Did it satisfy? Not even close. The film is way tamer than you’d expect, especially given the hotly anticipated subject matter and all the hype surrounding that. As for the sex toys displayed in Christian’s “playroom,” well, audiences are liable to find the thought of them way more inspiring than any of this film’s practically PG-rated love scenes. Stars Dakota Johnson (as Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (as Christian Gray) do look fabulous naked and have tight, firm asses.
But so what? This film just doesn’t live up to the hype.
Johnson and Dornan have great onscreen chemistry but it wasn’t enough to sustain my regard for the characters. I only cared about them until I became bored with the simple dialogue and repetitive “He loves me, he loves me not … he whips me, he whips me not” back and forths.
Now, if I were a true BDSM-er or even a plain vanilla sadist, I would have demanded a lot more whipping for my movie dollars. But I’m just a mildly repressed Presbyterian with an exceedingly dirty mind. There was enough nudity for me. That wasn’t the problem. I still love movies that show more longing than canoodling.
The sexiest thing in “Fifty Shades” is the soundtrack. And I think Beyonce’s video of her remix of “Crazy in Love” is actually more erotic than the movie is. Check out that video below. Scroll just below the video for more, including all the spoilers you’ll need not to see this movie.
Video credit: Beyoncé YouTube Channel
The spelling of the word “grey” should’ve been my first clue.
I had not read the book before seeing the film at the premiere here in Los Angeles. That was because I’d heard E.L. James’ writing was lame. So I went into the film expecting it to help me understand my own poor choices in men when I was young and inexperienced. I was under the impression that the title, “Fifty Shades of Grey” was about love never being black and white, but often falling into a gray area.
The spelling of Grey was obviously a clue that I was wrong.
And if Christian Grey had asked me: “tell me about yourself,” I would have confessed to being a die-hard Jane Austen and Emily Bronte fan. Great prose turns me on more than photos. One of my favorite films, after all, is “Casablanca.”
Spoiler alert: Read no further if you don’t want to know what happens.
I saw the film at a SAG-AFTRA Film Society Screening at the Directors Guild of America, so the audience was filled with actors or actor pals. Afterward, I discussed the film with several actresses and we all agreed on three things:
First, director Sam Taylor-Johnson must have taken a coffee break. It seems he didn’t bother to direct Ms. Johnson in the scene where Anastasia loses her virginity to Christian. Was the deflowering really so gentle that zero pain was involved. I don’t know about you, but every woman I know definitely had pain that first time.
But then I googled it and found to my surprise that Millennials may not experience the pain Baby Boomers suffered. They don’t even believe in it. Scarleteen reports “first time pain” is a myth. It isn’t, but fine.
Anyway, I have another theory. Christian just has a pencil dick. This totally explains his need for sex toys.
Secondly, all of us thought Anastasia should have kept that red car. Christian had sold her white one, and she had endured several rounds in his “playroom.” She’d earned that red car. By the way, this was one of the most disturbing aspects of that playroom. The dominant color was red. Because red is my favorite color, I’m now wondering if whips are in my future …
I also say “Fifty Shades of Grey” went on too long. It could have and should have ended at least 20 minutes sooner.
The film isn’t horrible, but no way will I be lured back in for a sequel.
Should You See “Fifty Shades of Grey?”
If you like watching attractive people make out and don’t require excellent dialogue – yes.
If you don’t have a lover or a vibrator, maybe yes. But if that’s you and your needs can be easily and regularly satisfied with a chocolate bar, I recommend Trader Joe’s Fireworks Chocolate Bar. It’s cheaper than the movie.
If you do have a lover, don’t feel too comfortable in sex shops but feel seduced by just the idea of bondage, again, save your money. Instead, head to Target. It has a deal for you: the“Fifty Shades of Grey Yours and Mine Adult Vibrating Love Ring” for $14.99.
And if you take my advice and decide not to waste your time on this movie, find Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie trailer below. Then you’ll at least be able to participate a bit in the pop cultural bubble around this movie. And the trailer is far less disappointed than the real movie. Next!
“Fifty Shades of Grey” movie trailer: Universal Pictures UK YouTube channel
Movie images: Screenshots from the official Universal UK “Fifty Shades of Grey” Trailer on YouTube, as captured by Gina Smith.