I won't cover all the well-trod territory that has been written elsewhere about how ridiculous this series is. I just watched the second movie because, well, it was there and it was raining outside. I wanted to talk about money, but first one small sidebar: how on earth do you make a movie about sex where Jamie Dornan is hotter as the serial killer in The Fall than he is as the male lead in the aforementioned sex movie (which is to say, not at all)?
So here's the "economy" of these movies. You stumble out of college with ostensibly no real skills and accidentally come upon a job opportunity (unearned) interviewing this business guy. Despite you being exceptionally bad at this interviewing gig, business guy falls in love with you, and is of course fabulously wealthy (never mind the stalking and stuff). You would never have to work. You would never have to worry about making decisions--about what to eat, what to wear, how to have sex--because he likes to control everything and your only question is whether or not you're down with that.
--Short interlude--you break up because you dislike and felt emotionally abused by his main way of getting his kicks. You've got a job at a publishing house--you go girl! Movies/book like these never seem to have any comprehension of what work, let alone work in publishing, is. Work is generally a topic that is often glossed over in fiction, which is crazy if you think about it. People in America work 40, 50, sometimes even more hours a week. We spend more time at work than we do at home, if you subtract the time we spend sleeping. Depending on the week, sometimes I see colleagues more than I see my friends. Work, that is, what we do with the majority of our lives, is such a huge part of who we are. It is, at a minimum, the thing we occupy our minds with most of the time, and at a maximum, is heavily tied into our identities. I wish there were more compelling stories that were focused on work, rather than work being the background for "grander" stories--about romance, about mystery, or whatever else. I don't think there is a word for it in English, but I've noticed that people really enjoy watching other people be really competent at the thing they excel at--it doesn't matter what that thing is, but the level of expertise and interest of that person is for some reason fascinating. I recently watched The Post, and rewatched All the President's Men and Spotlight, three movies about journalism that despite their dark content, are a joy to watch. You see people at work, and the relationships they have with people at work, and it's incredibly compelling.
End tangent, back to this bad movie:
But in this thin fantasy, your job involves vaguely doing office work for an attractive and obviously about-to-to-sexually-harass-you older man. (No sense of the long hours of work that actual people in the publishing industry have to work.) You move papers around a desk, because the person who created you has no idea of what this sort of work is, or how someone might actually care about it or be engaged by it. Your paramour doesn't want you to have a job so he can control your economic independence. Your paramour buys the company you work for.
That scary work situation? The sexually harassive boss? Don't worry, you'll barely have to deal with it, because your paramour will get him fired. Somehow, you will just fall into the position of senior editor to replace him, because, gosh, no one else knows what to do with the empty slot, or with your untrained unqualified ass, for that matter. (Never mind that under these absurd rules of "well someone has to take this job lol" the black woman in your office was there for longer and has more work experience.) How terrible fiction sadly attempts to address the topic of work: newbie sits at the meeting with the big guys and makes a startlingly brilliant observation that NO ONE has ever had before. You mean we should publish the big sellers AND take a chance on new authors?? MIND BLOWN! The other way bad fiction deals with work, specifically people who are supposed to be billionaires: they sit in fancy offices and they have very attractive female receptionists. You might get some jargon thrown at you if the author spent a few minutes on Wikipedia looking up "hedge fund."
Work is there, humming in the background. There when you need a B plot. Your biggest problems will instead be relationship problems, which we all know are more interesting than all other problems in life. (This is not to say that relationship problems are not interesting, but that I would prefer to see a more holistic view of a human being.)
You know what I would wish someone would write? A literary novel like The Office only not a comedy, a really character driven saga that follows however many unrelated people working in an office and how they change over time. Can someone do that--? Thanks.