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Does a Tame 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Send an Anti-Feminist Message?

By Shannon Houston, Hollywood Staff

Although the general public hasn't seen it, a trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie recently screened to a bunch of fancy film people at Las Vegas Comic Con. And some of those fancy film folks were kind enough to take to Twitter and share their reactions. Unfortunately, many of those reactions tell us that the film looks like a really sweet, really adorable love story focused more on romance than the red room sexcapades many of us were hoping for. Seeing as how all of the other promo photos that have been released look insanely tame, we shouldn't be surprised. But if the trailer and promotional images are true reflections of what we can expect from the film, what might this say about American film and a desire to strongly regulate and censor images related to sexuality and sexual expression? This isn't just a question of filmmakers and producers leaving out the good stuff (although that is a huge issue here), it's one about whether or not Hollywood and America have a very big problem with female sexuality.

A few years back, similar discussions arose over the NC-17 rating given to Derek Cianfrance's brilliant film Blue Valentine. The stars of the complicated and intense love story spoke out against the MPAA (who later reversed their ruling and gave the film an R-rating), and what Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams had to say four years ago is still very much relevant today.