I just watched Secretary for the first time. Anyone remember Secretary? The film where Maggie Gyllenhal is a secretary who enters into a S&M relationship with her boss, Mr Grey.

Now I realise the connection here is fairly obvious. Even if you’re not a fan of erotica, you’ll have heard of 50 Shades of Grey (more popularly known as mommy porn) and its pending film adaption.

Having majored in English at varsity, I don’t know whether it’s blasphemy to admit that I read the first 50 shades novel. I avoided it until this year, when an unfortunate combination of boredom and a nexus lying nearby provoked me to download the book.

From worse to worst, I’m not surprised that 50 Shades is inspired by Twilight

It was cringe, so cringe that I couldn’t look away at first – then I moved through the stages of titillation to “wow this is so, so cringe”, to fascination that the book was originally fan fiction inspired by Twilight – and that it actually made Stephenie Meyer look like a literary genius in comparison. Who’da thunk that was possible?!

So my question now is, did E.L. James know about Secretary? Some have suggested she named her Mr Grey in homage to Secretary’s original – which sounds plausible, given that James has about as much subtlety in her writing as the Daily Mail’s agreement with Kim Kardashian.

And obviously because I know that no question I ask will ever be completely original, I turned to Google to see who else had this shared thought, long before it even occurred to me. Apparently a lot of people – if there’s already an article on Buzzfeed comparing the two (kind of like entering the Hall of Fame for popular content).

Not that anyone with a brain needs any convincing that Secretary is by far the superior time investment, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these top ten compelling reasons anyway!

Favourite quote from Secretary? “Who says love needs to be gentle and soft.”


*Following this review I decided against watching 50 Shades of Grey – besides being the worst work of fiction my eyeballs have ever seen, I also became of the opinion – after reading some interesting articles linking extracts of text to real life abuse scenarios – that 50 Shades of Grey popularises harmful relationship dynamics.