Secretary. 50 Shades of Gray. I can’t think of any other movies right now that fall along those lines, but two seems like sufficient cause and also you know what I’m talking about. The kind of movie where a white man with a good job is sexually rude to a stammering woman in a cardigan, and says things like “Sexually, I’m more important than you, and my father invented helicopters,” and the lady says things like, “buh-buh-buh-buh-whaaa?” and “Okay” and “Should I take off my cardigan?” And, you know, Lord bless ’em, these movies, probably. But if we’re going to have movies where people strike one another about for sensual purposes, I think it’s only fair that at least one of them is a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada.
Okay, argument the first: Look at this, my friends.
Right? You gotta have a fancy dress party in one of these movies, because it’s super formal and stylized and even the slightest display of unusual behavior is ripe for humiliation. Plus Meryl Streep has the décolletage of Diana, goddess of chastity, the moon, and the hunt. You don’t even have to change anything, right? Andrea still has the unworthy boyfriend and useless friends determined to keep her from succeeding, she and Emily are still competing desperately for the chance to put away Miranda’s coat and fly to Paris with her, only now it’s, you know, tinged with sapphic frissons. “Everyone in New York wants to spend an hour alone in the Office with Miranda.” Why is it that in Serious Sex Movies you gotta capitalize things that don’t usually get capitalized to show they’re going to be doing it real seriously and also violently? I don’t know, but them’s the rules, so you have to call it the Office, instead of the room she has sex in.
Or like, it was tinged before, so I guess in the sequel it would have to be pretty overt. The blue sweater monologue would stay the same, though.
I mean, guys. Guys.
Miranda would still end their sessions with a quiet, masterful “…That’s all,” only this time everyone would be on the floor in a grateful, quivering heap because she somehow found a way to eviscerate them spiritually and sexually at the same time.
And, okay, like, here are the two shots that frame the entire movie, okay? BAM, SEX-WISE:
It will take twenty minutes for Andrea to move to the other side of the desk when Miranda tells her to, and those twenty minutes will be COMPELLING. If you don’t want to watch two Valkyries in impeccable pantsuits wrest for sexual control for an hour and a half, I have no idea what to say to you. There is no joy left in your soul.
And here’s the end, right, because you gotta have a little role reversal in this kind of movie because otherwise everyone in the audience gets worried for whichever sex person is getting ridden like a fancy pony’s well-being.
This is the big Jane Eyre moment! “I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, or even of mortal flesh:–it is my spirit that addresses your spirit: just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,–as we are!” And then there’s the big kiss, followed by the big filthy Final Sex Time, full of pantsuits and $400 belts being used for non-belting purposes. Guys, you don’t even have to reshoot that many scenes. That time where Miranda demands that Andrea bring her a $50 steak and then dismisses her with “I don’t want that“? KEEP IT. Making her find the unpublished Harry Potter book in a single afternoon? KEEP IT. That stuff is gold. Are you taking notes?
Thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing this movie within the next twelvemonth.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.