the agreement a little, umm, exaggerated?

Again, this isn’t intended to be offensive towards women, men or anyone. But at the same time, you mean to tell me, she went from being sweet and innocent, to dictating sexual contract terms to a seasoned businessman and deviant?  Seems like a bit of a reach to me.

And finally, from there, the movie flat-lined:

I’ve got to admit that once the two agreed to the terms of the contract (I feel like I’m discussing NFL free agency here or something), I fully expected the two to rip through a slew of sex scenes that made me so uncomfortable that I wouldn’t be able to look my girlfriend in the eye for a solid two weeks after leaving the theater.

And while there was a little of that, there were also a lot of the same, boring, generic plot-lines that come from any “boy meets girl, and falls in love” movie out there.

For example, there was the scene where Christian lets his guard down and starts having feelings for Ana. Then the scene where he puts his guard back up, prompting her to question if they’ll ever have a “normal” relationship. That’s followed by them actually having a sort of normal relationship, before he puts his guard back up, and tells her she’ll never understand him. Then the movie ends with a weird cliff-hanger, that I won’t spoil here for those who haven’t seen the movie.

Basically 50 Shades of Grey was like a super-R rated Reese Witherspoon movie. Solid, a little too lovey-dovey at times, and nearly as deviant or disgusting as I expected.

In the end, I’d give it a solid B-.

Not great.

But I’d be lying if I said that I won’t be there next year, when my girlfriend drags me to the sequel.

And I know you will be too.

Aaron Torres is a writer for FOX Sports Live and a contributor to FOXSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, or e-mail at ATorres00@gmail.com.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.