Ethics & Religion
A Column by Michael J. McManus
 

Home
Page

For Current Column
See the Home Page

 

About the
Columnist

 

Search this
Site...

 

Column Archives
List of all columns 
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012

2011

2010

2009
2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

For 2003 and earlier
only the title is listed.
Use the Search Function
to find the article.

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

 

About The
Columnist

 

Email
Comments
to Mike

February 19, 2005
Column #1,747
Fifty Shades of Grey – And Alternatives
By Mike McManus

In writing this column about the new film, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I am breaking one of my most basic rules – not to write about a film unless I have seen it, or a book, unless I read it.

However, I am alarmed at the stunning success of a film that “teaches your daughter that pain and humiliation are erotic, and your son that girls want a guy who controls, intimidates and threatens,” as psychiatrist Miriam Grossman puts it.

In its first five days, the pornographic film grossed $237.7 million in 59 countries. It is the highest worldwide debut for an R-rated film – far ahead of “The Matrix Revolution” which earned $117 million in 2003. Overseas sales were $156 million - unprecedented in such countries as Britain and 11 countries of the eastern bloc such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, etc.

Surprisingly, 68% of its audience is female and 58% over age 25. Why?

The film is based on an infamous novel that sold 100 million copies. Many of those readers wanted to see the film version. It is about a young woman who falls for a rich, handsome man who has “engaged in sadomasochism with a string of mistresses and wants her to become his next mistress,” as MOVIEGUIDE summarized it. TIME says the book “put the words bondage and suburban mom in way too many of the same sentences.”

I do not need to see a film in which a man (oddly) named Christian, strikes a woman’s stomach with a whip and ties her up, or a scene where she gets drunk, vomits and faints, or he whips her naked bottom six times with a belt.

However, I do want to urge parents to have a talk with their teenagers about this film. Fifty Shades was released over Valentine’s Weekend so many will think it is a romance.

Don’t fall for it. Dr. Grossman warns, “The movie is actually about a sick, dangerous relationship filled with physical and emotional abuse. It seems glamorous, because the actors are gorgeous, have expensive cars and planes and Beyonce is singing. You might conclude that Christian and Ana are cool and their relationship is acceptable.

“Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. Abuse is not glamorous or cool. It is never OK, under any circumstances…In the real world, this story would end badly, with Christian in jail, and Ana in a shelter – or morgue.”

Fortunately, there are many excellent alternatives to this film. According to MOVIEGUIDE, 90% of the Top 10 Movies in the United States, overseas and home video sales in 2014 earning $5.2 billion - contained strong or very strong Christian redemptive, biblical and/or moral content.

Examples for mature audiences: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Unbroken, The Hunger Games, Belle and The Giver. The Best Family Films included God’s Not Dead, Bears, Heaven’s for Real and Son of God.

In 2014 movies with very strong Christian, redemptive world views averaged $66.8 million U.S. sales compared to an average of only $20.1 million for those with very strong Non-Christian views. Films with absolutely no foul language, sex, explicit nudity or substance abuse earned the most money.

My favorite was Son of God which depicted who Jesus Christ really was - and is. Another I liked was Heaven Is For Real about a four-year-old boy who dreamed of visiting heaven while under surgery. (It should not be confused with the similar film, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, which is fraudulent.)

Unbroken is the story of a real hero, Louis Zamperini, who ran in the 1936 Olympics, had his plane shot down by the Japanese, who survived weeks at sea in a raft, and then was picked up and tortured by the Japs. What this version of Zamperini’s life fails to report, however, is that after the war he became an alcoholic who came to faith in Christ at a Billy Graham crusade.

I asked Ted Baehr, chairman of MOVIEGUIDE, why Fifty Shades was so popular with women. He replied, “We have a whole generation of women who are totally confused about what love is, who want love at any cost. While 5 million went to the movie that is a small proportion of the 140 million women in the country.”

“Also, many movies open big and die the next weekend. This film has low audience ratings. Only 30% of those coming out of it approved of it.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. To find these movies to uplift you and your family, go to http://www.movieguide.org and click on Reviews.
 

  30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
  LATEST ARTICLE
  October 18, 2017: Column 1886: Why Aren't Famous Sexual Offenders Prosecuted?
  Recent Columns
  How To Solve America's Opioid Addiction
  After Las Vegas: Gun Control?
  Barbara Blaine & Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
  How to Cut the Divorce Rate
  The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
  Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
  Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
  Sextortion Kills Teens
  Assisted Suicide Is Growing
  Shared Parenting - A Major Answer
  How To Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths
  Impact of Divorce on Kids
  Porn Harms Children & Marriage
  The Opioid Crisis: What To Do
  Sex Before First Date?
  A Marshall Plan For Marriage
  Don't Divorce - Part II
  Don't Divorce Part 1
  Can Euthanasia Be Justified?
  Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part I
  Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part II
  Texting While Driving - A Killer
  Recent Searches
  euthanasia, cohabitation, sexting, sextortion, alcoholism, prayer, guns, same sex marriage, abortion, depression, islam, divorce, polygamy, religious liberty, health care, pornography, teen sex, abortion and infanticide, Roe+v+Wade, supreme court, marriage, movies, violence, celibacy, living+together, cohabitation, ethics+and+religion, pornography, adultery, divorce, saving+marriages
©2017 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist  / mike@marriagesavers.org
Ethics & Religion at http://www.ethicsandreligion.com
9311 Harrington Dr. / Potomac, MD 20854 / 301 978-7105
President & Co-Chair Marriage Savers / www.marriagesavers.org
Site Sponsored by enktesis.com