I posted this on my alter-ego website earlier today (Holly Kerr Author) but I added some insights for this blog!!!! 😉
Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey
I know, I know, all the die-hards have been and gone and posted about the movie and now, two weeks later, I’m just getting around to putting in my two cents. I’ve always planned on going to see the movie, but I wasn’t about to sit in the audience with a pack of swooning women. So I finally got my hubby to go with me yesterday and here’s what I thought:
It was better than I expected. I had pretty low expectations going in though!
I read the books back in the beginning of the hype and unfortunately I didn’t think much of the writing. But I do admire EL James for inspiring countless women to pull their ‘dirty books’ out of the closet and read them with pride. She’s done as much for the erotica genre as JK Rowling did for kid-lit: got people reading and talking about what they’re reading. That’s not to say the trilogy can be classified as great books however, but we’re not discussing that.
The movie was pretty good. If you take out the BDSM and Christian’s attempt at controlling all aspects of Anastasia’s life, it’s actually a sweet love story. Shy, virginal girl meets tortured workaholic and wins his heart. (You have to have read all three books to see that happening because at the end of the first, she’s out of there!) There are a lot of nice, sweet moments at the beginning of their romance. The hardware scene was well-done.
The best things about the movie are Dakota Johnson (to my surprise) and Jamie Dornan’s abs. Unfortunately I was distracted by the weird way he takes off his shirt, but what underneath is very impressive!
Dakota Johnson has some spunk and sass and drunk Anastasia is the best part of the movie! Her slurred conversation outside the ladies room shows Christian she is a woman who knows her own mind. Of course this was ruined by him swooping in, thinking he had to rescue her, but that’s Christian Grey for you.
The sex scenes were surprisingly tame. It’s a movie and you obviously can’t show everything, but the heat of the books didn’t carry over to the screen. The leads had great chemistry together, but I found the sex scenes almost…tasteful, if that word applies to this movie. I wasn’t expecting the heat and sizzle of the books – there’s a different type of actor who appear in those films – but I was expecting a little more. Most of the sex was bundled up in a handy little 5 min montage. I has been a while since I read the books, but I thought they had a lot more sex. I think they had more vanilla sex in the movie. Well, the one time there was a spanking and use of a tie but it was pretty vanilla for Christian Grey. Maybe that was butterscotch sex.
But the scene in the boardroom where they are talking about the contract and Christian tells Ana he wants to f%^k her into next week? If I was Ana, I’d be jumping right up on that table!! How could you walk out after that!!!??? That was pretty hot.
Nowhere in the film was non-consensual sex hinted at. Ana is curious and wants to explore and Christian respects her boundaries in every scene. That’s not to say he isn’t a control freak, which was as off-putting to me in the film as it was in the books. The possessive, jealous and domineering male is not a turn-on to me but I knew what to expect from the books. Plus, having read the Twilight series and knowing Fifty Shades was based on the Bella/Edward relationship, I knew that part of the relationship would bother me.
Needless to say I didn’t enjoy watching Christian exercising control over Anastasia outside the bedroom, especially that it appeared Anastasia was simply picking a fight when she expressed her confusion and concern. You want Anastasia to run away from him when he’s pulling that crap, but she doesn’t because she’s in love with him, and for most women, love is a tough bind to break.
You can find a lot at fault with these books; I’ve heard talk about rape and women’s rights, etc, and that’s serious stuff. But I didn’t go to the movie to dig deep about how women are portrayed; I wasn’t looking for non-existence themes. Maybe that makes me less of a feminist but I went to watch a movie based on a book, like I’ve done so many times before. And I walked away thinking it wasn’t as bad as I expected.
I’ll give it two and a half stars.