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Four Things that Stood Out to Me from the Movie Fifty Shades Freed

by Craig Gross on February 9th, 2018 in Men, Women, Couples, Spouses

It’s that time of year. Valentine’s Day weekend, which means the last installment of 50 Shades of Grey. I have written a blog about each movie so far:

50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades Darker

Currently, Fifty Shades of Grey Freed has a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So that should tell you that it’s not a huge hit, but no doubt will be #1 at the box office. After this weekend, the franchise will have taken in over $1 billion at the box office.  

With the awakening in Hollywood this year in regards to the #METOO movement, I have wondered how this movie will go over.

Would we still support a film that encourages and cheers on a guy with fame, power, and money to get sex from a girl who just wants to be loved?

This opening weekend will be telling, but so far, every show was sold out Thursday night at the theatre.

Here are four things that stood out to me from the movie Fifty Shades of Grey Freed. They all start with C:

CURIOSITY  

According to this publishing website …

“Compared to the typical adult fiction consumer, buyers of the Fifty Shades books are more likely to be women, live in the Northeast, and have a significantly higher household income. They read fewer paperbacks and more digital books versus last year and are especially likely to use a hand-held device such as a Kindle. Their purchase of a 50 Shades book was more likely planned — just 11 percent were whims – and oh yeah, nine out of ten times the purchase was for ‘pleasure/relaxation,’ but it’s worth noting that an intriguing one percent were purchased for ‘work/career’ reasons.”

As far as the movie goes, last year the stats for the film showed it was a girl’s night out, with an 82% female audience. Saturday night, Valentine’s night, shifted into date night with women representing a 68%.

This leads me to the fact that I believe the overall draw of the books and movie with women is their CURIOSITY. Whether they drive a minivan with an honor roll bumper sticker or a fish emblem, women are curious about Fifty Shades. Is it really as bad as people say it is?

Could it actually be good?
Is there something I am missing?

I wonder if that curiosity drives book sales and movie sales.

In 2002, I started XXXchurch.com, and it took a church called Mars Hill and a pastor named Rob Bell to invite us into a Sunday morning church service and do what he called Porn Sunday back in January of 2005. Since then, thousands of churches have invited us in or downloaded our sermons to be played at churches.

The church has come a long way. After Rob Bell, it was Bill Hybels and Craig Groeschel who invited us to their churches, and we have been blown away since by so many Christians saying it is time that the church talks about issues like sex, porn, and so on.

There is still a ton of work to be done. The curiosity of this should send a message to churches that we must keep topics like this in front of our people. Yes, the church should speak life into these things; not avoid them.

Those curious people are not just buying books and movie tickets. Searches for porn last year on the most massive porn site reported the #1 search that defined 2017 was PORN FOR WOMEN.


CONTROL

Christian Grey creates his own rulebook. He writes the checks, and he calls the shots. He is in control, or so he thinks. In reality, he is out of control. I know it’s 2018 and all, but I still do believe that women want men to lead.

You can argue over who is the spiritual leader of the family and what role a wife plays in that. I am not talking about head of the household type stuff here, so please don’t go down a rabbit trail here.

I think God has created and given the intrinsic need of men to provide. There is a huge difference in leading and controlling, and the Bible says for a wife to submit to her husband and the husband must love her like Christ loves church and He gave his son up for her.

In this movie, Anastasia has no say, no voice, and tunes out most of the control. He can have a hot architect work for him, but his wife can’t sign an attractive author to her publishing company. He can go out without Anastasia, but she can’t go out without him.

No relationship is going to work when things are this upside down and one-sided.

CONFIDENT

In the first two movies, we saw a strong and confident Christian Grey. We didn’t see him break down much, but we did uncover a broken Christian Grey early on. In this final movie, we see that Christian Grey’s confidence is really just smoke and mirrors.

He doesn’t lead like I said earlier but tries to control and that control comes from a lack of confidence ultimately in who he is and what he has become. You see his pain. He barely speaks not only to his wife but to his brother growing up.

His lack of confidence is evident in his extreme jealousy. He can’t handle other men looking at his wife.

Julia Michaels song HEAVEN plays over one of the scenes and the chorus says: “They say all good boys go to heaven, but bad boys bring heaven to you.”

I still think they try and portray Christian as a tough bad boy, but in reality, he is so weak.

To me, I don’t care what you look like, but that is super unattractive. What woman deep down inside wants to marry a weak man? I’m not talking muscles, hey, I just moved up to 20lb weights at the gym, I’m talking about a weak man. That’s not the guy I want to be and not the guy I want my daughter to marry.

It is the reason I have this book on my nightstand, a book I continuously go back to – STRONG FATHERS STRONG DAUGHTERS.

CHILDHOOD

You hear this all the time when you see a girl run off to boys at a young age: “She has daddy issues.” Or you hear or see the opposite: “He has mommy issues.”

I love the line in Sincerely Freedom,

THINGS YOU PLAY WITH IN HIGH SCHOOL WILL PLAY WITH YOU AS AN ADULT.

Christian Grey has not dealt with his childhood and the hurt and pain that comes along with growing up in a foster home. And then later on being abused by an older lady sexually. He has wounds and scars, and since he doesn’t communicate with his wife or family, he has not processed any healing.

He’s terrified of having kids because he thinks he will be a horrible father. He has not moved on from his childhood and what I have seen is we end up doing the same thing with our kids that our parents did with us unless we chart out a different course.

Christian hasn’t done the work to deal with this, and his childhood still haunts him.

One major thing is he has not forgiven. He is holding onto the hurt and the pain and hasn’t let that go. I deal with people all day long that are holding onto the hurts and pains of their childhood that has sent them into addiction. Today we see how trauma and addiction go hand in hand. Often pain from your childhood affects you, and in Christian’s case, it definitely does.

Enough with the C’s, here are some takeaways for you:

If you are carrying around pain, hurt, and deep wounds from your childhood, don’t keep lugging that around.

One of the big things I remember from listening in on the courtroom session of the gymnasts speak to Nassar, or hearing some of the women come forward with the #METOO movement was listening to the women be vocal for the first time. And in return, I think that helps them start to heal.

In some cases, it is the final step in healing. Being able to vocalize, process, and deal with the pain.  

Here are some ways to do deal with your past hurts:

  • See a counselor.
  • Join a support group or a small group.
  • Check out mypilgrimage.com, a course that deals a ton with the trauma and pain concerning why you are dealing with addiction.
  • Start journaling.
  • Meditation (I just heard this whole course from the Liturgists about meditation and have recently discovered TM.org as well).
  • Start sharing your story publicly. Not just on a hashtag, but teach a class, share at school or church, record a video. Your mess could become someone else’s miracle.
  • Take This Quiz.

I found the How We Love test this past October. Jeanette and I think it might be one of the best tools that we have discovered in our 19 years of marriage.

They discovered that each person’s childhood experiences form the roots of who they are; continuing to influence the way that person responds to others or expresses love, even far into adulthood. The result of all these experiences is actually very predictable because people tend to fall into one of five unique categories: called “Love Styles.”

The results don’t show your personality but show your WOUNDED STATE. Knowing that and discovering alongside your spouse will put you miles ahead in your relationship then Christian and Anastasia Grey.

That’s it, four C’s and a few takeaways.

Here’s to a better movie we can watch next Valentine’s Day!

P.S – Before I wrote the blog I recorded my first initial thoughts right after getting home with Jeanette from the movie. You can watch it here.


Best Sex Life Now is an online video course hosted by couples Dave & Ashley Willis and Craig & Jeanette Gross. It’s a real, honest conversation about sex and marriage, an elegant production for married couples, newlyweds, and those about to be married.

Learn how to “spice” up your sex life in a healthy way. Use coupon code REALLOVE at checkout to save 25% from now until Valentine’s Day.

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  • Jack Thompson

    Women WANT this guy. The theaters are PACKED with women. I want to be a guy that women want. I need to do some of the things that Christian Grey does so I can be desired by a lot of women.

    • You don’t need to be desired by a lot of women. You need to be desired by one woman. It’s not worth it to become something a fantasy promotes. Go after what is real.

      • Jack Thompson

        Not exactly, right? I need to be desired by one woman that I ALSO want. I don’t desire every woman, so I need to be desired by enough of them so I desire at least one of them.

  • Suricou Raven

    I see it as just your fairly basic mills-and-boon fantasy with a lot of kinky sex thrown in. Everyday woman meets super-rich super-hot man who instantly falls in lust with her. They overcome a few external problems – legacies of relationships past. He has a few flaws, which she tolerates until he changes to meet her expectations as they grow closer. Then they settle down, have a child and live happily ever after. If you take out the BDSM parts, you’ve really got a fairly standard romance novel underneath.

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