Film Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

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Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan

Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

This will be an interesting experience, I told myself going into Fifty Shades of Grey. I read the book, if you’re married, you had to. What did I think of the book that started as a Twilight fan fiction? I thought it was probably one of the worst reads I’ve had in a long time. Terrible characters, terrible plot devices, and ridiculously written scenes of sensuality that felt like a 14 year old wrote them. With the movie, I had hoped they had tried to make more sense of this childish dribble. They did seem to work Hollywood magic into this stinker of a book and formed something at least more bearable out of it.

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Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) is an awkward, mousey, 21 year old college student finishing her final year of English Lit. She’s a hopeless romantic, or so she says is a requirement to be an English Major, but has never had any romantic endeavors. She’s still a virgin as well, that’s something to keep in mind as we go forward. When her roommate gets sick, she convinces her to interview the head of a major company, the mysterious and handsome Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan). He takes a liking to her, while remaining cryptic, and she suddenly becomes obsessed with him. Sounds like a normal romance flick right? So where does all the controversy about this story come from?

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Christian is a dominant, and is heavily into BDSM. Boom. There you go. He doesn’t do romance, and he doesn’t date. He, however, will take you as his submissive, and just use you a sex toy for weekends. Further more, he makes you sign a contract and a NDA. Naturally, Ana, who hasn’t had sex before is frightened and curious, and as you can see above, she does take the bait, but does not sign.

So I mentioned before, that they managed to fix up the story a bit, and yes they did. In the book i absolutely despised everyone, no one was likable, and they were either incredibly stupid or dull, or both. In the film, everyone is much more friendly, even Christian Grey who was a giant d*ckhead, has mellowed out, and retains more of a snarky wit. Ana isn’t incredibly foolish, she was actually rather charming in this, because in the book she was a stereotypical college kid who was dimwitted. Does this mean they deserve golden globes? Absolutely not, the characters are still wooden, and awkward. Many women still complain that Christian Grey was Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy), but what they really mean by that, is not that Jamie Dornan isn’t a good actor, which he isn’t bad, they would just rather look at Charlie’s Butt.

I could probably go on for awhile about a lot of mistakes in the movie, careless ones. Details such as a florida license plate, when Ana’s mom lives in Georgia, or Mr. Grey getting into the wrong seat when he flies the helicopter. Or even bigger mistakes such as rather comical dialogue that made me snicker and repeatedly get hit by my wife throughout the flick.

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Before you ask, yes they kept the sex in. How far did they go? Pretty far. Nothing terribly pornographic, but it will make you uncomfortable in a room full of people, or sitting next to your parents. Don’t see this with your parents, it will be awkward, and you won’t want to talk about it afterwards.

Is this a big complaint? Not really, afterwards I had a wonderful time with my wife. If you know what I mean…Yes women eat this movie up, and many folks online think this movie is an excuse for abuse, and I can see why you may think so. But the movie tames the subject matter from the book, and makes it far less aggressive in that aspect, especially when it comes to Ana’s punishment. Trust me, it’s better in the movie.

Final Score:

Okay

I’m not mad I watched it, nor was I terribly impressed with it. However, if you are curious, and have some time to kill and don’t find the subject matter awkward. Then check it out. If you have a girlfriend that wants to go, absolutely go. Trust me. Winkwinknudgenudge.

6 Cable ties out of 10.
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