No Grey Area In This Valentine’s Day Advice

Friday, 30 January 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

If you're looking for something to do this Valentine's Day you can always line up to see the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, which hits Canadian theatres on February 14th. I'm certain it will be the date of choice for thousands of couples looking to add a little spice to their lives. It will also be well attended by middle aged single women oblivious to the day altogether. (Spoiler alert: There will be no full frontal.)

But if you are part of a twosome this year, especially one that’s been together awhile, let me just say this is a bad idea for Valentine’s Day. In fact, from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s a bad movie for couples to see together at any time. This is a chick flick for the ages and one that could easily descend into a bad date for you both.

To be clear, I did not read the book. Well, I read precisely one paragraph. And that was enough. That is not meant to be a literary criticism – I didn’t read enough to get into that – it’s that I got my fill of steamy romance novels growing up with Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele. I applaud author E. L. James for coming up with a modern day version and filling a niche that was being ignored. I sure wish I’d written it.

Fifty Shades of Grey the novel was a massive international success. It is an R-rated story which dapples in sexual bondage and discipline. (There was so much chatter about the book, one didn’t have to read it to know the talking points.) That means movie tickets will be in high demand on opening day and even if you manage to score a pair, you’ll be irritated by how early you had to arrive and you’ll probably have bad seats. Irritated is never a good way to start a date.

The story’s main character is Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and he is a sweep-you-off-your-feet type of guy (but not in a “hearts and flowers” kind of way). He is impeccably dressed, successful, powerful, knows everything about everything and knows which, ahem, buttons to press. He takes our young damsel in distress (Dakota Johnson) on one helluva ride.

If you ask me, a plot line like that just stirs the pot. Here’s the mental conversation that might be flowing between you and your significant other during the movie:

She:  “You never look at me the way he’s looking at her. And why can’t you get a nice suit?”

He: “I bet you wish I had a helicopter like that asshole.”

“I need to go to the gym so I can look more like that asshole.”

Nobody wins.

Valentine’s Day may be a commercial fabrication but it is also a useful reminder to pay some extra attention to the one you love. Gifts are great, but unnecessary. A little effort to spend time together in a way that’s a bit different from the norm is all it takes to hit a home run.

If you don’t ever cook, then cook (I am happy to provide menu suggestions). If you rarely go out, then go out (I vote for the night before).  If you never wear nice lingerie, now’s a good time. The element of surprise can do wonders when it comes to romance. It certainly worked for Mr. Grey!



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