Friday, August 29, 2014
The movie Secretary came out when I was in high school (sorry to make anyone feel old by that statement). At that time, already an avid spanko, I was a devoted lurker of the online spanking community. (Another apology guys, those "18 and over" warnings are there to make you feel good, not to actually deter anyone under 18). So it was that the first reviews I ever saw on the movie came from fellow spankos. It seemed everyone generally liked the movie, albeit with some complaints (specifically that the female protagonist is fresh out of a mental institution at the beginning of the movie--she's institutionally crazy so she must be submissive!)
I decided in high school that I had to see for myself what this movie was all about, so I watched it...alone. I don't remember much of it. I was too young to really get it, because, although I was into spanking I was turned off by BDSM, so I did not grasp the subtle nuances of power exchange and D/s between the characters. I walked away from the movie wishing there had been more spanking scenes, hahaha.
A few days ago, my husband and I watched it for the first time together. He'd never seen it before and I hadn't seen it since high school. Holy cow, what a different experience. Let's just say I've grown up now, and I understood all the subtle nuances of the intense battle between sexual and emotional desire and societal norms/obligations.
Let's back up, though. I jumped on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon two years ago and read the book series all the way through in about a week. I admittedly panted through most of the spanking and sex scenes, but generally thought that the books were terribly written with a plot ripped off from Twilight (also terribly written), and characters that were about as "relatable" as a pile of cow manure.
Well, re-watching Secretary not only confirmed those suspicions that 50 Shades is absolute shit, but I also realized about, oh, 5 minutes in, that the author also jacked over half of the beautiful, subtle, and powerful niceties of this movie, starting with the name of James Spader's character, E. Edward Grey (come on, that can't be a coincidence!) It was as if E.L. James saw Secretary, read Twilight, and thought "Hey, there's an idea...except I'll make the characters even better by making one an abusive, emo, billionaire control freak who gives up pretty much all of his sexual fantasies and life goals for an unbelievably naive, virgin, vanilla college girl who thinks her man's abusive and obsessive behavior is totally "going to change for her" because they're in love, of course."
Sarcasm aside, I understand the draw of 50 Shades of Grey, I really do. There's a reason it's so god damn popular. But after watching Secretary, I thought, now here is the closest our world has ever come to being realistically depicted in Hollywood, and here we are bitching that the protagonist isn't quite as feminist/strong/normal as we would have liked. Come on, people! I think it's time we make a vow that, on February 14th, when 50 Shades of Grey hits movie theaters, we spankos/DDers/Dsers/TTWDers cozy up at home with our significant others and rent Secretary.
Whether you re-enact the scenes afterward is totally up to you.
For more information on why Secretary "should be viewed immediately" and 50 Shades of Grey never, see this article on Buzzfeed (yes, Buzzfeed!)