My notes on Fifty Shades of Grey:
1. The lights in the cinema dimmed and all of the women started screaming. I knew then that this would be a dreadful experience. If you’re a fan of the book, nothing should stop you from watching anyway.
2. Why was Christian Grey giving me this American Psycho vibe? Actually, I would have preferred it if he were more of Patrick Bateman. For all his sexual fetishes, he still looked completely bland and…normal.
3. I guess the biggest problem was casting Jamie Dornan in the lead role. The character of Grey needed someone more charismatic or appealing. Don’t get me wrong, Dornan looked good but I was expecting a stunner. Grey should be someone so magnetic that he can lead you in his playroom of whips and chains and you would be the one to offer getting tied up. And what’s with that weird European accent?
4. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Dakota Johnson. She was just so gorgeous onscreen (like Charlotte Gainsbourg’s younger sister) that I probably would have enjoyed a role reversal. I obviously haven’t read the book so here’s hoping that happened in the next two sequels. I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of her armpits, though. They looked roughly-shaven and yes, smelly. (I’m judgmental like that.)
5. So most of the sex scenes had to be blurred or blocked because apparently we’re old enough to do it but not to actually see it. And this time, we don’t even get to blame the MTRCB because the film distributor took it upon themselves to censor the movie before submitting it for classification. We’ve seen a lot of frontal nudity and sex scenes with an R-16 rating lately (even Lust, Caution was shown in its entirety here and that was truly erotic). I really didn’t understand this move at all.
6. I mean sex was obviously the theme (and selling point) of the movie. Where else can you hear words like butt plug? Once you start blocking that out, then what would be left? The story? Who watches porn for the story?
7. Even Christian Grey thinks that Beyonce by Beyonce should have won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
8. I loved the casting of Jennifer Ehle and Marcia Gay Harden as the too young to be the couple’s mothers. If the story had more of them, I bet they would have made the movie more interesting.
9. “Laters, baby” not only made me cringe but it also elicited a lot of shrieking typical in a KathNiel movie. Calm down, ladies!
10. Grey knew how to do a mean braid. Beyonce and braiding. It must be very easy to convince him to transition to the other side.
11. Did the room really have to be so dark during the contract signing? Were they owls?
12. If you want much better movies dealing with the same themes, I suggest you watch Steven Shainberg’s Secretary (where James Spader also played a Mr. Grey) or the previously mentioned Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution. All of the things in this movie would be considered child stuff with those films.
(Originally published February 15, 2015.)