Curiosity drove me to see Fifty Shades of Gray – just how is it possible that horrible, low quality fan fiction made it into a bestseller and a Hollywood studio movie? The answer – inexplicable.
I have no intention of reading the apparently badly written fan fiction monster and I cannot judge it, so this review will be about the movie, not the book.
First of all – who did the casting? They should never do casting again. The two protagonists leave me puzzled. It’s been too long ago that I watched „9 1/2 weeks“ but I do remember that Mickey Rouke and Kim Basinger were at least HOT! There was some chemistry going on and it sizzled. The two (to me completely) unknowns Dakota Whoever and Jamie Something seemed like frigid puppets, no chemistry or sexiness anywhere. The girl is cute. Period. Nothing to add. And the guy? Yawn! I had to laugh when several people somewhere in the movie say things in the lines of „he is so hot, isn’t he?“ Uh? What I saw was an passion-less, boring guy in a slick suit.
Everything that happened was way too controlled, the plot is thin, full of cliches (Gray adopted by rich people, real mother a prostitute, etc., you gotta be kidding me… jeez…) the dialogue horrible, it takes way too long (an hour???) until something happens. The build up doesn’t pay off. If you had two hot actors with some chemistry between them, the build up could have been delicious, but… As for the SM aspects, well, this is a Hollywood studio movie not a porn and everything still seemed very clean and timid and I just couldn’t buy it that a real sadist or „dominant“ would be so „careful“.
It’s difficult to walk the fine line in terms of SM on the non-porn screen and I don’t remember whether 9 1/2 weeks was better at it. I do remember another submissive/dominant topic movie though that is an exciting jewel compared to the Fifty Shades of Boring – the movie „Secretary“ from 2002 starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader (now that guy was hot in his days!) as the dominant male. I had no problem believing his relationship to his secretary and it sizzled nicely between them and there were delicious twists of wickedness on her part. The big difference between Secretary and Fifty Shades of Boring is that the couple in Secretary are quirky CHARACTERS, whilst Gray and Anastasia are just puppets that their actors didn’t manage to bring to life.
There was debate about Fifty Shades being degrading to women. Yes, but I think it’s degrading men too to be depicted as unfeeling, non-committing, unromantic, brutal, cold idiots…
I personally feel rather offended by how boring and non-provocative this thing was. It’s simply a lame story, with lame characters, cluttered with a thousand cliches. Take away the (not even hot) sex scenes and nothing is left. It truly is Fifty Shades of Nothing.
I guess every ten to fifteen years we need our little SM movie scandal. Maybe it’s a sign of our times that Fifty Shades of Nothing is particularly shallow and unexciting compared to former ones…