Movie: Fifty Shades Of Grey
Rating: 1 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is an attractive, young college student who is tasked by ailing roommate Kate (Eloise Mumford) to interview the mysterious and reclusive billionaire tycoon, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), for a piece in the college newspaper. Anastasia shows up at the Grey Building, armed with Kate’s list of questions, and bumbles her way through the interview. Despite, or maybe because of her hapless modus operandi, she has intrigued and caught the attention of the handsome young business mogul.
Ana goes back to her regular life, such as working at Clayton’s Hardware Store to pay for college, but almost immediately Mr. Grey begins to show up in her life. Grey’s brother Elliot (Luke Grimes) begins to date Kate, and Grey’s majordomo Taylor (Max Martini) is close at hand to drive Ana places at Christian’s beck and call. Anastasia is very rapidly reeled into Christian Grey’s “lifestyle of the rich and reclusive”, and he works hard to dazzle and impress her with his possessions and ability to entertain, such as an impromptu helicopter ride to another city for dinner. Ana’s head is definitely turned, thinking Christian is wooing her, but soon finds out that he does not date in the normal sense of the word. Christian Grey makes it very clear he is not a romantic, but a purveyor of dominant and submissive sex practices. And Christian wants Anastasia to become his next sex toy.
The film is all about how a young innocent woman will respond to a naked (no pun intended) bid for physical and sexual domination of her. But frankly, the movie fails in almost all areas. First of all, the two leads have no real chemistry on screen. They work hard at the sex scenes, which are plenty graphic with clever camera angles and editing to avoid an X rating, but somehow the sex never seems arousing to the audience. The movie needed a much more dynamic and charismatic Christian Grey, like a young Pierce Brosnan, to pull off a believable scenario as to why women should immediately swoon for his attentions. Grey just comes off as damaged goods. Dakota Johnson may hold promise in future roles. Sadly, the movie was rather boring, strangely non-erotic, just plodding from scene to scene to find out whether Anastasia wants to commit to this guy with his playroom of horrors. And yes, apparently there is a plan for a trilogy of these movies. (Loud groan)
Soundtrack A Plus: Loved the opening song by Annie Lennox, “I Put A Spell On You.”
Dialogue Nuggets: Christian – “There are some people who say I don’t have a heart.” Ana – “Why do they say that?” Christian – “Because they know me well.”
Ana – “Ropes, ties, tape, you’re the complete serial killer.”
Christian – “Have you been drinking?” Ana – “Yup, you hit the head on the nail.”
Christian – “I’m not going to touch you. Not until I have your written consent.”
Ana negotiating contract – “Strike out vaginal fisting.” Christian – “You sure?” Ana – “Yup!”
Ana – “I broke rule 7, clause 5.”