50 Shades of Grey (Film) Review

fifty_shades_of_grey_ver3I’ve thought long and hard (giggle) about this review for some reason and I don’t really know why. I think it’s because reviews of crappy films often annoy me.

I mean, the rule doesn’t necessarily apply here in exactly the same way but with a film such as The Expendables, for instance, there is always so much huff and puff about how it’s light on plot/the dialogue is shit/acting not up to much and I think, well duh but it’s fun, isn’t it? Is this not why we are here? (In style of Maximus Decimus Crowe).

With this in mind, I’m not going to tear this film a new one just because it’s inspired by a very badly written trilogy of books, about a frankly iffy relationship. I had a lot of fun with my movie date and passed through a range of emotions during the viewing, including: embarrassment, mirth, bemusement, rage and indifference.

50 Shade of Grey (2015)

I didn’t like the books but I read them anyway, so I had a point of reference when people talked about them. Wanting to be part of it is why I went to see the film, and because I wanted to see how it’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson had adapted it, even with the input of E.L. James.

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“Ermahgerd you’re, like, so hot Mr Grey, ermahgerd!”

Let’s quickly do the negatives: This film is by no stretch the worst I’ve ever seen but it does have a TV Movie vibe about it. The acting is okay, borderline wooden at times. I think Dakota Johnson is quite likeable, despite being a bit of a caricature of ‘sexy’ with her breathy voice and big eyes. Jamie Dornan really doesn’t do it for me and I just don’t think there’s anything stand out about his performance, though they both do what they can with what they’ve got.

The dialogue is terrible, mainly because James is a truly horrible writer and it seems as though Taylor-Johnson lost the battle to refine it. At least we’re spared the whole ‘inner goddess’ schtick though, which is a massive Pro and should go on the positives list.

The sex scenes are a lot saucier than I expected, which probably sounds like a ridonkulous thing to say about a film about BDSM but I know what I mean. I was reassured by the fact that it was actually quite sexual, I thought it would be pseudo-sexy but somehow decidedly innocent. They actually do fuck, which is nice.

The bondage scenes are a bit samey. Perhaps we’re being gently eased in before they bring out the big guns for the next instalment (though I have read it and I’m thinking, probably not). I don’t know much about BDSM but I understand that the community have taken umbrage to some of the misconceptions it is promoting. All I know is that the Red Room is kept very beautifully.

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“Giddy up, giddy up, babe”

And finally, I think it would be remiss not to mention the relationship at the centre of the ‘story’. I mean, I wouldn’t be happy to live with someone so controlling (I consider myself a survivor of a controlling relationship and I know it’s no joke). He has ‘issues’ and although the fact that Mr Grey is messed up by his past is the reason he can’t do the ‘hearts and flowers’ and would prefer to buy his acquaintances with material goods, it’s no excuse.

I think it does veer into worrying territory, certainly in the books. I am interested to see what happens next in the films, as I do hope for some push back from Ana; just a bit of empowerment. We’ll see, she says, not holding her breath.

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“The name’s Grey. Christian Grey. Greyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy”
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“Don’t worry, I can fix your fan belt”

What’s good though? There are a few scenes where it looks like the two leads are having fun. I’m thinking of the ‘negotiation scene’ in particular which I won’t elaborate on as I don’t want to drop any spoilers. Maybe it’s because they talk about anal, who knows? It always makes me do a LOL.

I did laugh a lot in general and sometimes it was even intentional.

It looks nice.

And as above, I’m happy it was more adult that I was expecting, although I didn’t anticipate how awkward it would be to watch sex scenes with my good friend. It’s supposed to be a romantic film, so the cheesiness made me cringe out loud a few times. L’s face throughout was an absolute picture, which made me snort even harder.

Also, when we entered the theatre, it was empty but for three teenage males. We wondered if they were in the wrong film but as it played on, they were very quiet and focused, with their coats on their laps. Most surreal.

That’s actually about it. The negatives do seem to outweigh the positives but still, I did have a good cinema experience (including a hot dog AND popcorn) and tried to take this for what it is.

I will wax lyrical at some point about the films that I actually do find sexy, including the oft compared to 50 Shades BDSM film, Secretary. But until then *thwack* (that’s the sound of a riding crop, for the uninitiated).

So, 50 Shades of Meh, any thoughts?

All images via Google.

13 comments

      • I’m not sure about that to be honest, as I haven’t really thought too hard about it. All I know for sure is why I saw it. I think the film was made for the fans and stayed quite true to itself. Sadly it’s not very good! I was hopeful (and still am maybe) that the director, if Taylor-Johnson stays on, will have more sway next time to make something more of it, but I’m not holding my breath!

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  1. agree! what i mean by “tricked” was that the audience/fans of the book thought that it would be something nice to say the least. seeing the undeniable and hot chemistry on screen is one of the basics of the story and they, without a doubt, failed to deliver.

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  2. I think it all boils down to, yes, I enjoyed the experience of seeing it, but I don’t think it was a good film. It did make me laugh, mostly when Ana was showing a bit of backbone, and I loved those moments in it. (Although that moment where he actually refers to the book title in a line, how bad is this writing made me snort out loud in the middle of the serious moment and half the cinema glared at me. Ooooops.
    What it didn’t do was change my mind or make me forget how horrible of a person I think Christian is, or how much their relationship kind of worries me. He still creeps me out, even in screen-Jamie-Dornan form. Sigh.
    Regarding the inner goddess nonsense though, I was actually really hoping for some kind of hilarious side-comments from an inner voice, ala Lizzie McGuire. That would’ve been a high point.
    Well done for reviewing it! I didn’t know where to start so completely bypassed a post about it! 🙂 xx

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    • I know, I don’t like him either. He’s a dick and he reminds me too much of old bad times, I hate the feeling of being told to do anything by anyone now, so much so that I will do the exact opposite out of spite. I did see glimmers of her fighting back but they weren’t enough. We need more. We also need there to be an acknowledgement that you can’t always fix people though this is not the platform, I realise that. It was a hot mess, it’s true.

      God you know what else annoyed me? When he was all “You put yourself in danger” when she got drunk, I was like. Really? Not really. She was drunk. So? The more I think about it the more it pisses me off!

      Would be so cool to have seen in together, and got Jill involved. My fantasy film buds! xoxo

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      • Oh yes! That irritated me too, so she was a bit drunk, and what? That’s also no excuse to take an unconscious person back to your hotel without their consent and sleep in a bed with them. Ugh, he’s so icky to me.
        Haha yes!! That would have been amazing! We should do that for the next one. If I can bring myself to see it, I’m partway through the book and I’ve already ground away half the enamel on my teeth…

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  3. Damn, I just realized this flew completely under my radar.
    Ha ha, those captions. The greatest.
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Secretary, YES YES YES (at the risk of getting dangerously close to a line from 50 Shades).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! You know, so much time has now passed that I can’t remember why I liked it anymore but I sort of sway between this review and actually liking it a lot more, especially when I speak to someone about it.

      Films be cray, lady! ❤

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