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3/10
If everyone hates the film and it has a 4.1....why did it make so much money?!
MartinHafer25 September 2018
I never had any intention of watching "Fifty Shades of Grey"...none. However, when IMDB recently revamped their Bottom 100 List and I saw the movie was now on the list, I felt I had to see it. After all, I constantly am checking out the list to see what new additions there are so I can watch them. I do occasionally like seeing a bad movie...they can be very entertaining and unintentionally funny. Now "Fifty Shades" is very different from any other film on the list (with the exception of "The Last Airbender") in that it WAS a mega-hit and lots of people liked it...though at the same time its score of 4.1 on IMDB is anemic....making it a love-hate sort of picture.

Anastasia Steele (great name, huh?) is a dim sort of lady....and I'm sorry but there's no better way to describe her accurately. When she goes to interview a big-shot businessman, Christian Grey, she has no idea what she's doing, hasn't prepared in the least and asks him only banal questions. She seemed rather dull and with little personality and it was difficult to see what he saw in her. Yet, despite this, inexplicably Grey is now obsessed with her. In some ways, he seems like a nice guy--such as coming to her aid when she's drunk in a dance club soon after this meeting. But in many, he gives so many signs that he's not normal in the least...and rather creepy and possibly very dangerous. He's incredibly controlling and in response to her getting drunk he says "If you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week". In other words, for getting drunk and behaving stupidly, he'd paddle the crap out of her! He then has her sign a non-disclosure agreement--saying she'll never tell anyone about him!! Soon, they are embarking on a weird S&M relationship...and that's when the film shows a lot of nekkidness, though it's of the soft-core variety. But he is clear...this is NOT love and he doesn't want to be close to anyone...and he doesn't even want to actually sleep with her...just have his way with her.

What I find so bizarre about the whole "Fifty Shades" phenomenon is that in the 21st century, the actions of BOTH Anastasia and Christian are the exact opposite of what society is telling us folks should be like or what romance should be. There really ISN'T any romance...and he doesn't want to date her. It's not so much just the S&M aspects that I found bothersome...it's more that you have a man who dominates a woman and controls her and she is passive and does whatever he says. Her needs are also not particularly important and he wants to control every aspect of her life and breaks into her apartment when she isn't home. This is NOT the feminist idea of today...at least not what folks SAY they want in a relationship. I simply do not understand this dichotomy...nor why folks loved the books and films...yet also claim to hate them! I also worry that a film like this could set the stage for date rapes, as here in the film it's supposed to be romantic...but in real life, it could get you imprisoned. Weird.

So although I found the message strange and possibly dangerous and the writing occasionally silly, what about the techincal aspects of the movie? The movie is very polished--with lovely and very appropriate music, excellent cinematography and is very artistic. For this reason alone, although I didn't like or respect the message, the film deserves more than a few stars on IMDB.

I should add that although the film features a lot of nudity, I really didn't find it all that exciting to watch...mostly because the film was just creepy. It also didn't come off as sexy....just creepy. And, it probably would NOT be a great date night film...as your date might think you are...just creepy. Watch it if you'd like...I just didn't particular enjoy it nor understand WHY it made so much money...I just found it, believe it or not, to be rather dull.
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2/10
Two minor pros far outweighed by several massive cons
TheLittleSongbird5 December 2016
Hopefully, as a heterosexual female student in her twenties with a love of film that spreads across all genres and decades, this will come over as a fair assessment of a film that genuinely did nothing for me.

Have not read the books, though have heard conflicting opinions that has mostly been intense dislike. The reason for watching 'Fifty Shades of Grey' was not due to wanting to hate on it, being a negative person, curiosity but for the reason of being at a film night with friends recently and 'Fifty Shades of Grey' happened to be the film choice. Just for the record, the general consensus ranged from indifference to hating it with a passion.

There are two minor pros. The best thing about 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is most of the beguiling soundtrack, that has a soothing nostalgia and appropriately amorous quality, this is all for the song choices though. 'Fifty Shades of Grey' also looks good, nice use of scenery and very nicely shot.

On the other hand, Danny Elfman's score is one-note and repetitive, as well as too derivative of his recent work. He has composed some wonderful stuff ('Edward Scissorhands' is magical) but this is really not his best work. The direction has slickness but overall is too mannered which really affects the film's tone and pacing.

Regarding the acting, none of the supporting cast are of note, including Marcia Gay Harden, but a larger issue is the two leads and their complete lack of chemistry. Understated can be a lovely quality to acting, as long as it also becomes nuanced and with believability given to the dialogue. Dakota Johnson, especially in the first third, is too understated that it feels more like there is a lack of personality or emotion. Jamie Dornan looks uncomfortable throughout, delivers his cringe-worthy lines awkwardly and is just bland as dishwater with no charisma whatsoever. Chemistry is non-existent.

'Fifty Shades of Grey's' dialogue does them absolutely no favours, dialogue so bad that absolutely nobody (even the best actors and actresses) can do anything with it. It causes unintentional laughter throughout, is embarrassingly clunky and is pure smut. Then there is the story that is so thin structurally, heavy in repetition, so badly plodding and without style or atmosphere that the film feels twice as long, with the sexual elements done far too tamely and the BDSM portrayal deceitful. None of the characters are engaging or interesting, practically ciphers.

All in all, a very poor film with two minor pros and the rest of the film massively flawed. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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Erotic? Not At All. Laughable? Oh Yeah.
Michael_Elliott18 February 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

** (out of 4)

Rather silly adaptation of the E.L. James best-seller about a shy, timid virgin (Dakota Johnson) who meets the elusive billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Doman) and soon both of their lives change.

Writing a plot synopsis of this thing is pretty pointless since I'm sure the target audience is already going to know the story. I guess this is where I should admit that I haven't read the book so this review won't be comparing the two or complaining about what the movie did or didn't do from the book. No, this review is just going to be based around the actual movie and for the life of me I can't see what all the hype is about. I don't expect everyone laying their money down to be some sort of film buff but the "shocking" material on display here has been going on in European movies for four-plus decades so why it's just now reaching American shores is pretty funny in itself but that's off subject I guess.

As for the film, there are all sorts of major issues with it but we can start with the laughable screenplay, which would have been rejected by the Lifetime channel and in fact, I'm going to guess that it would have been rejected has a five-year-old written it. The dialogue is without question some of the most laughable I've heard in a very long time. In fact, the movie seems to be lost in what decade it is because there are times that the "F" word is used and it's used in a way to where it's supposed to be shocking. Really? It's going to take more than that. The entire character development between the two lead characters is another joke and after a while you really can't buy into any of the melodrama and you've just got to sit back and laugh.

The performances are another problem but then again, even the likes of Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor couldn't work with horrid material so I'm not going to be too harsh on Johnson and Doman. With that said, the lackluster direction by Sam Taylor-Johnson doesn't help either as there are many times where another take should have happened. The scenes with Johnson playing the shy girl just aren't very believable because the actress can't sell it. The scenes of her explaining she's a virgin are laughably bad. Doman really doesn't get much to work with and especially since he can't crack a smile and has to give off dumb, overly-serious facial expressions throughout. I will say that the actors have a nice chemistry together but that's about it. The supporting players are all equally forgettable.

Yet another problem is that the film just isn't erotic. FATAL ATTRACTION, BASIC INSTINCT and even something as silly as BODY OF EVIDENCE are just a few recent films that packed a lot more punch than this one. I mean, is sticking an eraser around your lips really erotic anymore? A lot of the lack of erotic-ness has to be blamed on the director who just seems to have been the wrong fit for the material. Nothing from the erotic nature to the serious stuff works and everything is poorly edited.

So, why the two-stars for all the negative stuff? As bad as the film is, thankfully it reaches the level to where you can't help but laugh and be mildly entertained as to what's going to happen next. Again, I haven't read the book so I don't know which one is better but the film is pretty flat from start to finish.
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1/10
Who thought this was a good idea?
Leofwine_draca15 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is a film every bit as bad as you've heard. The screen adaptation of the best-selling erotic novel exploring the topic of bondage, you can tell this started out as a piece of Internet fan fiction, based on the TWILIGHT saga, that became inexplicably popular. It's like a cheesy Mills & Boon romance with some unexpectedly dark subject matter involving violence against women, and yet some women seem to get a kick out of this. I don't see why.

As a film, this is a dog. Badly-scripted by someone with a tin ear for natural-sounding dialogue, and with embarrassingly wooden performances from the two leads. The much-hyped sex scenes feature extensive nudity and lots of athletic moments, but not once is any of it erotic or appealing. Instead it feels cheap, tawdry, and rather sleazy. I can't believe they've made sequels, either.
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3/10
wooden Grey, bad dialog, contract talk
SnoopyStyle2 December 2015
Mysterious billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is going to be the commencement speaker at Washington State University. English lit student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) takes her sick roommate Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford)'s place to interview him for the school paper. He becomes completely taken with her.

I had to bail on this movie after the first ten minutes. It's so flat that I couldn't take it. Jamie Dornan is an Abercrombie & Fitch model without the acting skills. Dakota Johnson is so fake mousy that it almost put me to sleep. I had to readjust my sensibilities to continue watching after a little break. The courtship is boring as hell. It has a passable rescue at a bar. Johnson has some comedic chops but she's playing with a blank partner. The dialog is laughably bad. However not everything is lost. There is some potential as the characters talk about submission.

A real discussion about S&M could be sexy, edgy and compelling. Then the movie grinds down with contract talk. Nothing can be less compelling than a ten page agreement. All the edginess and sexiness go out the window. The sexual encounters have its fair share of nudity but it's not that shocking. It's simply boring. The final encounter does have a little more emotional content but that's too late to save this movie.
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4/10
Better than expected
Horst_In_Translation21 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
You can probably see what my expectations were like for this movie when I give my review such a title and rate it only 2 out of 5. "Fifty Shades of Grey" is a pretty controversial film from earlier this year that was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson ("Nowhere Boy") and the base material was adapted by Kelly Marcel ("Saving Mr. Banks"). So there is some talent included here and without having read the book, I am fairly certain that they did the best with E.L. James' material that they could. Casting decisions are okay too. There is actually an Oscar winner in here (Marcia Gay Harden) and the two leads are pretty attractive and also not too bad on the acting front. For Dakota Johnson it may be in the genes looking at who her parents are.

The story is about a young woman that discovers her sexuality slowly when she runs into a billionaire, whose preferences are somewhat different from the norm. There are a couple cringeworthy moments here, for example that she has to be a virgin, but all in all, it's not a complete failure what it could have been too given the material. The main theme of the film is discovering their own and their partner's sexual identity. Unfortunately, from that perspective it is not really working. The characters' actions are just too wishy-washy and completely change in an unrealistic manner during several sequences of the film. Sometimes she is totally into his stuff, then the exact opposite. He says he is not a romantic and yet he does some romantic stuff on several occasions of the film. There were several parts where it just didn't make sense.

So yeah, maybe this is a pretty good watch if you are horny or if you have tendencies that resemble the ones from the characters in the film when it comes to your sex-life, but other than that, it is not a particularly good watch and also way too long and occasionally dragging at almost 2 hours and 10 minutes. The material is simply not deep enough for anything over 90 minutes in my opinion. I cannot recommend the watch and it is pretty ridiculous that there will apparently be at least 2 more movies. Talk about milking a dead cow. All for the box office success and I would be massively surprised if those sequels will be any better than this one here. Thumbs down. Also not big at all on the Oscar-nominated song. Pretty weak film all around.
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7/10
Unconventional Love Story
claudio_carvalho25 August 2016
In Washington, the shy and naive English literature college student Anastasia "Ana" Steele (Dakota Johnson) goes to Seattle to interview the twenty-seven year-old self-made billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) in his office to help her roommate Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford) that is graduating in journalism and has influenza. When Ana meets Christian, she feels disturbed with him since he is handsome and self-confident. Soon he visits her at the hardware store where she works and invites Ana for a coffee, but he leaves her telling that he is not the man for her. On the graduation day, Christian sends first editions of romances to Ana as a gift. After the graduation, Ana, Kate and their friends go to a bar and Ana drinks too much. She calls Christian and tells that she will return the books since they are expensive and he goes to the bar and brings Ana to his hotel room. Christian dates Ana and offers a non-disclosure agreement to her to keep in secret their relationship. Ana does not sign the contract but loses her virginity with Christian that wants to introduce her in bondage since he is a dominant sadist. However Ana is seeking a romance and not sadomasochist relationship. Will they stay together?

"Fifty Shades of Grey" is an underrated film with an unconventional love story. The gorgeous Dakota Steele is perfect for the role of Ana, with her sweet face and facility to take the clothes off. The plot is deeper than the classic "Histoire d'O" and the conclusion is perfect. The trauma of Christian Grey should have been better explored to explain why he has a twisted mind for kinky sex since there are more issues than "Mrs. Robinson" only. This romance is recommended for specific mature audiences and not for fans of "Twilight" franchise. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Cinquenta Tons de Cinza" ("Fifty Shades of Grey")
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5/10
ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE LOVE TO ME?
nogodnomasters26 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a young virginal college literature major not named Bella. When she interviews media mogul Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), who is not a vampire, sparks fly as they connect. He is handsome and seemingly perfect. She is shy and dowdy. As their relationship builds we discover that Christian learned everything he needed to know about relationships from watching "9 1/2 Weeks" and "The Story of O." The film is an exaggeration of the male and female psyche in "the relationship." He cannot open up and share his "feelings" and only wants kinky sex and to care for the woman. She however wants that 10 minutes of cuddling after sex and intimate conversation. Each one attempts to change the other.

The people in the film are cardboard figures. They were lifeless and this was done by design to magnify the differences of the sexes. As for me, I didn't find it overly entertaining, although I can see how bored housewives who like "mommy porn" will flock to it.

Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Dakota Johnson) mild bondage, spanking, whipping...no fisting. 5 stars for the nudity. Thanks Dakota.
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3/10
Easy prey
kosmasp14 June 2015
This movie is easy to take apart. It seems to try to steer away from some of the ridiculous things the book included (from what I have read in reviews and other things, because I haven't read it, I think watching the movie was "enough"). Still as many have observed there is no chemistry here between the leads. On one hand it's nice to see "romantic" movie steer away from certain things, on the other hand, it just a shallow diversion, that actually isn't one.

You get the same things (read clichés) that you get in your plain romantic comedy. Just without the comedy! Which is a factor that is sorely missed here. No matter how bad those were, you at least had some funny scenes here and there. The funny things here consist of stroking (which is supposed to be hitting?). And while it's nice to see a powerful female character, the transition of "plain Jane" to super woman/healer/confident character does not bode well.

Obviously there is a lot of nudity, a lot of longing looks and a lot of dialog that will make you cringe and (maybe even) whine at times. It still isn't as bad as expected, but that's not saying very much. The "helping" a "poor" soul excuse is also a masquerade that is as awful as it sounds. Obviously only works with attractive people (which goes both ways no matter the gender)
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4/10
Fifty Shades of Grey
jboothmillard22 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The racy novel by E.L. James, the first in a trilogy of books, became a phenomenon in 2012, I read most of the first few chapters myself, I laughed at how both naive and so bad it's good it was, I knew a movie adaptation was going to be a big talking point, so I had to see it, from Razzie nominated director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy). Basically Vancouver college undergraduate Anastasia "Ana" Steele (Razzie winning Dakota Johnson) shares an apartment with best friend and roommate Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford), when Kate becomes ill she agrees to step in and, for the college newspaper, interview young corporate executive Christian Grey (The Fall's Razzie winning Jamie Dornan), head of his own company in Seattle, during their meeting he appears to show an interest in her. Later Ana is working part-time as usual at the hardware store and Christian appears to arrive "accidentally", he is buying cable ties, duct tape and rope, they engage in some small talk, during which he agrees participate in a photo shoot for some original stills for the college newspaper article, during which Christian continues to show interest in Ana. They have a coffee together where they can talk some more, impressed by Ana and learning her interest in literature he arranges to have first editions of Tess of the d'Urbervilles sent to her home, on the same day Ana goes out drinking with her friends, she calls Christian in a drunken state, he senses her being drunk, with her not telling him where she is he says he will come to get her, before passing out Ana sees Kate flirting with Christian's brother Elliot (Luke Grimes), and Ana wakes up in Christian's hotel, she is relieved to find that they did not have sex. They may have had an awkward start, but Christian and Ana share a passionate kiss in the elevator, and they start dating afterwards, one of which he explains that he does want to be with her, but he has "particular tastes" and wants her to sign a non-disclosure agreement contract, regarding their relationship, he has an interest in a subculture relationship with Ana involving controlled bondage, she is shown his "play room", i.e. The Red Room, filled with bondage devices and tools. It is at this point though that Ana reveals her true naivety to sex, she is a virgin, so Christian takes her to the bedroom and slowly undresses her, they have sex and sex is no longer a virgin, enlightened she is intrigued by this relationship agreement, so he tells her to take the contract with her to read carefully, it details the roles of the "submissive" and the "dominant", dietary and physical conditions, sleeping arrangements, and much more, she may ask questions about aspects, and he says he will only do what she agrees to. Christian and Ana do have a business like meeting to discuss conditions in the contract, he says he will allow her the decision of occasional couple dates, e.g. dinner, movies, and she goes through sexual acts she will not allow, to which he crosses them out, and the following few days Christian showers her with gifts and favours, including a new laptop to email him, and a new car, and although she has not signed the agreement he continues to carry out sexual experimentation. Keeping up the casual aspect of their relationship Ana goes for dinner to Christian adoptive family, father Carrick (Andrew Airlie), mother Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey (Marcia Gay Harden) and sister Mia (singer Rita Ora), during the dinner Ana reveals she is leaving soon to visit her mother Carla (Jennifer Ehle) in Georgia, Christian is angry and Ana wants a romantic relationship more than just sexual, she leaves and does go to see her mother, but she is shocked when he surprises her while they are drinking together, the next morning he takes her gliding, before he has to leave for an emergency in Seattle. Soon after arriving home Ana continues to see Christian, she is initially consenting and participates in his further sexual experimentation, however he continues to be distant emotionally which upsets her, Ana asks Christian to show her what he really wants, so they have an encounter involving rough sex. Ana sees this as disturbing and not within the bounds of her romantic expectations of Christian, she becomes resolved that he is not the right man for her and that his experimentation borders on being deviant and excessive, in the end at her insistence Ana and Christian part company in the hallway outside his apartment, uttering only each other's names as the doors to the elevator close. Also starring Victor Rasuk as José Rodriguez, Callum Keith Rennie as Ray Steele and Dylan Neal as Bob Adams. Johnson is reasonable as the beautiful and innocent girl who wants to find love in the S&M obsessed man, Dornan is just about suited as the mysterious rich man with dark sexual interests, the pair do make an intriguing enough couple, I agree with the mixed reviews, I was expecting more sadomasochism than there was, there are a fair amount of arousing sex scenes, starting with the sweet virginity losing scene through to being tied up and blindfolded, but I agree the most filthy scene is the two discussing sexual stuff in the contract, there is somewhat of a love story aside the S&M stuff, it may have been laughably cheesy and tame, but like the book you cannot help but sort of like it, it may have swept the Golden Raspberry Awards, but it's not such a bad erotic romantic drama. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Earned It" by The Weeknd, it was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding, and it won the Razzies for Worst Picture (tied with Fantastic Four), Worst Screen Combo for Dornan and Johnson and Worst Screenplay. Okay!
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4/10
Soft Porn.
rmax30482321 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It would be nice if parents stopped naming their little girls Dakota. As it stands, we're going to have an entire generation of women named Dakota. This particular Dakota is rather good, as far as it's possible to tell from her performance here as the young woman so much in love that she puts up with all sorts of bondage until she finally cries "Enough!" and the affair ends.

She's an attractive woman but not TOO attractive. Rather pleasant looking, with big blue appealing eyes. Her figure is feminine and ordinary. She's the kind of woman men might find themselves staring at in a supermarket without quite understanding why.

And she handles the role well. She's a virgin, her voice a tentative, slightly breathless whine. She has a menial job -- sales lady in a hardware shop -- like Sylvester Stallone's girl friend in "Rocky." And she accidentally runs into Jamie Dornan, a young, strapping, handsome, commanding presence who is filthy rich and courts her in a way every girl seems to dream of being courted. At least I guess so, because the pattern crops up so commonly, as in "Pretty Woman." From the beginning it was clear that this story was shaped by women, two of them in fact -- E. L. James and Kelly Marcel. If it had opened with an outrageous burst of violence, somebody's brains splattered on the wall, I'd figure a testosterone-ridden man was behind it all.

Jamie Dornan is a big nuisance. He stares fixedly. He only blinked twice, I counted. He never smiles. He issues orders. He seems to know everything, or thinks he does. And he's got the dough to back it all up. "Come with me," he orders, and, poof, we're doing snap rolls in a sailplane. "Don't fall in love with me," he advises her sternly, so she falls in love with him.

After the ritual deflowering comes the S&M but only its frisson. He never does anything very serious to her, just tickling her with a feathery lash while she's bound hand and foot. I don't know why this was painted as so scandalous. Far more can be found in other films, like "Nine Weeks" or "Nine Songs," though you have to be ready for that last one.

Bondage and cheap love stories not being very interesting as far as I'm concerned, I thought the movie was lousy. You want it to have some emotional impact? Don't just cast the female lead as a wimp. Cast her as an overweight wimp. Or a menopausal wimp. Any normal man would like to pinch and bite Dakota Johnson. That's too easy, a sell out.

If you must have a dominant/subordinate relationship in which the woman participates, try "Secretary," a much better film, even without nudity.
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3/10
"I had a rough start in life...that's all you need to know."
moonspinner5517 July 2016
He's a billionaire CEO, handsome and single and 'clean,' she's a virginal English-lit major who's been waiting for the right guy to come along...so what's the problem? Turns out the shady Christian Grey has a playroom full of S&M equipment and asks his latest conquest to enter into a contractual agreement for her to be his submissive sex partner. Adaptation of E.L. James' bestseller seems a little white bread from the outset: she happens to work in a hardware store, he comes in to buy tape and rope (!); he says he doesn't 'do' romance, yet there is an awful lot of kissing and canoodling and pillow talk (set to a soulful soundtrack); she asks for a contractual meeting (with a wink) to tell him of the sexual things she absolutely will not do (no anal or vaginal fisting for our heroine). This derivative, glossy movie hedges its bets, wanting to shock and titillate viewers while at the same time make the sex games as palatable as possible to seem romantic. Unfortunately, in a set-up like this one, there's really nowhere for the narrative to go once the action moves into and out of the bedroom. There are no surprise twists. Dakota Johnson asks Jamie Dornan to punish her because she's breaking the rules by wanting more from the relationship than he can give her; he obliges, she submits and they both end up feeling lousy. Not as lousy as the audience is likely to feel. *1/2 from ****
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Not that sexy and not that interesting.
TxMike20 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I had decided long ago that I had no interest in seeing this movie. But recently I noticed that my public library had bought several BluRay copies and I could get one with no wait. So I figured, "What the heck" and now I know what all the fuss is about.

I have no idea how well it translated from the book(s) but I imagine that the target audience is mostly romantic women. It is about a simple woman quite accidentally meeting a very handsome, wealthy and self-assured young man who takes an interest in her. What woman wouldn't like that fantasy?

The main problem I have with the movie is it asks lots of questions but provides no answers. The handsome and wealthy man loves kinky sex but keeps any woman he likes at arm's length. On a couple of occasions it seems like they will address that but don't. And then it ends with what can only be interpreted as setting it up for the first sequel.

The young woman, just finishing college, goes to an interview assignment in the place of her roommate who is feeling bad. Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, plays that role as Anastasia Steele. By all indications she is a regular hard- working girl with normal morals. She is taken aback by the attention but learns to enjoy it. But she is not sure she wants to sign the contract he requires.

The wealthy young man, raised as an orphan, is driven to be the best in what he does, and loves to dominate. Jamie Dornan plays this role as Christian Grey. He flies his own helicopter, he is generous with gifts, he runs a foundation, but he is trapped within the demons we never find out about.

Then, as the movie ends right after he tells Ana goodbye, he gets up abruptly from a board meeting, we figure he wants to pursue her but it fades to the credits.

Somewhat entertaining but overall a movie that cheats to get your attention. I don't plan to see the sequels.
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1/10
Yeah, I'm sorry, it is that bad
blanche-212 February 2015
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is based on a badly written book, so why someone thought they could make a decent film out of it is beyond me. Actually I don't think anyone believed they could make a good film, the producers just wanted the money that would come in from all people who for reasons known only to themselves read the book.

I had a free ticket and I had to go in order to do a story on it. Bottom line, I'm not doing a story on it.

Okay, here's the problem, and this is what breaks my heart. We no longer know what good or great is. I am no follower of Ayn Rand, but in The Fountainhead, she predicted the rise of mediocrity, mediocrity being considered great and the norm we shoot for. It only stands to reason that at this point, some things can't even rise to that sad level. This isn't mediocre, it's pathetic. I can't believe there are people complimenting the actors. But then I can, because they have come to accept mediocrity. Something I fight against with all my heart.

There is one other problem. The book sucked; in order to like it, one had to use his or her imagination. The success of this book lay in the fantasy aspect. Sometimes imagination is more powerful than just about anything and can give you an erotic experience. This film doesn't fulfill the most inane imagination, let alone someone who really has a wild and creative one. The only fantasy it can give you is how fast you can get out of the theater.

There were people around me laughing. The ones who weren't left, and from what I found out in the lobby, actually demanded and got their money back. When was the last time you saw people leaving a movie in the middle? I'm not sure I've ever seen it, and I'll guess I've been going to movies longer than a lot of you.

I lament the loss of artistic soul, of creativity, of going for the best. I miss the days when Billy Wilder was a writer and a filmmaker. What are we left with but a horrible book written on a first grade level and the resulting bad movie.
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Very enjoyable, much to my surprise
Gordon-1115 February 2015
This film tells the story of a university student who interviews a successful, young and handsome billionaire, Christian Grey. He falls for her, and they embark on a mind game of physical and mental control.

It turns out that "Fifty Shades of Grey" is more a romantic film than a film about alternative sexual practice. Christian Grey is portrayed to be super handsome and charming. He has this irresistible charisma, and certainly knows how to make a lady smile. How Christian Grey charms Anastacia to be very sweet and Romantic. An yet, he has this dark side which needs to be unleashed. The film does not concentrate on this dark side, as Anastacia is actually so good at playing mind games with Christian. The end result is an engaging and intriguing struggle between the two.

I really enjoyed "Fifty Shades of Grey", much to my surprise.
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6/10
Abuse or romance? Do you want it tough or tender?
michaelRokeefe18 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Director Sam Taylor-Johnson gets the most out of what he has; namely the erotic novel by E.L. James. Already you hear and read...how can sexual abuse be romantic? Word of mouth puts people in the seats. Those that are not of age to enter the theater can easily buy or rent the movie. Like it or not; there are two sequels already in the works.

A recent college grad, now working in a hardware store, Anastasia Steele(Dakota Johnson), does a favor for her roommate Kate(Eloise Mumford)by going as a proxy to a job interview. She meets billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey(Jamie Dornan). The naive Anna immediately is infatuated with her interviewer. Mr. Grey will strongly pursue the young woman with intent of introducing her to his world of sexual bondage. He up front lets Anna know that he does not do "normal" relationships; and he does not "do romance". Slowly, the young woman will entertain the thought of signing a contract to be Mr. Grey's "submissive'.

Steamy sexual scenes will sustain interest. Full nudity...no problem! One small scene in a bathtub alone is quit enough to float a boat. Maybe an armada. It is all in the eye of the beholder. Do you want sex tough or tender; or both...you got it! This film promotes the novel; what is in the book that could not make the big screen? So be it...FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.

Also appearing: Jennifer Ehle, Rita Ora, Marcia Gay Harden, Max Martin, Victor Rasuk and Andrew Airlie.
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4/10
Fails To Translate Kinkiness On The Big Screen
sunwarrior1331 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Fifty Shades of Grey is a film adaptation of the novel of the same title by E.L. James that tells about the steamy tale between an English Literature college student who began an awkward relationship with a young billionaire.It stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan together with Jennifer Ehle,Eloise Mumford and Marcia Gay Harden.

The film by Samuel Taylor-Johnson starts when Anastasia Steel covers for her roommate Kate Kavanagh and gets to interview Christian Grey,a young business magnate for their school paper.Upon their meeting,they became fascinated and interested with each other that they decided to get to know more of each other.This led to a complex relationship that is characterized by BDSM.

It could have shown great promise as we get to know Anastasia and Christian and how their relationship started and later progressed developed when sadomasochism became an important part of it.Too bad that both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan lacked chemistry that their relationship just seemed more like a contract negotiation rather than a romantic relationship between two complex characters and conflicted individuals.Their portrayal were simply much too be desired from that the viewer would not be simply interested on them.Added to that,the sadomasochistic sex scenes were simply horrible as they lacked realism.It was obvious that both actors are uncomfortable with these scenes and lack believability while performing them.Also,it was evident that both Dakota and Jamie were never at ease with each other.

Aside from that,the Kelly Marcel's screenplay provides a lot of confusion and many unanswered questions into the story.One watching it may feel frustrated in trying to get to know more about Anastasia and Christian as to their eccentric behavior and weird personalities.In the end,the complexities on their characters made the story a simplistic one that a romantic comedy would have had more depth and would make much more sense.What's worse,the conclusion would simply left the viewer hanging as it ended abruptly.It was obviously a sequel- baiting for the viewer but it just highlighted what a poor movie the producers have made.

If there is one thing that I would have credited to the movie,it will probably be the guts of the producers to do a movie about BDSM for these aren't really familiar themes made for films.Too bad that Fifty Shades of Grey fell way short of the expectations as it simply failed to translate the kinkiness into the big screen.Despite the fact that it made lots of money at the box office,it only proves that sex remains a motivating factor for people to come into the theaters.
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3/10
50 Seats Beside Gorgons
Theo Robertson1 April 2015
The version I saw was via a pirate copy marked "CENSORED" which probably means most of the explicit shots in the sex scenes have been cut out . . I thought I had to mention this due to covering my back . Apparently a lot of people have been watching this film for the dubious and much hyped reason that this film is supposed to be the greatest aphrodisiac ever recorded in human history . Indeed I almost fell out of my seat reading a report in the Scottish Daily Record that a woman in her thirties had been arrested in a Glasgow cinema for "pleasuring herself" ! Hold your horses guys because the paper didn't print a photo of the woman in question due to sub-judicial law so hoping she's going to pop back to the cinema for a repeat performance while she sits beside you is a little bit premature , she could have been a Gorgon for all we know . But I suppose 50 SHADES has something in its favour if audience members are going to risk 5 years on the sex offenders register watching it in public . I do hope the uncensored sex scenes are worth it because if the censored version is anything to go by that woman in the Glasgow cinema might have been pleasuring herself in order to stay awake

The story itself is very one note . Unconfident virgin undergraduate Ana Steele embarks on a sexual relationship with 27 year old multi-billionaire Christian Grey . There's some strange casting going on here . Dakota Johnson as Ana really overplays the shy innocent virgin routine in the early part of the film and Jamie Doran never convinces as Grey . "I don't do romance and I'm singular" states Grey . How about "I don't do acting and I have a single expression on my face throughout the entire movie" Jamie ? Maybe if Grey was played by someone like a younger Christian Bale who can do a convincing turn as a manly Byronic anti-hero which is the casting that Grey calls for . The characters as played here just do not convince but to be fair to Johnson and Doran it's every aspect of the entire film that's the problem . It's directed by Sam Taylor Johnson who gives the entire mis en scene the look of a TVM on the Hallmark Channel complete with irritating incidental muzak playing over scenes . The source novel is probably complete garbage and if it is screenwriter Kelly Marcel hasn't improved it . Take this brief snippet of dialogue as Grey is just about introduce Ana to his S&M den

"This is my playroom" states Grey

"You have an X-box in there ?" Ana asks in all seriousness

I know she's supposed to be an innocent virgin but would any young woman be that naïve ? My shopping list has as much chance for being nominated for an Oscar as this film does . Honestly I know sex sells but there's good sex and bad sex and in cinematic terms this really is bad sex and couldn't get much worse unless a self pleasuring Gorgon was sitting in the cinema seat beside you
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10/10
Love it
bevo-136782 April 2020
A show about interior decorating with a few fight scenes thrown in. DIY must make them really horny as they're too busy with the whips and chains to get any painting done.
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7/10
In many ways this is just an ordinary romantic drama with BDSM thrown in
preppy-32 March 2015
College student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) interviews young millionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). He becomes obsessed with her and she starts falling for him. However he has control issues and is into BDSM. Can she deal with that?

Ignore all the controversy about this. In many ways this is just another romantic drama about a couple dealing with issues--those issues just happen to be BDSM and control. It has all the romantic meetings, the nonstop love songs on the soundtrack and some fairly explicit (but tasteful) sex. The BDSM is confined to just two scenes and it's not that bad. There is nudity but almost all of it is from Johnson. Dornan just bares his butt three times and that's it. It seems kind of strange that a movie targeted at women has so little male nudity. It's also well-directed and is more or less interesting. However it goes on for too long and keeps repeating itself. Also the character of Mr. Grey comes across as more than a little creepy. The acting varies. Johnson is very good in her role. Dornan is ridiculously handsome and all pumped up but lacks the charisma that his character should have. All in all a pretty good romantic drama.
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6/10
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015) **1/2
Bunuel197623 February 2015
Last Friday's theatrical screening of the long-awaited film adaptation of the literary phenomenon that gave rise to the dubious "Mommy Porn" subgenre was decidedly the noisiest one I have ever attended: females (who, unsurprisingly, made up the vast majority of the audience) gabbing relentlessly to each other throughout, women talking directly to the screen, another who gagged on her popcorn and a chubby girl who commented out loud that she would not allow anyone to whip her like that…as if any one would ever care to or she would even feel the pain?! I was only vaguely familiar with the novel until mid-2012 when it became a daily topic of conversation among female colleagues at my workplace! Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded a .pdf edition of the trilogy (I would not dream of spending money to acquire them legitimately!); the low level of writing on the first book (especially) was even more off-putting than any of its would-be objectionable content turned out to be...but I soldiered on and read through the first and second novel – even if by the time the film version came along three years later, I am still stuck in the initial stages of the third book! Anyhow, learning that several of those same female colleagues had decided to attend a screening of the film and make a "Girls' Night" out of the event, I cluelessly decided to join their party uninvited...

The millions of fans of the novels worldwide immediately had their own ideas regarding who would be ideal casting for the central roles of disturbed billionaire Christian Grey and plain ingénue Anastasia Steele...but, in the end, these fell into the laps of Irish model-turned-actor Jamie Dornan (handsome, sure – but even more wooden than any of the instruments of pain/pleasure at his disposal in the infamous "Red Room of Pain") and the admittedly beguiling Dakota Johnson (the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, no less); tellingly enough, the latter was invited to present at yesterday's Oscar ceremony but Dornan was not. Nepotism, perhaps (after all, the film was similarly breaking box office records worldwide)...but I do not think so. From the rest of the cast, only two names rang a bell for me, incidentally both saddled with the thankless roles of the parents of each respective protagonist, namely Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden and Jennifer Ehle. I do not recall if it was like that in the first book as well but I was surprised to see that the major secondary character of "Mrs. Robinson" was only whispered about a couple of times but never actually appeared. Indeed, some people seemed surprised by the abrupt ending expecting the film to be a reductive adaptation of the trilogy...as if Hollywood would ever lose an opportunity to take two more trips to this goldmine in the coming years!

While I found nothing all that salacious about the book's copious erotic passages myself (I have been an avid reader of Georges Bataille's novels from 75 years previously after all!), the film's even blander depiction of them is disappointingly tame...so much so that the rumours I had heard that the sex scenes where going to be filmed in silhouette and the fact that it has actually been banned outright in several backward-thinking territories are totally laughable in retrospect. Johnson's small "mammalian protuberances" (to steal a phrase from the late great Frank Zappa) get the most mileage but Dornan is not averse to filling up with screen with the occasional close-up of his bare bottom ("a perfect 10" according to the most adulatory among my female friends – who, nevertheless, also took time out to spot a couple of goofs that escaped me and google a difficult word)! But, then, there are no glimpses of blood at all in the film or, come to that, pubic hair during its 15 minutes of sexual content overall!! Needless to say, this was more of a studio marketing ploy to keep the film from being slapped with a forbidding NC-17 rating rather than a case of artistic cold feet on the film-makers' part. Still, as it is, director Sam Taylor-Johnson will remain most notorious in years to come for having married an actor 23 years her junior (Aaron Johnson, of KICKASS fame) than for having helmed the steamy film version of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY!! What with the film hurrying through the narrative and skimping on the juiciest parts...but, thankfully, Christian's irritating habit of tilting his head and Anastasia's cringe-inducing and somersaulting "conscience" have been jettisoned!!

It is all the more a pity, therefore, that one learns how director Johnson counts The Velvet Underground's 1967 counter-culture classic debut as one of her favourite albums since what is on display in her own film is worlds apart from the full-blooded BDSM relationship depicted in the shattering "Venus In Furs", the song which made me fall in love with this all-time favourite band of mine in the first place! Equally fitting would have been The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" from their own John Cale-produced 1969 debut (incidentally, I got to see Cale live at a London concert in October 2012)...but, at least, we do get The Rolling Stones' 1978 hit "Beast of Burden" on the eclectic soundtrack that also features classical pieces and contemporary pop stuff. Just as the literary works did not really break new ground (it just slyly appealed to the lowest common denominator and hit the collective jackpot..or is that G-spot?!), so the film follows in the wake of much older (and much better) films that had tackled the controversial theme of BDSM far more liberally and artistically, among them Mario Bava's THE WHIP AND THE BODY (1963), (my own No. 1 film-maker) Luis Bunuel's BELLE DE JOUR (1967), Henri-Georges Clouzot LA PRISONNIERE (1968), Yasuzo Masumura's BLIND BEAST (1969), Radley Metzger's THE IMAGE (1975), Walerian Borowczyk's LOVE RITES (1988), Roman Polanski's BITTER MOON (1992), etc.!
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5/10
More Tease Than Sleaze
zardoz-139 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Despite its unsavory sadomasochistic subject matter, this cinematic adaptation of author E.L. James' erotic bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey" qualifies as puritanical. I can say this because I managed to get through ten chapters of the book before I saw the Universal Pictures release. "Nowhere Boy" director Sam Taylor-Johnston and "Saving Mr. Banks" scenarist Kelly Marcel have sanitized James' novel and turned it into an antiseptic, "Cinderella" fairy tale about an affluent Prince Charming and a book-wormy English Lit major. Not that it matters, director Sam Taylor-Johnston is a woman rather than a man. Johnston and Marcel have forged a film that features simulated sex scenes without steam and cardboard characters without souls. Mind you, "Fifty Shades of Grey" isn't as abysmal as the amateurish "Addicted." Johnston stages several sex scenes where actress Dakota Johnson bares only her breasts, while actor Jamie Dornan displays little more than his carefully sculpted abs and buttocks. Ladies hoping for a glimpse of male genitalia are going to be sorely frustrated because "Fifty Shades" is R-rated rather than NC-17, like both "Shame" (2011) and "The Lover" (1992) where full frontal nudity was conspicuous. Comparatively speaking, little if anything risqué occurs until the concluding scene. You won't see anything like the candle dripping sex in the Madonna movie "Body of Evidence" (1993); the kitchen sink sex between Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction," or the infamous "Last Tango in Paris" where Marlon Brando improvised on Maria Schneider with a blob of butter. Subsequent adaptations of James' two novels may pass up on the prudish approach after Universal studio executives have analyzed audience tolerance. Altogether, this soft-porn entry in the trilogy shouldn't hoist anybody's eyebrows.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnston of "The Five Year Engagement") is a shy, virginal, doe-eyed brunette who majors in English Lit at Washington State University and works at a hardware store. She shares an apartment with her best friend, blond-haired Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford of "In the Blood"), who serves as the campus newspaper editor. As the action unfolds, woebegone, pajama-clad Kate is wrestling with a cold. Kate persuades Anastasia to pinch hit for her on a newspaper assignment. She sends her out to interview bachelor billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan of "Marie Antoinette") who rules a colossal corporate empire. Basically, Christian is the Bruce Wayne of hanky-spanky. An orphan who survived the death of his crack-addict mom, Christian has amassed a fortune, but he harbors a deep, dark secret. When she enters 'The House of Grey,' Anastasia knows little about him. Anxious about her assignment, Anastasia makes a klutz of herself when she enters Grey's office. No sooner has she crossed the threshold than she stumbles and crumples to her hands and knees. Realizing she hasn't made the best impression, Anastasia recovers her confidence and begins the interview. Initially, Christian adopts an icy attitude toward her, but he thaws out once they start talking. Christian finds the way Anastasia chews her lip so irresistible that he cancels his next appointment. Some of Kate's questions shock Anastasia, particularly when she quizzes the tycoon about his sexual orientation. A life-long bachelor who has never been photographed in public with a woman, Christian explains that he has little use for conventional romances with hearts and flowers. A relieved Anastasia leaves Christian behind in his phallic monolith of a building and cruises home. As it turns out, Anastasia is just as captivated with Christian as the latter is with her. Later, they go on a date, and eventually he deflowers her. He wants Anastasia to join him in a sexual liaison as a 'submissive' to his 'dominant.' Christian and she negotiate terms of a contract. For example, the open-minded Anastasia has no problems with being tied up and titillated with a peacock feather, but she draws the line at vaginal fisting and genital clamps. Meantime, Christian does everything he can to corrupt Anastasia, buying her a Mac notebook and replacing her classic Volkswagen Beetle with a shiny red Audi. Ultimately, Christian convinces our heroine to let him show her how bondage can be enjoyable. Nevertheless, Anastasia isn't as gullible as she seems. At fade-out, she gains the upper hand in their bizarre relationship.

The casting in "Fifty Shades of Grey" creates half of the problem. Dakota Johnson makes an ideal Anastasia. She gives a believable performance as a naïve college student who has just graduated and treasures the kind classic 19th century British fiction that Thomas Hardy wrote. The Austin, Texas, born actress seems wholly comfortable with her casual nudity, and it is interesting to note that "Miami Vice's" Don Johnson is her dad and Melanie Griffith of "Something Wild" is her mom. She isn't as goofy as her literary counterpart. Sadly, lean, handsome Jamie Dornan doesn't cut the mustard. He doesn't behave like a ruthless cutthroat who owns a billion dollar corporation, and his performance is considerably less spontaneous. Although he wears his apparel well and delivers his dialogue with crisp precision, Dornan looks more like a callow amateur. In all fairness to Dornan, he impersonates a character that doesn't seem remotely believable, and his lack of personality underlines his lightweight performance. The other big problem is the film seems as impersonal as a bargain basement torture rack. Basically, Johnston and Marcel have designed it as a bondage primer that cautiously advances from one elaborate interlude to another without drumming up any melodrama. Primarily, the filmmakers rely more on winks rather than winces as our heroine navigates the dire straits of Christian's sexual calisthenics. Keep in mind, Anastasia doesn't say no until she knows better. Gradually, Christian peels back the layers of his paranoia, revealing himself as an onion that initiates our heroine's tears and fears. When director Sam Johnston shifts the focus from the game of sexual chess between Anastasia and Christian, the film sacrifices suspense. Undeniably, "Fifty Shades of Grey" will keep your eyes wide open, but it dwells more on tease instead of sleaze.
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4/10
Quite dull, despite the subject matter
grantss26 November 2015
Quite dull, despite the subject matter.

A young University student, Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson), interviews a young billionaire, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Their relationship develops but it turns out his idea of a relationship is not that conventional...

Quite formulaic, predictable, pointless and dull. You would think that a movie that involves bondage and sadomasochism would have some level of intrigue and watchability but, strangely, it does not. For all its titillation, it is quite lifeless and perfunctory.

Maybe it's because the characters are not developed. Maybe it is because the actors just seem to be going through the motions. Maybe it is because this is really just a (tad perverse) romantic drama (and even on that level it fails as it goes nowhere).

No, nothing good about this. Avoid.
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1/10
It's smut! and dull smut at that!
AlsExGal18 June 2016
There is no real relationship, no depth of backstory on the characters. However, it is well photographed - in other words it doesn't look like the cheap porn movies they were making in "Boogie Nights", which was a first class film about the porn industry.

This is just a soft core porn biology lesson, plain and simple. Another movie in a similar vein was "The Lover", which was was much better done than this. Sure, "The Lover" had hot sex scenes, but it had character development and atmosphere too. This film would make sex seem boring to teenage boys. I didn't read the book, so I can't speak to how true it is to it, but if it did follow it closely, I can't imagine how the book could have been a success.

Avoid and don't waste your time.
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6/10
Half-hearted wannabe pervert porn
neil-47623 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Shop assistant, impending college graduate, cutie and improbable virgin Anastasia encounters hot millionaire businessman and adopted sexual screw-up Christian, and there is an immediate attraction between them. The relationship develops and Christian, having tenderly and intimately relieved Anastasia of her virginity, makes it clear that his interest lies in S&M (and, more specifically, domination/submission) with no intimacy or tenderness. Anatasia umms and ahs and tries it out a bit, and the film ends with a crisis, all set up for part 2.

I am male, English, and 62. The books (which I have not read) were not aimed at me, and neither is this film. Nevertheless, I will approach it as objectively as I can.

The reproductive urge and underlying sex drive is a major motivation in the animal kingdom, not least for humans. Being blessed (or cursed) with rational thought, humans can cross-pollinate their sex drives with all sorts of extraneous elements: societal taboos, personal moralities, fetishes, perversions and the like. It is undeniable that the book from which this film derives tapped into something which made it a phenomenon in a particular niche market (primarily respectable whitebread middle class women). I suggest that it tapped into some sort of vicarious wish-fulfilment area, giving the frisson of the sexual deviation/s depicted without the actual risk or pain involved.

This is a difficult thing to convey in a film, especially one which finds itself hidebound by the practical problems which face this movie. On one hand, it knows that it is intended to appeal to the niche market which purchased the book in truckloads. On the other, it desperately wants to have mass-market appeal. Despite the film's undeniable glossy coating, this latter quest is tied together at the ankles by the fact that making a romance predicated on tieing someone up and hitting them very hard is fundamentally unappealing unless you are already converted to that particular cause. The camera slowly makes its way down naked bodies in sensuous close-up – very nice - following which there is a bit of bondage and a bit of flagellation, and I go "OK, you just lost me." There seems to be far more time devoted to the rules, non-disclosure agreements and contracts involved with Christian's little foible than on the little foible itself. And there is an interesting story to be told about two people, each of whom is intent on changing the other against their will, a story touched on but not explored.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan look very attractive both in and out of their clothing, and they both work hard, but I didn't find either character very believable, and the relationship between them even less so. Miss Johnson has a dusting of pubic hair which the camera constantly shies away from for some reason, and Mr Dornan's todger is, famously, not on display. For a film which depends for its appeal on sexually frank subject matter, it is astonishingly coy about it and, consequently, not very convincing. Above everything else, it is hugely unerotic.

There is a saying in the north of England – "Neither nowt nor summat" (translates as "Neither nothing nor something.") Fifty Shades Of Grey is a prime example of what that expression means.
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