I tend to watch weird movies. Korean horror, French new wave, indie stuff. Occasionally, though, my wife says 'enough' and makes me watch something she wants to. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.

My only experience with Fifty Shades of Grey is hearing the various internet criticisms of it. I know the 'author' started off writing "Twilight" fanfic, then just changed the characters from Edward and Bella into Christian and Anastasia. I read excerpts of the book, and it was some of the worst writing I've ever seen. Poor dialogue, poor characters, and beyond that, things like sentence structure and the basics of writing were horrible. The sex scenes got a bit wild, involving BSDM, and soccer moms all around the country got hot and bothered.

I can say that the movie lived up to my expectations. My expectations being a terrible movie I could laugh at for an hour and a half. I guess you can blame the source material, but at times it felt like no one was even trying to rise above it. Christian Grey is supposed to be the sort of man who can take over a room the second he walks through the door, suave and sophisticated and handsome, women want him and men want to be him; Jamie Dornan looks like a douche-bro.  Anastasia Steele is supposed to introverted, a bit mousey, and while Dakota Johnson does pull off the "mostly unattractive" look, she ends up so vapid I just had to laugh. I had also heard a lot of rumors that Dornan and Johnson hated each other during filming, and even if those rumors are untrue, the two had zero chemistry.

As far as the sex scenes: I have no idea what the controversy was. Maybe the book was rougher, maybe they're saving the crazy stuff for the sequels, or maybe I'm just desensitized. Nothing seemed outrageous. Some handcuffs, whips, a riding crop, blindfolds...things that aren't all vanilla, but nothing that made me think these people were sexual deviants who we should hide our children from. There is a good amount of nudity from Johnson, but by the time it arrived I was so fed up with the character my reaction was mostly "Oh look, boobs. Meh."

The movie ends with a cliffhanger, meant to keep us waiting for the sequels. The box office was good enough to warrant a continuation, and things can really only go up from here. Should the rumors about the cast be true, maybe next time around they'll get people who can actually pretend to like eachother.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets a 2 out of 10.


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