This is a decent adaptation of the book, and that’s being rather generous. Nowhere near as salacious or erotic as it was made out to be, I am very glad I didn’t waste my money on a theater ticket. The books are excellent, but most of the charm of them is because of Ana’s thoughts and emotions. She’s an unreliable narrator, as her naïveté and personality color everything and the reader spends a great deal of time in her head. None of that is able to be translated into film, unless the whole movie was done in voice-overs. So take the book, subtract all the interesting psychological drama and internal thoughts, including the amusing subconscious and inner goddess, and then try to make a movie with what is left. The result is like the difference between a skeleton and a living, breathing creature. The bare bones of the story are there, the key plot points are accounted for, but there is a disappointing lack of soul.
Jamie Dornan is undeniably hot, but he’s not at all how I pictured Christian Grey. I think the women of the world all fell a little bit in love with him as the Huntsman on Once Upon A Time, and he’s a very fine actor. I just didn’t think the role suited him. Dakota Johnson was closer to the mark as Anastasia Steele, but there was little if any chemistry between the two leads. The book describes the attraction between Christian and Ana as charged and magnetic, but none of that made it into the movie. To be fair, not all of it was a let-down. The sets are fabulous, wardrobes are amazing, the ambiance is pitch perfect and some of the casting choices were inspired. Marcia Gay Harden as Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey was terrific, although she got precious little screen time, and Jennifer Ehle as Ana’s mother Carla was great.
My impression of the books is ultimately a story of love and redemption, how Christian and Ana change, influence and help each other for the better. Plus a lot of kinky sex. The latter is well represented in the movie, but sadly the characters I loved from the books are mere shadows of themselves. Rarely have I seen a movie based on a book do justice to the source material and this is no exception. It’s all right, but doesn’t hold a candle to the book. Verdict: Fifty Shades of Meh. – BETHANY
For more on Fifty Shades of Grey, visit the Internet Movie Database
I’m fairly sure there is no building in Seattle with this view of the Space Needle.
The Red Room of Pain.
I don’t do hearts and flowers. But I do Audi and Apple.
I also do Pilates.
Because it’s just gauche to have restraining ropes that don’t match the décor.
Ana and Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford) miserably failing the Bechdel test.
Mr Grey will eat you now.
Marcia Gay Harden as Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey.
Photos courtesy of Focus Features, Michael De Luca Productions, Trigger Street Productions and Universal Pictures (otherwise credited in clickable form)