February 16, 2015

So I Saw ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Let me start this post by getting two things out of the way:

1. Yes, this is going to be a franchise. This film was literally only about the first book.

2. I tried, I really did try.

Now as I stated in an earlier post about this book and film, my expectations were not high. Now while they weren’t that high, I was at least expecting to be entertained. I really did go into the movie theater with an open mind and eager to see how Anastasia and Christian would be brought to life. It honestly hurts me to say that even with my low expectations, I was severely disappointed.

The film was supposed to be sexy and flirty; Christian should have dominating and irresistible. None of this happened for me. There were truly parts of the film that were laughable. This, however, was not the fault of the main characters. The one good thing I would say is that Jamie and Dakota did a pretty good job with their roles. There was good chemistry between them. Ana was very annoying in the book and she was the same in the film (trust me, to get me to feel the same way I did in the book takes skill!). Jamie was okay as Christian; I was expecting him to have a more authoritative attitude in the way he spoke and carried himself. There wasn’t a time when I necessarily was taken aback in his dominance. However, when I think back on the book, he was pretty close. I think this movie solidified for me that the book wasn’t that well written. At the time when the phenomenon really hit, I was as curious as everyone else and read the books. I found them quite entertaining. Like I have said before, it was a great conversation piece. The film did a good job at staying pretty close to the book’s story line. But hearing some of those words being brought to life on screen made me cringe a bit. “Laters, baby”? No, boo. I don’t want you to actually say that to me.

Fifty Shades of Grey definitely has its audience, as proven by the stellar numbers it did this weekend. According to Variety, its on pace for a record breaking debut with just over $81 million.  It’s just that I am not a part of that audience. I really stand by my earlier claim that this movie should have been NC-17. I feel like they could have taken it so much further if they had the room. I saw some people say that for them, some of the scenes bordered on soft porn. What were they watching? They took out a lot of the kink that was even in the dang book! The scene in the red room where she was suspended with handcuffs was the closest I got to feel like we were making some progress. I thought there was good buildup that led to a nice scene but as a result I was expecting more. After that scene I think we literally had twenty or so more minutes before the film ended.

I kind of knew what I was getting into when I stepped into the theater to watch this film and so I feel like my disappointment is justified. I have seen some reviews similar to mine that hit the mark but others that were just way off in my opinion. It seems that a few people, who may not have read the book, though that this film would be more filled with BDSM. Let’s get one thing straight. Fifty Shades of Grey is definitely not about BDSM. A little bit of kink? Yes. BDSM it is not.

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Now I had a few questions as I was watching this film that I hope those of you who saw it can help to answer.

  • Was it just me or did you think they went a little overboard with the grey? His helicopter, all his ties, his office and the furnishings, even the assistants wore all grey. Not to mention our location, Seattle is pretty grey on a normal day. They could have brought it down just a notch. We got the Grey reference. No need for the over kill.
  • Who was in charge of wardrobe? Christian’s suits were fantastic but what was going on with Ana’s clothes? That dress she had on for graduation was an absolute NO. Unless you go into David’s Bridal, that style isn’t around anymore. A little bit of redemption though with that dress she wore to the contract negotiations. It was nice.
  • Who was in charge of set design? Kudos to them! I loved the lower level of Christian’s apartment and they picked some pretty decent locales.
  • Who authorized that wig for Rita Ora? What was with the accent? I know she visited Paris but I don’t remember her having that accent in the book. In the next book hopefully she can get more than four lines.
  • Couldn’t they have found a better phone for Ana? That LG flip phone was not it.
  • Show of hands: who else though that Taylor would have made a great Christian Grey?
  • Did they really have to make this into a franchise? Like I thought with the book, they could have wrapped up the entire story line in this one film. I don’t really think there needs to be two more.

Now this is just my two cents on the film. If you had plans to watch it, by all means go ahead. I would love to hear your opinions and see how they differ from mine. If someone were to ask me personally though, I wouldn’t recommend it.

S/N: There were many older couples in the theater with me who were obviously loving every minute of the film! While I was left asking if that’s all they were going to show, my fellow moviegoers seemed pretty eager to try out something new once they left.

I suspect Universal will announce the production of the second installment, Fifty Shades Darker, pretty soon. I expect that to be released sometime next year.

How many of you checked out Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend? Let me know your thoughts!

 

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Natalya