It’s Raining Men: Fifty Shades of Grey, Think Like a Man and The Avengers

We’ve noticed something. As Pop Culture aficionados, we’re seeing something great happening. Men are on the return. Once an almost diminished candle of characters, the spotlight is slowly and beautifully shining brighter and brighter, into a beautiful beacon.

In books, in movies, in television shows, in music, real men have resumed presence. And we like it.  We’ve been noticing the glimmer for a while now and wrote about after, this past fall, watching  The Men of the Prime Time Emmy Awards.

We’re grateful and ecstatic to see their return.

Because we love men.

This Spring, our insatiable testosterone craving has met its match…

If anyone can turn the simplicity of a man’s tie into a topic of arousing thought and discussion, female author E L James did it in her book  Fifty Shades of Grey. The runaway New York Times best-seller has sold millions of copies, been featured on Dr. Oz and was recently the cover story on Entertainment Weekly.  E L James first wrote the trilogy as an e-book and the naughty tale has since exploded into an S&M phenomenon.

It has successfully raised the lustful eyebrow to a story revealing an ego-powered struggle between an impressive man and an equally impressive woman in today’s modern post-feminist world. This book showcases not only sex, but the strength, compromise, control and love of a man and of a woman. Together, these two erotica heroes have reignited the fire in bedrooms of single and married women and men across the nation.

Anita received several emails and calls from girlfriends who asked if she had read the book. She recalls:

“I could hear the giggles and heavy breathing through my girlfriend’s texts and email messages as they asked me if I read the book or not. Geez, I thought. What’s the big woop about? I asked my husband if he had heard about it. He didn’t, but looked it up. He tells me it’s fiction. Well then that almost slammed the door of possible reading shut, because I like reading non-fiction. I like to save the fiction for movies and TV, but as I turned back to my laptop after talking with Brian, I looked at my screen, which was set at Google’s search for this book, and I saw the cover. I saw that tie. That damn, fricken, hot, silvery grey tie. I have a thing for men who wear their suits well. I worked at a men’s clothing store for years. That tie. It looked delicious. Strong. Desirable. Who was the owner of that tie? It intrigued me. It flustered me. It flushed me. My heart beat slightly faster and I had images of my private life as a single woman flash through my mind. And that made me want to read the book. I hadn’t read the summary. I didn’t even know who the author was. I only wanted to know more about that tie, and the man who wore it.”

Two days later, Anita received the book. Four days later, she was halfway through the second book of the trilogy. And her husband? He started reading it. Anita told me, “What I love about my husband is, if a show or a book excites enough women, he wants to know about it, so he can cater to what a woman likes. Smart man. And, honey, I’m in for the time of my life. Yeee-ha!”

The plot – this idea of a woman in control surrendering her control to a man she barely knows – is a fantasy some of us have lived thru. Possibly in real life. Maybe in our imagination. Perhaps, if we were lucky, in both.

We women carry tremendous responsibility – work, family, friends, community and life. But a good man who enters a woman’s life will always wish to be given occupancy in her heart. So, why not let a man in? He may surprise you. And, in return, you may surprise yourself.

Sometimes you may need to think like a man…

And, speaking of surprises, two weeks in a row the number one film at the box office was Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey’s comedy based on his best selling relationship advice book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think about Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. The He’s Just Not That Into You (both book and movie) of this decade, Think Like a Man profiles the relationships and pursuits of different and recognizable prototypes of men in the dating arena. Harvey walks you thru each type of man and weaves their stories together, offering honest prescriptions to women on how to best manage their own relationships, if they want to be with a man, long-term.

While some of the characters may at first appear pigeon-holed, there is nothing trite about this movie. Instead, there is a truth. For example,  “If 90 days is good enough for General Motors, it should be good enough for you,” Harvey insists on the “Do Not Sleep With,” do the work before you get the benefits package, rule.

Layered with comedy and great acting, the men and the women in this film both do a 180 spin, realizing that in order to make real relationships really work, then both parties must come to the table, in full commitment, awareness and appreciation. We applaud this movie for their great humor, and for asking both sexes to have accountability and responsibility for their actions.

The best part of the film? Think Like a Man brings Oprah-styled wisdom with Kevin Hart’s impeccable comedic timing that, if you listen carefully and catch all the one-liners, will have you laughing so hard your stomach will hurt.

Relationships can be about both, pleasure and pain…

No one takes as much of beating at the cinema this season as The Avengers. Partly shot right here in Cleveland (check out my photos on the making of), The Avengers all-star cast is any director’s wet dream.

From childhood to present, we have seen numerous Super Heroes films. America invented the super hero. Hitting close to home, Superman was the creation of  Jerry Siegel  and Joe Shuster, two nice Jewish boys from Cleveland, Ohio.

There is something so positively intense about men in capes. With super powers.

Saving the world.

Our world.

In The Avengers, the stakes are so high, that it takes Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Natasha/The Black Widow and The Hulk to save New York and the world from evil forces with their own super powers.

In one scene, Samuel L. Jackson, as Nick Fury, states, “There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could.”

Do they ever!

There’s something incredible about the camaraderie of the characters in this film, which, combined with a great script, tremendous acting, state of the art 3D effects and sarcastic, quick humor, that makes us hang on every word and watch every defensive and offensive move, leaving us with wanting more.

What’s hotter than a group of hot men and a sexy lady saving the world? True, The Avengers is a mythological tale, but like all classic myths, there is truth and wisdom built within the tale.

The best part? Their portrayed strength is unapologetic. It is confident. It is good.

Damn, good.

These are just a few examples of why we love men. They are complicated, protective and tough. They are loving, intelligent, powerful and able.

Dear Pop Culture, thank you for re-shining a well-deserved light on the many joys that men bring to a woman’s life.  Men are the lighthouse, our lighthouse, warning us of danger, bringing us to safety and protecting the home turf.  We appreciate the media setting the stage for the next anticipated relationship book, The Dating GPS™: Guys, Pricks and Sweethearts, heralding men for who they are, and helping women find, and keep, love.

Images: IMDb.com, B&N.com

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