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.