As Fifty Shades of Grey passes the $500,000 mark at the box office, audiences continue to flood the theaters despite the 25% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Why? For many, curiosity is key and the wonder of how such a steamy, erotic book could possibly be displayed on the big screen. Viewers compare and contrast the plot lines that the filmmakers decided to keep or leave to the imagination.
A big part of the phenomenon, however, seems to go beyond the Christian Grey/Anastasia Steele romance plot. Many people simply want to be “in the know,” or conversely, they have the newly coined term “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out).
Much like the bizarre “white-and-gold” versus “black-and-blue” dress debate, Fifty Shades of Grey is a part of today’s conversation cycle. In an era when media outlets focus specifically on their niche audiences, people are connecting with the increasing rare, universal entertainment. Women have ventured out in groups to enjoy an outing together, caring less about the film itself, and more about taking a night off (forget about the weekly stresses and the dreary winter weather).
After interviewing three different women from three different demographics, they all shared a similar story: they went with friends, they discussed the book, and they had an enjoyable time (whether they liked the film or not). They either got swept up in the on screen fantasy, or they laughed together in mockery.
The underlying factor? The success of Fifty Shades of Grey is based in commonality, a conversation most people can take part in together. It brings back the workplace “water cooler” where people share their thoughts and opinions on primetime television. Mediocre or not, the EL James books and resulting film adaptation have gotten people to look up from their smart phones and enjoy a glimmer of sociability.
Click HERE for our reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey from across the generations…