Fifty Shades of Meh
Yes, over the course of Valentine’s Day I saw Fifty Shaes of Grey. And, yes, I went with a beautiful woman who is (was, at this point?) a huge fan of the books. But it was actually my idea to go.
I haven’t read the books (and the likelihood of that ever happening after seeing the movie has dropped to zero), but I am a huge film freak. From the most exploitive splatter-gore horror to the cheesiest romantic comedy, I can set aside my preconceived ideas and beliefs and appreciate and embrace a movie for what it is – as long as it is done well and with passion. I can celebrate Hellraiser with the same aplomb as I do 12 Years a Slave. I just love movies. I was fascinated by the idea that a movie that has been mercilessly eviscerated by critics all over the world could still make more than $80 million at the box office in its opening weekend. What would such a celluloid dichotomy look like?
I wanted to love Fifty Shades of Grey. That didn’t happen.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD (like it even matters).
The Plot (as if you live on Pluto and don’t know already):
A billionaire, who happens to be an enormous douchebag, seduces a beautiful and demure virginal college student in the hopes of tying her up in his “play room” and doing all sorts of S&M silliness to her. He uses lines like, “I don’t do the girlfriend thing” and wants her to sign a contract consenting to whatever. She falls in love with him (Really! No shit!). He might be falling in love with her, but he can’t admit it to himself. Inner turmoil ensues. He whips her ass with a belt six times. She gets mad and leaves. The end.
Dakota Johnson does an okay job as Anastasia. I sort of liked her. But I didn’t believe her. I do not buy that a hot young woman who can pound booze the way Anastasia does has remained a virgin until her senior year in college. Maybe the book conveyed it better. I’ll never find out.
From what I hear, Christian Grey is an emotionless tool in the book. If that’s the case, Jamie Dornan did a fine job playing an arrogant, one-dimensional prick. For all his billions, Grey is a bore of a man with the personality of a pissed-off door knob. I just couldn’t make myself care about this guy. However, he does have great taste in cars.
Let’s suffice it to say I have seen more chemistry in 30-second internet porn clips than I saw in two hours of these two nimrods playing coital cat and mouse. Folks, if you have seen the crap that passes for porn on Cinemax After Dark (what I call “the Hallmark Channel with Tits”), you have seen all you are going to see here. The later “sex” scenes in the movie watch like what a middle school educational film on S&M might look like. Moans, ropes, thrusts, handcuffs and whips are served up with a steaming pile of, “Who gives a shit? Is this movie over yet? Dammit!” I see hotter action when my girlfriend’s dog humps a throw pillow.
The Bottom Line:
Some of the dialogue is funny (intentionally or not). Other than that, meh. If you go, be sure to take a book. Just make sure it’s not one of the Fifty Shades books.