OK, I’m back from a few days of vacation, and I’m sorry to say that I spent some precious hours during that time off in reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Why? Because the movie’s coming, and because I feel a sporting obligation to have some idea of why this thing is a phenomenon. And, besides, some of you are wondering about the book but don’t want to be seen reading it, right? Now I’ve done it, for all of us, and can tell you without hesitation or blush that this book is about . . . contract negotiation. Seriously. That’s what it’s about. It is, essentially, five hundred pages in which two astonishingly stupid people ponder large amounts of legalese (apparently there’s a lot of paperwork involved in a submissive/dominant relationship) and say “Holy crap!” a lot. And there’s some sex, but not much; it’s mostly just Christian and Ana blathering on. I must saw that now I’m really wondering how this can possibly be turned into a movie, because most of what’s described in the bedroom scenes wouldn’t fly in an R-rated movie and “Fifty Shades of Grey” was, indeed, just rated R and not NC-17. (Fun detail, though: The MPAA, in its wisdom, cited “unusual behavior” as one of the reasons for its R rating, which made me giggle. Yes, all that contract negotiation is pretty unusual.) So is this basically going to be a movie in which two good-looking people discuss clauses and appendixes and contract addenda, endlessly and maybe occasionally semi-nakedly? ‘Fraid so. Then again, it might be kind of hilarious. Stay tuned.
Oh, and I’ll be hosting another live chat tomorrow (Friday), at noon, right here. At which I just might, should things get slow, unveil some “Fifty Shades of Grey” haiku. See you then.