WARREN, NJ - It's a phenomenon.  As reported in Forbes," In just a week of worldwide release, Fifty Shades of Grey has crossed $100 million at the domestic box office and $300 million at the worldwide box office, already placing it among the top “directed by a woman” global grossers ever. " In May, Saturday Night Live lampooned Fifty Shades as the gift every suburban mom really wanted for Mother's Day. On Friday night, a group of Warren moms went to see the film.
 
Much hate has been directed at both the books and the film. BDSM aficionados say they hate it because they feel it unfairly portrays their lifestyle.  Domestic abuse awareness activists hate it because they say it portrays controlling behavior as a sign of true love.  Feminists hate it because they say the main female character is spineless. Literary and film critics hate it because they say it’s poorly written.  Over the past week, social media feeds have blown up with various debates.
 
 
So what is the secret to its massive success?
 
The story has touched the hearts of millions of women. The sex is largely beside the point. No, the appeal of Fifty Shades is the fantasy of unconditional love and redemption. A fantasy that the ordinary reader/viewer will be adored by an extraordinary man. It taps into the deepest of all female fantasies - to take the beast and tame him.
 

So, what did the Warren moms think? 
-  I didn't finish the first book but liked the film.
- We got 25 women to get together to go out almost instantly for this. That says something
- It's like "Pretty Woman"
- I really liked "Fifty Shades of Grey" the movie—I think a whole lot of fuss is being made about nothing
- He's James Bond like, sexy, and she's Cinderella
- Dakota Johnson as Ana was great, but I can't imagine what Don Johnson thinks of his daughter's first role
- Now I'm going to read the books!
- Where was the housekeeper from the book?
- The film was tamer than I thought it would be but they did a great job getting the idea across and showing only enough to keep it rated R
-The film was better in a way than the books. All of the conversations in Ana's head from the book didn't need to be filmed!
- It cracked me up that the theater was full and there were only two guys there, wonder what they thought?
- Did you notice all of the waiters tonight were young guys? Think AMC did that on purpose?
-There’s more fight in the film Ana than the book Ana. The funniest, and sexiest, scene is when Ana calls for a business meeting and they sit at either end of a glass boardroom table- Ana whips through the contract for their experimental relationship scratching out the "absolutely nots."
- I think people that didn't read the books, or stopped before finishing them missed the point. It's not about the sex- well, it is a little bit- but it's more about the seduction, the fantasy, the taming of the bad boy. And it doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece to tell a story. Get over the writing, and read it.
 
Author Anne Rice said," 
 
“I believe completely in the right of women to their own sexual fantasies. I believe in their right to write and read sexual fantasies, and I will always defend them (and men) against efforts to politicize or sanitize or patrol their sexual fantasies. There is inside of each of us a secret place where our desires rule without interference. That secret place is our imagination.”
 
"We're talking about a novel here and a movie. We're not talking about people in real life. I love Agatha Christie. Do you think I support murder?"
 
And...
 
"Lecturing women on their fantasies, telling them NOT to like "Fifty Shades" because it includes abuse is just as bad, in my opinion, as telling women that "nice girls" don't imagine being kissed, loved, touched, ravaged, swept off their feet. "Nice girls" can imagine anything they want. And in literature, people can write whatever they want. I'm shocked by all the preaching about "Fifty Shades." I stand up for women, for their freedom, for their rights, for their imaginations, their hearts." 
 
Editor's Note: Your TAPinto Warren Editor was one of the Warren moms.