To Parody or Not To Parody?

April 11, 2012

What do the films Scary Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, Robin Hood…Men in Tights, Spaceballs and Hot Shots all have in common? Come on people…they’re not just comedies. They’re parodies. And, what does it mean when something warrants the creative distinction of a Hollywood parody? (Totally rhetorical.) It means, that something with the power of a gale force wind has swept through our popular culture, and has turned us inside out.

I think you might know where I’m going with this. That’s right, Fifty Shades of Grey. When the parodies start coming, you know something is beyond big. Just to give you some perspective, plug Fifty Shades of Grey into your Google search box and you get 28.9 million results in .12 seconds. That’s a lot of results.

I’ve been reading and watching the commentary out there, and have been amazed by some of the ongoing rhetoric. Everyone has an opinion. Some say it’s just a traditional love story while others say it’s demeaning and abusive toward women (nonsense Dr. Drew).

Then, you have groups espousing that the Fifty books are responsible for generating a new wave in women’s sexual liberation, while others condemn the trilogy for setting the women’s movement back into the 1950’s. (I think watching all the anti-abortion laws being passed state-by-state have more to do with that than a little BDSM erotica romance, but hey, I’m just one woman.) Oh, and let’s not forget about the faction who believe the books represent a backlash to the emasculation of men in our society. My head is spinning.

So, when I saw my friend, Howard Neuthaler’s VengaProductions YouTube video last week, I was thrilled. Yes, yes…oh God yes.  His video tribute parody, Christian Penetrates the Suburbs, manages to capture the essence of why so many suburban Moms have gone crazy over Fifty. The books are fun, delicious, and hot reads that have put some spice back into the marital bedroom. And, it does a great job poking fun of the craziness that so often defines the suburban mom.

Check it out…

Hysterical, right?! And, you know when I love something, it gets my full support, so go to VengaProductions and check out all his extremely funny videos.

I believe Venga’s video kicks off a Fifty parody craze. (I’m happy to be corrected, if wrong.) Not only has this trilogy skyrocketed to the top of The New York Times Bestseller’s List, but the movie rights were optioned for $5 million dollars to Universal and Focus Features. And, now there will be a literary parody to boot.

Andrew Shaffer recently sold his manuscript, Fifty Shames of Early Grey, to De Capo Press for an undisclosed amount. Mr. Shaffer reviews romance and erotica novels and wrote his manuscript in ten days.

Listen up Lorne Michaels, time to get those sketches on Saturday Night Live going. And, of course, once Fifty hits the silver screen, it’s only a matter of time before a Hollywood film parody is hot on it’s heels. That is, if it’s not already in the works.


What’s your all time favorite parody?



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jgerstenblatt April 12, 2012 at 1:24 am

OMG…in March I started writing my own parody, 50 Shades of Beige, in which a college grad falls in love with her (seemingly gay but not) decorator. Decided a few weeks ago that I’d rather write my own thing than copy someone else’s, but it seems I should have persevered. There was to be a threesome with an original, midcentury modern Eames chair at ABC Carpet and everything. Oh well.

2 Sharon April 12, 2012 at 2:02 am

Look on the bright side…you were way ahead of the parody curve!! I may toy with a Fifty Shades of Don Julio thing, myself. But, I’m with you, I go for originality.

3 Rebecca May 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Check out “Fifty Shades of Nutella” for some kitchen erotica. . . 🙂

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