I wish there was a safe word I could’ve said to make this movie stop. It was a wasted two hours. There was absolutely no plot in this soft-core porn (which was tame enough to snag an R rating and not an X). I think porn flicks that show a pizza delivery guy showing up to a female slumber party has more story (and in some instances, better acting).
All the S&M conversations were idiotic, and early on when Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melaine Griffith and Don Johnson) is told she’d have to sign a contract to sleep with him…and that the contract mentions clamps, floggers, and fists…she would’ve run for the hills. It’s one thing to snag a billionaire, but another to end up at the bottom of a well being told you have to “put the lotion on the skin or you get the hose.”
You’re also left to wonder if this would’ve been a more interesting film if they delved into the fact that she was obviously turned on by the fact that he had money and power. He could buy her a new car, 1st edition books, take her to dinner in his helicopter. Maybe the filmmakers felt we wouldn’t be able to root for her if she was all about the money. Also, aside from the various scummy things this guy does, why not go after someone like Anastasia’s roommate? I’m sure it’s more likely he’d find a willing candidate, and all parties involved would get what they wanted.
This is one of those times I can say I read the book, although I’m not sure why. Author E.L. James wrote one of the worst best-selling novels ever. At least the movie eliminated many some of the goofier elements.
The characters are one-dimensional, and despite a little bit of chemistry between Anastasia and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), it was all rather dull. From all the hype about this, you’d think you’re going in and going to see Deep Throat or Caligula. Instead, you get a few ice cubes, spanking, and peacock feathers. Seriously, they’re going to need all those ropes and chains to tie people to their seats so they don’t walk out on this crap.
Yet it’s Valentine’s Day weekend. People are going to ask if this is a good date movie. Yes, it is. You know why? It might get a few women into the mood, and at the very least, you won’t be making requests in the bedroom that Grey made. In fact, anything a man may request, after watching this, will probably be granted.
I’m not sure the director (Sam Taylor-Johnson, who made the interesting Nowhere Boy) or screenwriter (Kelly Marcel), could do anything to get over the biggest hurdle. And that’s the fact that we can’t enjoy, or even find it titillating, to watch a man abuse a woman. Even if he’s on the verge of convincing her it’s a good idea, and ESPECIALLY if he just took her virginity. Seriously, once he finds out she’s a virgin, how hard would it have been for him to decide not to pursue this with her? It’s also a stretch for us to expect a woman that’s just graduated college, and is still a virgin, would even entertain any of this for more than five seconds before kicking him in the crotch. I swear, some of their negotiations about what will go down in the bedroom looked like meetings Bill Cosby had with women.
I suppose it’s not necessary that we know all the back-story of the two leads, but it would’ve helped a lot.
The movie also needed more humor. Instead, the screening audience was laughing at moments that weren’t meant to be funny.
How hard would it have been when, in one of the many scenes of Grey playing depressing pieces on the piano, Anastasia sit down next to him and start in with the Chopsticks or Pink Panther theme?
I was looking at that gorgeous view from their window, and just hoped one of them would jump.
The movie was so boring, my mind was wandering to other films that captured these things better. The sex room Dudley Moore had when Goldie Hawn showed up in Foul Play. The sex room George Clooney built in Burn After Reading. S&M topics covered in the James Spader flick Secretary.
My favorite moment was when a young musician friend I brought with me leaned in and asked me, “Do you think they really boned while filming this, bro?”
When we were leaving the movie, he stated, “I think they did bone, bro.”
The movie had a great soundtrack that included Al Green, Chopin, Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” Sinatra’s “Witchcraft,” an interesting remix of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” and the film started off with a smokin’ version of “I Put a Spell on You” by Annie Lennox. Not to mention Danny Elfman doing yet another movie score.
The music gets it 1 star out of 5, and a year from now, you’ll see this movie on many critics “worst of the year” lists.