Now I understand
Sometime in the late 1980s, I was still deeply in the spanking closet, had zero experience with it, and knew nothing about scene practices, dynamics or ethics. Because there was no Internet, I blindly grabbed at whatever I thought would show me a glimpse into this mysterious world.
So I rented 9 1/2 Weeks. All I knew about it was its stars, and that it involved some sort of kinky activity. And eagerly, I popped that VHS tape in the VCR and began to watch.
I remember liking it somewhat in the beginning. I never cared for Kim Basinger; there was something coarse and unpleasant about her character and I didn’t relate to it. However, let’s face it; before he did God-knows-what to his face that totally destroyed it, before he got bloated and fake-tanned and scary-looking, Mickey Rourke was freaking hot.
Yeah… I’d take orders from that too.
But as the film went on, it grew distasteful to me. Something felt off, and then felt more and more off until it played out and finished, leaving me feeling a bit skeeved, but not knowing why.
Cut to last night, when I was up late channel surfing, and the Sundance channel was just getting into 9 1/2 Weeks. So I watched some of it, this time with a more educated eye. And I know exactly what I hated.
For one thing, this film exhibited all kinds of stupid, including Kim’s character trusting a guy whom she knows absolutely nothing about except for his first name and a vague idea of what he does for a living. Things get darker and more and more non-consensual as the relationship developed, and you watched Kim grow unstrung to the point of a nervous breakdown, so totally and negatively obsessed was she with this guy, who started out charming and got more sinister. But the ultimate sin, what trashed the movie for me?
They totally screwed up what could have been a really hot spanking scene.
Oh my God, the buildup was perfect. She’s left alone in his house, so she snoops in his closet and drawers. He then calls her, and almost as if he had a hidden camera on her, he asks if she was being a “nosy Parker” and snooping in his things. His voice is low and silken and cajoling, and she confesses that yes, she was. He says, “Shame on you” and hangs up on her.
Next minute he’s back at his house, and she’s waiting, looking very nervous. He walks in, looking grim, and says with little preamble, “You were a very bad girl, Elizabeth. I want you to face the wall and raise your skirt. I’m going to spank you.”
“You’re kidding, right?” she blurts. “No, I’m not kidding,” he answers.
Now here’s where she should have meekly and reluctantly complied, as she did with all his other orders up to this point. But for whatever reason, this struck a nerve, and she gets incredibly pissed off, starts to flounce out, then stomps back in, screams “Who the fuck do you think you are?” and slaps him in the face. A struggle ensues.
OK, the scene still could have been salvaged. He could have wrestled her to the nearby dining table, bent her over it and given her that spanking. That would have been steamy as hell. But instead, he pushes her onto her back on the table, rips off her panties (you hear fabric tearing), and rapes her.
Yeah… that’s totally acceptable, but spanking her wouldn’t have been?? How lame! Way to represent us, Hollywood.
I shut off the TV after that point. No need to watch the rest again; I had my answer.
I suppose a lot of people liked the film and would disagree with me, but I thought it sucked, as far as representing a kinky relationship. When it comes down to it, Secretary did it a whole lot better. And Maggie Gyllenhaal absolutely nailed the innocent sweetness, vulnerability and trepidation of a new bottom; Kim Basinger didn’t even come close.
I know it’s an old movie and probably has been discussed to death, but since I just saw it again last night, it’s fresh in my mind. What do/did you guys think of it?