Watching 50 Shades of Grey is like going on a cheap, poorly constructed roller coaster ride. You and your friends get strapped into it, hoping for a fun thrill. It starts off quite promising, but then takes a huge nose dive and never fully recovers. And once it’s all over, you’re left feeling a little uneasy and all you want it your money back.
Right on the eve of Valentine’s Day, we are promised what is supposed to be the sexiest, raunchiest, closest-thing-to-porn movie we’ll ever get to see in theatres, ever. So there I went, to a theatre with hoards of young, curious and excited movie goers to watch a movie I really knew nothing about. I haven’t read any of the books, so apart from what I’ve heard in the media, I went into this completely blind.
But I figured the premise was simple enough: young, naive, college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) meets dark and mysterious billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Their first meeting somehow spirals into an erotic relationship, with Christian opening Ana’s eyes to the world of BDSM. (I think there’s a love story in there somewhere…)
So I went, I saw and I watched… probably a lot more of Johnson’s breasts than oh-my-god sex but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
1) Let’s just start off with the obvious: Jamie Dornan. Sure, his looks aren’t enough to save the movie, but at least there’s some eye candy to get us through this.
2) Yay for safe sex! The fact that there was discussion on contraception and safe sex onscreen is worth praising. Not to mention two separate scenes with Christian putting a condom on (they’re brief, but we’ll take it!). A lot of movies like to avoid the topic all together, but 50 Shades included it in a clever, nonchalant way.
3) You will be “Crazy in Love” with the soundtrack. From Beyonce’s sultry rearrangement of her 2003 hit, accompanied with equally great tracks from The Weeknd, Sia, and Ellie Goudling – this soundtrack is honestly the only thing worth spending your $12 on.
4) It’s better than Twilight…? That’s not saying much, but it’s better than watching two hours of a sullen, detached Kristen Stewart.
5) Who wrote this? Even better question – who allowed this to go onscreen? The poorly written and poorly executed one liners cockblock any real chance this movie had at being a decent film.
6) Everything you’ve read regarding Johnson and Dornan’s chemistry, is true. Individually, both Johnson and Dornan do the best they can with the material they’re given but the sexual tension that’s suppose to exist between these two characters is nonexistent.
7) The sex scenes are mediocre, at best. Sure, we get introduced to some kink but the incredible lack of sexual chemistry completely kills the vibe. It honestly doesn’t get much better than this GIF, which for a sex movie is quite disappointing.
8) Blurred lines. I can’t speak for the books, but what I saw onscreen was quite troubling. You have a young, naive girl “consenting” to a type of sex she clearly doesn’t want to engage in, simply to fall in love with a billionaire who isn’t very interested in a traditional relationship like she is. Yes, she verbally consents to everything – but with a look of fear and discomfort in her eyes! Ana does not go into it with the fun or sexy curiosity one would hope to have when they approach these situations. The lines of consent felt extremely murky in this film, especially towards the end, making some parts uncomfortable to watch.
9) Thanks Hollywood for romanticizing manipulative relationships. Hollywood does a great job at romanticizing a lot of things, things I know we shouldn’t take too seriously because “it’s just a movie.” But the power dynamic Ana and Christian had outside the Red Room was quite disturbing and far from romantic, to say the least. That paired with everything else, led me to my last thought…
10) Do we really need two more movies after that?
No, we really don’t.