The “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie is receiving a lot of bad press, but what did you expect, people?
“Fifty Shades of Grey” brought soft porn to the masses on Valentine’s Day weekend, and ever since, bad reviews have been splashed everywhere: Everything from “It’s as stimulating as a cold shower” to “The entire movie is about as sexy as a root canal” to my favorite “A few might get off on knowing that in the theater next door the kiddies are watching SpongeBob.” And while yes, I’ve seen chocolate commercials that are more erotic, at the end of the day it was everything I expected it to be (cue sad trombone).
The thing is, the actors, director and especially the screenwriter were fighting a losing battle from the start. When you base a movie on a book that’s debatably plotless with dialogue that sounds like it was written by a toddler, you get a movie that’s debatably plotless with dialogue that sounds like it was written by a toddler.
And there’s no way around it: In order to turn the movie into… well, an actual movie, the screenwriter would’ve had to veer off into her own direction, keeping what works and fixing what’s broken—but would you want angry, screaming “Fifty Shades” superfans showing up at your door with protest signs and pitchforks? I think not.
The sex scenes (if you can call them that) were watered down so as to not offend anyone, making them about as sexy as a colonoscopy. I’m assuming this was in an attempt to reach as large an audience as possible, but that’s where the movie loses me. As far as I’m concerned, go big or go home. If you have a smutty book in your hands that’s meant to shock and awe, you turn it into a smutty movie. You give viewers something to talk about that brings them back for the second and third installments, and you give them something—anything—to make up for the lackluster dialogue, repetitive scenes, and nonexistent chemistry. I mean, this really is nothing more than fancy porn.
Again, this isn’t Dornan or Johnson’s fault (and hopefully, the hair wasn’t either). They did the best they could with the weak source material they were given. But you can’t offend no one yet make a statement at the same time. Get off the fence and pick a side. Between the annoying lip-biting (do any of us really do that?) to the first spanking not showing up until the movie was practically over, I almost left to watch the rest of SpongeBob.
Here’s the thing we reviewers seem to be forgetting though: The book is based on a woman’s fantasy that she was brave enough to share with the masses, and all fantasies are terrible and cheesy with lackluster dialogue. Think about the fantasies you’ve had as a woman—about that hot guy at work, your favorite actor or even the character he plays on TV. Your fantasies get you off, which is all that matters. Now, picture how they’d play out on the big screen. Pretty bad, right? Like “Fifty Shades of Grey” bad, right?
There’s also a lot of talk that people are only going to see this movie out of curiosity and now that they’re inevitably disappointed, it’s hard to say how the next two installments will pan out. But judging by the fierce loyalty of the “Fifty Shades” fan base, I say they’re a slam dunk even if they’re worse than the first flick. Because really, who cares if the general population likes them? As every writer knows, it’s keeping your core fans happy that matters. Without them, you’re nothing.
But you know, Jamie Dornan naked, so whatev. Oh, and the soundtrack is bangin’.
Have you watched “Fifty Shades of Grey”? Hate it, love it, or leave it?
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