Confession: The Fifty Shades of Grey franchise is a pop culture phenomenon that has, to this juncture, been completely ignored/held in contempt by me, because I would rather kill myself than read poorly written accounts of blank-slate fictional characters having all kinds of ridiculous sex. Thanks, but I’ll pass.
But sometimes, curiosity gets the best of me when it comes to Bands/Books/TV Shows/Movies that are hyped up the ass, because I not only wonder what the big deal is, but want to know if I am missing something. So, when an invite to attend a free preview of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie came my way, I simply couldn’t refuse. Because 9 times out of 10, even the worst piece of shit movie is worth seeing for free. Just being serious.
Having not read the book then, but expecting to not even be able to sit through all 125 minutes of the film, I came away from the Fifty Shades cinematic experience with the opinion that this is probably the best Lifetime TV Movie ever made! I mean, once you make it past the excruciating first 20 or so minutes, it’s just really not that bad of a film. It’s not going to win any awards, but it will make shit ton of money. And you can’t imagine that the filmmakers were hoping for any more than that.
While there is certainly much to disdain, there are things I liked about this film. First off, I really loved Dakota Johnson’s portrayal of heroine Anastasia Steel. Johnson plays Anastasia as the perfect balance of curious innocent and would-be seductress, and she succeeded in visibly transforming the character from one end of the story to the other, despite its shallow arc. I think it’s largely thanks to Johnson’s acting ability that she and co-star Jamie Dornan (who didn’t impress me as much) were able to infuse some palpable heat into the “romance” part of the Anastasia/Christian storyline. Johnson also has excellent comedic timing and a terrific body. I look forward to seeing her in future film roles where she is working with a great script and is allowed to keep her clothes on for more than 50% of the film.
I enjoyed looking at Luke Grimes, the insanely hot actor who played Christian Grey’s brother, who ends up conveniently hooking up with Anastasia’s Roommate. Because: Real Life!
I loved all the sets, especially Christian Grey’s office, and the aerial panoramic shot of Seattle that opens the film. The film’s art direction is nearly impeccable.
If you’d like more details or plot analysis, I’m going to recommend that you read A.O. Scott’s review over at New York Times Dot Com, because it is a fun read and I can tell that Mr. Scott was in the same screening I attended based on hints he drops regarding the reaction of the preview audience during certain parts of the film. This is just my 2 cents, because nobody is paying me to write this.
Fifty Shades of Grey opens Nationwide this Friday, February 13th, 2015!