50 Shades of Grey (2015)


All the hate this series gets? It’s totally justified. The only saving grace about this movie is that it is hilarious, though unintentionally so. There have been plenty of articles written about the problems with the 50 Shades story, so I won’t go into them here. Especially since the movie provides so much fodder on its own.

Firstly, the trailer for 50 Shades makes it seem as if the male protagonist, Christian Gray (Jamie Dornan), is a serial killer stalking the young, naïve Anastasia Steel (Dakota Johnson). Which, I honestly think would make for a better movie. Instead the audience is treated to the story of an emotionally manipulative millionaire psychologically and physically abusing his “girlfriend.” But it’s meant to be a romance, although the only clue to this are the character’s ridiculous names.

One problem with this movie is the cast. It’s not that Dornan and Johnson aren’t good actors, they’re both great in other things. Here they are miscast, not in their respective roles but as people meant to be into each other. There is very little chemistry between the two. Reportedly, the two do not get along offset, with plenty of awkward press junket interviews fueling that fire. Whether or not this is true is beside the point– the evidence is on the screen.

Also, I don’t think Dornan is attractive enough to sell the whole “I’m a douche, but you’re still into me” vibe that Christian gives off. Yeah, personality can boost a person’s hotness, but Dornan does not do it for me. This makes the plot all the more ridiculous. Matt Bomer, however, could be believably be forgiven for being a manipulative asshole.

The biggest issue with the movie is the script. I’ve read maybe one percent of the book, but that was enough to know that it is crap. It’s poorly written, which makes it hardly titillating. Something about speaking the words out loud makes them even more terrible. Lines like “I don’t make love. I fuck… hard.” and “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked up…” are just the beginning. I feel sorry for the actors, because they have to speak these lines. On film. Which lasts forever.

I only recommend watching this movie once for some cringe worthy laughs. It’s not sexy or fun if you think too hard about the plot. Ben bought the DVD cheap just so we could review the movie, but the second viewing was far less fun than the first. Really, the story is sad and the characters are depressing and the fact that there are two more of these coming makes me want to cry a little.

Rating: D-

50 Shades of Grey: the publishing phenomenon that became a massive winner at the box office thanks to lonely housewives and everyone else who was just curious what the big deal was. I have never read the book, but was willing to set aside 2 hours of my life to see what all the fuss was about. What did I get, you might ask (of course you asked, you’re reading my review of the movie)? I got the most unintentionally hilarious film since Twilight, which is ironic as the novel started out as Twilight fan fiction and was then modified to be its own thing. I’d actually be more interested to know how Edward Cullen ended up being into whips and chains, but that isn’t the movie we got. It’s a film that is meant to be an erotic romance, but has managed to put together two leads with zero chemistry, who clearly can’t stand each other, and the audience is meant to believe they’re in some sort of relationship. Also, this is the first romance thriller I can remember that contains a love contract, it’s like if Sheldon Cooper was into S&M.

The movie begins with young flower Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) being sent to interview reclusive billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for her college paper. What follows is Grey basically being such a stalker that he should have been arrested. I assume he wasn’t because he’s rich, and for some reason the virginal Anastasia falls for it, and then gets caught up in Grey’s penchant for spanking.

I like Dakota Johnson, and I really want her to find a role that suits her. She’s cute and funny, but this is not the role for her. Her dialogue is laughable, as is Dornan’s. The pair of them apparently hated each other off camera, and that certainly comes across on screen. You don’t feel like they ever really want to be with each other. Which makes their sex scenes somewhat awkward to watch. All in all, this is a romantic thriller that is not thrilling or romantic, just awkward.

Now I can’t hate this film completely, it is the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a long time. Unfortunately, 50 shades is not meant to be a comedy, but I will still give it points for making me laugh.

Rating: D

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