It’s funny and sad at the same time how sometimes the worst reviewed movies become the highest grossing ones simply because the target audience doesn’t care about the quality of the product, it just cares about the product subject. Whether it’s guys going to one of the first four Fast & Furious movies, girls going to creepy romantic movies like Twilight or me as a kid watching the atrocious Garbage Pail Kids movie. It’s probably a “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” thing but I’m surprised that a movie with such a terrible overall production did so well at the box-office, just because it played to women’s fantasies about billionaires with a BDSM-fetish, which apparently is something women get off on. Catering to the sexual desires of women has been extremely profitable for decades. Create a carefully crafted boy-band or a movie about a mysterious beautiful man and women will flock to the concerts or theaters. Have you ever seen a group of guys go to a movie simply because there’s a story about the hot girl next door seducing a guy, with a lot of nudity in it? Probably not, because we just visit Pornhub and skip straight through the intro.
Fifty Shades of Grey is about the shy, mousy even, 21-year old literature student Anastasia Steele who has to interview the extremely handsome billionaire Christian Grey. During this interview he’s is intrigued by her shyness, she by his posture. Anastasia discovers she wants him, while he displays stalker-like characteristics like constantly showing up at places where she’s at. She’s marveled by all the glitter and glamor in his life, but quickly finds out that he’s not your average (wealthy) boyfriend. Christian has a dominant side which he likes to project onto the women he’s with and Anastasia will have to figure out how far she’s willing to go.
It’s probably done on purpose by the writer, but it’s funny how a movie about two people having a supposedly steamy sexual relationship has characters with such cold names. Anastasia Steele? Mr. Grey? Those are names that remind me of winters in Siberia, not a movie that’s supposed to be the closest thing to a “porna” as the R-rating will allow. If they ever would to be married her name would be Anastasia Steele-Grey. That just sounds like a character from Frozen.
Steele and Grey are played by Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Two relatively unknown actors who have to deliver a wide variety of lines at which women will swoon and men will laugh. Here’s a fine example:
Anastasia Steele: I’ve fallen in love with you.
Christian Grey: No. You can’t love me.
A movie like this is made by the chemistry between the two leads and how attractive the audience finds them. Well there’s hardly any chemistry between them and from what I have heard is that Dornan is not the extremely handsome guy women were expecting to see on screen. Even as a man, I found that his appearance did not suit that of this mysterious Mr. Grey. In fact, his clean shaven look makes him look as if his first pubic hairs just started to grow last week. Dakota Johnson is sadly no better: her mousy-like appearance and constant stumbling feel too much of a caricature than a real person. She bites her lips every time she’s thinking lustful thoughts which becomes unintentionally funny when she’s doing it for the umpteenth time. She’s also very skinny thus lacking any curves. On multiple occasions you could clearly count her ribs, something which is not to my liking. When she’s lying one her back, her legs positioned so we don’t see her pubic bone, her small breasts all flat and face partially covered she could have just as been body-doubled by a boy. This is a role a more suited for a woman like Kate Upton.
I actually found the movie to be pretty boring. It’s over two hours long and not a lot happens. I kept looking as to how long I had been watching, which basically says it all. It’s that I never turn off a movie when I start one or else I would have been done after the first half hour. The relationship between Anastasia and Christian never feels real, but that’s probably because I was watching a deranged female fantasy. He takes her for a helicopter ride, he ties her up, they drive in a fancy car, he whips her gently, they go flying in a glider before things go rough at work, he whips her hard. End of story. This is a movie where we have to sit through dialogue like “I’m not the man for you, you should stay away from me”. She does the opposite or course.
Fifty Shades of Grey’s plot is built on the fact that Christian is handsome and rich. Take away that and all that remains is some sick story. This isn’t the first time actually. Those of you old enough might remember the controversy of Indecent Proposal in which handsome millionaire Robert Redford offers $1,000,000 for one night with Demi Moore. Another movie that, when looked at closely, portrays women as submissive whores and how the handsome millionaire element changes everything.
If it was Jésus the 55-year old overweight gardener offering $500 for an hour with your wife he would have been called a pervert and the cops would have been called. It’s the same with Fifty Shades of Grey: take away the looks, penthouses and helipads and we’re left with one creepy dude. What guy draws up contracts where the woman must consent to vaginal fisting? If this was Jésus again, now with a room with full of whips and chains, the cops would have been called even quicker and they would probably start digging in the garden looking for bodies.
And women flock to the cinemas to drool over this guy; Christian, not Jésus. Multiple reports have been made about women even masturbating during a crowded screening. How fucked up is that?
Fifty Shades of Grey is pure trash wrapped in a shiny wrapper. The art direction is sterile, yet beautiful. It doesn’t suit the mood of the movie, but Christian’s offices and houses look absolutely stunning. Aside from that this is just a humorless 2-hour soap-opera/Harlequin novel with a kinky twist to it, though the kinky twist consists more of words than deeds. There is no vaginal fisting on display here, no genitals are even shown. The nudity focuses more on the torso and the occasional butt-shot. It’s all tease as even the BDSM-scenes are quite tame. The average couple has at least once or twice used a blindfold, handcuffs or performed some playful slapping on the butt; the same thing what Anastasia and Christian do over the course of 2 hours.
No, the only true sadomasochistic element of this movie is having to sit through it.