E.L. James' 'Fifty Shades' novels are a sensation that are taking over the world, with a movie soon on the way and global sales running into the tens of millions.
Except in one corner of the world that is, France, the country so often held up as the home of love, and tolerance of less than regular sexual behaviour.
Predictably it's not prudishness that's stopping the French from succumbing to the 'mummy porn' phenomenon, rather looking down on the novel as an inferior piece of eroticism.
Apparently the French prefer their eroticism home grown, which is probably fair enough considering it's the home of the Marquis De Sade.
French magazine Les Inrocks said that the books were, "sadomasochism, light and flavourless", full of "insignificant, consensual and cliched." French newspaper Le Figaro has also run an article looking at its 20 worst quotes from the book.
Yet while the Marquis De Sade's eminence in the literature of French sadomasochism (sadism is after all named for him) may be hurting the books' sales in France, for the film it could yet provide the answer of how to make a success of any film version.
'Quills', a film based upon the life of the Marquis, starring Kate Winslet and Geofrey Rush successfully showed how to put sadism and sexual desire at the centre of a movie, earning Oscar nominations and moderate success at the box-office.
Although 'Fifty Shades' will be a very different proposition, the film does show that it's possible to make a movie about sexual practices that might make more sensitive audiences blush, and make it critically and commercially successful.
So whether the French like it or not, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' will likely be drawing on a very French tradition.
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