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Fifty Shades of Grey: Will a hot 'mommy porn' book make a good movie?
Women across the country have been coyly enjoying the raunchy bestseller on their e-readers. Now the steamy novel is getting the big-screen treatment
 
The racy romance novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" chronicles the seduction of a virginal college student by a 27-year-old billionaire.
The racy romance novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" chronicles the seduction of a virginal college student by a 27-year-old billionaire.
barnesandnoble.com

Fifty Shades of Grey, the racy blockbuster romance novel by E.L. James, has Hollywood extremely hot and bothered. Routinely labeled "mommy porn," the massively popular book, which began as erotic fan fiction inspired by themes from Twilight, chronicles the seduction of a virginal college student by a 27-year-old billionaire as the two engage in a torrid sadomasochistic affair. Now, after a pricey, heated bidding war, Universal Pictures just won the film rights to the book. Given the novel's raunchy nature, could a movie version do the story justice — or, more importantly, be a success?

Absolutely: This has all the makings of a massive movie hit, says Mike Fleming at Deadline. Fifty Shades of Grey caught on by tapping "into a perfect storm of female sexuality and taboo romance with an unattainable man." These themes also helped make Twilight and True Blood huge successes, and the rampant enthusiasm for the novel is precisely the "elusive zeitgeist hot button that every studio wants in a book-to-movie franchise."
"With foreplay almost over, will steamy novel 50 Shades of Grey climax in 7-figure movie deal?"

No way: The "graphic sexual nature" is the book's chief selling point but the movie's biggest roadblock, says Kim Masters at The Hollywood Reporter. To be worthwhile, the movie has to include the book's "kinkier sexual elements." But at the same time, including them could scare away audiences. Women don't have the "same desire to see the racier material as they do to read it." And don't forget: Graphic sexual content often gets movies branded NC-17, which would be a box-office nightmare for Fifty Shades of Grey.
"E.L. James making unprecedented demands for film rights Fifty Shades of Grey"

Either way, expect it to be watered down: It's "pretty pathetic" that Hollywood insiders are shocked "by the idea that ladies have erogenous zones, and sometimes like having them stimulated by pop culture," says Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress. That said, the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey will only retain its appealingly naughty content if a "lady executive" lands the project. History suggests that once her male counterparts get their hands on the movie, any sexual elements that appeal strongly to women will undoubtedly get pared down.
"Hollywood discovers Fifty Shades of Grey, learns ladies have desires"

 

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