Fifty Shades of Grey

Okay, “Terminator Genysis” is still the worst film I experienced in 2015, but “Fifty Shades of Grey” certainly gave it a run for its money. Are the books this promised series is based on, as vapid and empty as this film is? Actually, I bet there’s no reason to answer that. Titillation can have brains you know. “Last Tango in Paris”, “Henry & June”, even 2014’s “Nymphomaniac” epic proved that. But this film is so silly, and so vanilla, and so paint-by-numbers. Of course, it ended up being a gigantic box office smash! I mean we know the print series has a following, but I wonder how the film follow-ups to this will do.

College age Anastasia Steele (pretty Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don & Melanie) is an English literature major (of course she is), talked into interviewing a 27-year-old billionaire (27…because that happens so much) Christian Grey (bland Jamie Dornan). Of course, he’s handsome, mysterious, and filthy rich, so after a few convoluted plot devices, Anastasia is madly in love with him. I mean, how could she not be, he’s also a licensed helicopter pilot (my biggest laugh of the many)! Damn, if not for this weird bondage, dominance, sadomasochism obsession he has, they could be the perfect couple! And another howler…she’s a virgin too.

Honestly, how much can I hold Kelly Marcel responsible for this laughable screenplay, when I consider the source material from author E. L. James. And if director Sam Taylor-Johnson was intending to create a comedy, I guess she gets some credit for success. But not too much. I suffered through this movie for one reason and one reason only: it received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song (“Earned It”, a decent composition, that thankfully lost, so we wouldn’t have to refer to this garbage as an Oscar-winner). Really, I’ve got no problem with the film’s overt sexuality–I simply prefer that stuff with a helping of intelligence. Not this simplistic, banal silliness, that aims to look pretty and plays like it was written by an oversexed 15-year-old. I’ve no plans to endure the sequels.

Grade:  D


6 comments on “Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. I enjoyed reading your review much more than I enjoyed watching the movie. These are the least sexy scenes of sex I have ever seen. Or perhaps I mean I endured them and watched through to the end, hoping something would be interesting. Nice clothes and locations. Nice helicopter and cars. Seattle looks pretty. Dakota looks pretty. That’s all the good stuff I can say about this dreadful film.

  2. I know when I’m watching a REALLY bad film, because I start to feel guilty about wasting my time. I know as a movie fan, it’s good to be well versed in the good and the bad, but I’m going to struggle to watch any more of these films, if this is the standard. Great review.

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