Just when you thought Fifty Shades of Grey mania was starting to fade out, they release another trailer for the film adaption. The anticipation is sure to be killing all the ladies in your life, even the ones who claim they haven’t read it. Bottom line: every girl has something to say about E.L James’ erotic series about the dominant-submissive relationship between a (former) virgin, and her kind of abusive (but hot and rich!) boyfriend. On the bright side, the release date is Valentine’s Day 2015, which means every girl you know will be eagerly waiting in line on opening night to be one of the first to see Christian Grey on the big screen. So, plan a guys night, because you’re off the hook. But just in case, here is everything else you need to know about Fifty Shades of Grey, without ever having to actually read the books, or see the movie yourself. You’re welcome.
What is it even about?
Good question. Here is the plot in a nutshell: A shy, insecure, virgin named, Anastasia Steele, meets the handsome, but emotionally damaged, Christian Grey, and is instantly infatuated with him. He reveals that he is looking for a somewhat unconventional relationship that involves her being submissive to him, and letting him control everything she does, in and out of the bedroom. She resists at first (really, she tries), but she just can’t stay away from him, and they end up in his “red room of pain” (*more on this later).
Throughout the trilogy, more and more is revealed about Christian’s seriously messed up past, and why he is the way he is. His psychological issues aren’t enough to keep Ana away, and they end up married, because she thinks she can change him. That’s her first mistake. Or so you think. Turns out, Ana is actually the only woman that Christian is able to love, and that love (read: obsession) grows, until (*SPOILER ALERT*) they end up living happily ever after. He is the reformed bad boy to her innocent girl-turned-sex machine.
Who are these people?
Anastasia Steele: the way this 21-year-old comes across, it’s a surprise she even knows what sex is, even as a concept. Her self-esteem hovers around 0, so it’s no wonder she falls for the first guy who comes along to teach her a thing or two. She often refers to her sex drive as her “inner goddess”.
Christian Grey: he may be hot, and rich, but he is also a controlling, jealous, actual crazy person. He lost his virginity when he was 15, to a much older woman. Who, by the way, is still around, picking out girls for him, and teaching him about BDSM. Perfectly healthy, right?
Yes, there are other characters, but who really cares?
From Fan Fiction to the Big Screen
The story started out as a fan fiction based on Bella Swan and Edward Cullen (Twilight’s teenage human-vampire super couple). E.L James re-wrote the story with her own original characters and posted chapters online, before self-publishing as an e-book, and print-on-demand. The series was picked up by Vintage Books in 2012, and went on to sell 100 million copies worldwide. The film adaptation, out next year, stars Dakota Johnson (daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson) and Jamie Dornan (a former Calvin Klein model).
Originally, the part of Christian Grey was awarded to Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy fame. He ended up backing out a mere weeks after the announcement was made because there were “scheduling conflicts”. Right. It’s more likely he tried to read the book, laughed himself to sleep, and called his agent first thing in the morning. There are multiple reports of the cast of Sons making fun of him mercilessly for considering the role in the first place. That part, we believe. He’s being diplomatic anyway though, and has said giving up the part was “pretty heartbreaking”.
A few amusing facts:
• Number of times Anastasia says “oh my!” in 3 books: 178
• There is a Tumblr called “Laters Baby” named for how Christian says goodbye to Ana. There is also a “Keep Calm and Laters Baby” and Amazon is selling a “Laters Baby” decal for your car windshield. Get it before its gone.
• The “red room of pain” drink includes Grand Marnier Rouge, rum, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice.
• A women’s abuse charity in Washington requested people send them their copies of the book to burn, but they only received 24 copies, so they are using the pages as toilet paper instead.
• There is a line of baby clothes featuring quotes like “9 months ago my mommy read Fifty Shades of Grey”.
• There is a poll out there that found that 44% of women prefer reading Fifty Shades of Grey to actually having sex. We are guessing they didn’t have a sex life to speak of to being with.
Some quotes to make you the hit of the party:
• “I want you, and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul.” – Christian, in an attempt to manipulate Ana into not dumping his ass.
• “He’s my very own Christian Grey flavor Popsicle.” – Anastasia on Christian’s down there.
• “My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” and “My inner goddess is doing back flips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast” – Anastasia, after getting it on.
• “It slips down my throat, all seawater, salt, the sharp tang of citrus, and fleshiness… ooh, I lick my lips, and he’s watching me intently, his eyes hooded.” — the first time Ana tries oysters (seriously).
• “I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto” – Anastasia blushing (get it??)