The film that will be highlighted in this paper is “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The characters of Ana and Christian enter a relationship that begins with an S &M contract that Christian has drawn up and Ana has signed. What begins as a sexual and physical relationship changes for both people, which eventually becomes a source of conflict for them (Johnson). This paper will explain how Attachment Theory is highlighted in the film, as well as Uncertainty Reductions Theory. The paper will also explain the Knapp model of relationship development, how the relationship between Ana and Christian was maintained, the factors that contributed to its end, and some negative and positive communication patterns between them.

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Ana and Christian meet when Ana filled in for her sick roommate, a journalist who cannot interview Christian. Christian is a young, wealthy business man, who is quite powerful in the community. When Ana and Christian meet, there is an instant attraction that results in them eventually entering a sexual relationship that is based on S&M. Ana signs a contract about what they will do in bed, and they begin having sex. Ana is also a virgin, which greatly appeals to Christian. Christian makes it clear that he does not want a committed relationship, but he agrees to give Ana one date night per week. However, they start to fall in love with one another. Some problems ensue that can be explained via Attachment Theory (Johnson).

Christian’s mother’s friend introduced him to sex when he was only 15 years old. The sex was S&M that was based on detachment, coldness, and pain. Attachment Theory states that one’s intimate relationships with partners are based on the ones with their caregiver, which in Christian’s case turned out to be his mother’s older friend. His mother was also not available all the time, which seems to have given Christian an Anxious/Ambivalent attachment style. This style says that sometimes a lover will be available and then at other times, the lover will not be available to their partner. This is large piece of the movie.

Ana wants more emotional availability from Christian, who has a hard time opening his heart up to anyone, due to his attachment style and past experiences with sex. This does not work for Ana, who seems to have established a secure relationship style, despite her difficult past with her own mother. Her mother is somewhat like Christian in being there for her sometimes and not at other times. While Ana is drawn to the anxious/secure attachment style, that is not her style that she lives her life by in relationships. She wants the full spectrum of a relationship, in terms of the physical, emotional, and intellectual components. She wants a man who will talk to her and express his deepest feelings. Yet, this is not what Christian does in relationship. He likes to remain detached. Viewers can see the end of the relationship coming down the line (Big theories of intimate relationships 1-2) (Johnson).

Uncertainty Reductions Theory explains the partnerships between people who do not know one another. The first stage is the Entry Stage, which is where each person tries to learn about the other person. For instance, Christian learns that Ana loves books and sends a unique hardcover edition of her favorite series to her house. Ana learns what a great piano player Christian is and is captivated by his playing. She enjoys listening to him, and it is another element of attraction for her (Big theories of intimate relationships 1) (Johnson).

In the Personal Stage, each partner wants to know more about a person’s values or beliefs. Learning more about ethics and each other’s personality traits is also part of this stage. This is the phase where Ana and Christians start to have problems. When Ana realizes how hard it is for him to be vulnerable to her, she begins to question things and become dissatisfied. She decides to fly down to visit her mother without telling Christian, which is a breach of their contract. Christian, afraid that he will lose her, flies out to see her and tells her never to leave him again. They have a romantic date after Ana’s visit with her mother, but they end up having an argument later. Ana asks him toward the end of the movie to give her some rough S&M sex because that is what is deep inside him. She does not want to do it and says he is messed up emotionally, but she insists. Then, he is more physical and sadistic than before during sex. This is what ends up tearing them apart (Big theories of intimate relationships 1) (Johnson).

In the Exit Stage, the Fate of the relationship is secured. Ana leaves and Christian begs her not to go. They do love one another, but Ana wants more than what he can give. The movie ends, so we do not know if she comes back to him (Big theories of intimate relationships 2) (Johnson).

The Knapp Model of Development is based on stages of Initiation, Experimenting, Intensifying, Integration, and Bonding. Christian and Ana go through first impressions where he sees her as innocent, and she sees him as powerful and handsome. In Experimenting, they both share their career goals and education via self-disclosure. In the Intensifying stage, they learn more emotional depth. It is here that Christian shares his early experience of S&M with Ana. In Integration and Bonding, the couple shares living space and have an exclusive relationship. They never fully get into these stages. Ana does sleep over there, but they are not in the same bed that much. Christian also pulls away from her. These are the stages that are keeping the couple apart. This leads to stages in coming apart, such as Differentiating and Termination. Their emotional vulnerability differences are highlighted and Christian’s emotional distance pushes Ana away, where she leaves him (Knapp’s relationship model 1-2) (Johnson).

The relationship between Ana and Christian is maintained, due to the contract and that the other person gives each other just enough of what they need to feel some satisfaction. They are also both intelligent, good looking, and passionate people who have a great sexual attraction. Ana admires Christian’s power and he admires her innocence and emotional expressiveness.

Ana also sees much potential in Christian in who he can really be. Christian knows how honest and good Ana is, and he does not want her to get away. Christian is also Ana’s first and only lover, which makes it hard to leave him. He has so many great qualities, such as success, good looks, receptiveness, and listening to her, that she wants the relationship to work well.

The film “Fifty Shades of Grey” highlights the attraction and difficulty in relationships through the lens of the conflicted partnership between Ana and Christian. As you can see, Ana and Christian possess different attachment styles, which makes it hard to keep the relationship secure, but also allows them to see the potential in each other. They have also ascribed to the Uncertainty Reductions Theory. While they broke up in the end, they did try to keep the relationship going, their many common interests drawing them together. Yet, Knapp’s Model of Relationships did show Ana and Christian’s journey and explains the ambivalent place where they eventually ended up in their relationship.