Unless you’ve been living under a rock or on another planet, you no doubt have heard that the 50 Shades of Grey movie is premiering this coming Friday. Being in publishing I’m sort of over the whole 50 Shades phenom. Last week I was in Target and they had 50 Shades condoms. Wait. Really? I don’t begrudge El her fame, I really think it’s fantastic for her and the spin offs of wine and condoms. Really, who can blame them? If Climax or any of my books got that big I’d like a street or a town named after them. Also, I think I’d like my own clothing and shoe line. But I digress…
So why do we love Christian Grey? I have a few theories and the first being that even with all of the hot, hot supermodels he could have had, he wanted someone who reminds us of us. Someone who has bad hair days, who isn’t perfectly articulate all the time, who is cute but doesn’t stop traffic. She’s relateable in way that most female leads aren’t.
I also think that many women love to save men and we love the dream of that, the possibility. We want to be the one, the girl who steps in and sets everything right. The one who fixes his world and helps him to love again. That, after all, is true romance, right? It’s the whole Beauty and the Beast thing. He’s a beast but he’s not really that bad, right? And if you love him enough, he’ll turn from a beast to a handsome loving man. It’s the fairytale and we want the fairytale. We want the prince to find our shoe, we want to be saved from the evil stepsisters. We want the dream. I found a lot of similar feedback on Mac Ellis, who’s my main character in The Publicist series. He’s hot, really hot, rich and cheats on his wife. Still, women love him. They want to fix him, Mac is not a bad guy right? He’s just a guy who is lost who needs our help to stop making poor choices.
Romance novelists have known this secret for years. Create a guy who is flawed but make him lovable in some way, give him redeeming qualities, just enough, to hook your reader. El did this brilliantly with her books. Christian is disturbed, often even referred to as a masochistic sociopath but just slightly redeemable enough that we know, if given the chance, we could fix him and he would love us forever. In the end though, we know in our heart that it isn’t true, we want to believe that love can conquer all. Love wins out, love is all you need.
What are your thoughts on Christian Grey and why so many women are drawn to this tortured, messed up man? Also, I would like to add that I’m seriously bummed that screaming hot Matt Bomer was not picked for this role because then I would be writing this from the line of women waiting to get into the movie theater.