pencils, popsicles, and… cheese? Fifty Shades of Grey Review

By SOLO

Apparently, it’s my year to watch scandalous movies of questionable quality.

Walking into the theatre, the three of us seemed a tad young for the intended audience, as we were surrounded mostly by women in their 40s and 50s. I even spotted one guy. He was there with his wife, and had a somewhat caged look on his face. Understandably.

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This quote from one of the many (many!) film reviews probably captures my reaction best:

…the film, by dint of its simple competence—being largely well acted, not too long, and sombrely photographed, by Seamus McGarvey—has to be better than the novel. It could hardly be worse. No new reader, however charitable, could open “Fifty Shades of Grey,” browse a few paragraphs, and reasonably conclude that the author was writing in her first language, or even her fourth.

And, yes, I read the book. Some have described it as guilty pleasure, yet I failed to feel particularly guilty about it. It’s an incredibly bad piece of writing, and as an adult, I am free to read whatever trash I choose. Even if it may hurt my brain… Related: grow the fuck up

Even, the Spartan Race could not resist making a comment, sending out a newsletter shortly before Valentine’s Day, entitled “50 Shades of Mud” and suggesting nothing compares with mud and barbwire for the ultimate dirty weekend. I beg to differ, actually… *grins.

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The prose kills. And not in a good way.

“Why is anyone the way they are? That’s kind of hard to answer. Why do some people like cheese and other people hate it? Do you like cheese?”
Huh? I do like cheese. But… HUH?

“He’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle.”
Bad porn meets Sesame Street.

And who could forget the psychotic pouty bitch that was Ana’s inner goddess?

“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”
“My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.”
“My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheer-leading pom-poms shouting yes at me.”
“My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.”

Needless to say, the bar was set pretty low. In fact, I was able to locate an online Fifty Shades generator that produces better prose at a click of a button.

Like this:
“My smush mitten was trembling like Muhammad Ali on a tumble dryer.”

#winning

Fifty Shades of Grey is a run-of-the-mill Harlequin romance on big screen. But with even less of a story line. The plot consists of Christian Grey buying things for Ana, doing (things for/to) Ana, and taking Ana (places). Some scenes are laugh-out-loud awkward. Anyone else wondered (or wished) if Ana was going to gag on that freaking pencil?

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The actors’ lot can be described as follows:
Do what you can with what you have.

Christian’s buttocks distract from the lack of plot. Dakota Johnson does her best to embody Ana, biting her lip throughout the movie with the intensity and dedication of a pitbull.

Fifty Shades is about as BDSM, as The Olive Garden is Italian. Hint – not very. There is a hint of basil in the air, but it’s probably the air freshener.

No, I do not think Fifty Shades promotes violence towards women, or that it warrants a letter from a mother, or from a psychiatrist.

Take this gem from the latter:

A psychologically healthy (wo)man avoids pain.

Umm… 1. I don’t know what that means. 2. I know plenty of psychologically (and physically) healthy (wo)men who seek out pain on a regular basis, be it through extreme racing, religious rituals or other endeavours. Related: Are you paying for pain? 

And, therein lies my biggest beef with the film (and the book) – the implication that you have to be “50 shades of fucked up” in order to enjoy alternative practices, sexual or otherwise.

Sure, if a potential partner shows up in your apartment without invitation, it’s creepy as hell. [Insert many other questionable actions on the part of Christian Grey character here]. But, if you are going to blame Fifty Shades for encouraging violence towards women, you might as well criticize Family Guy for promoting incest.

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I did like the song though.

P.S. I anticipate many Christian Grey/Ana Steele pairs for Halloween. Brace yourselves.

YOUR TURN: Did you see Fifty Shades? Would you? Why? Why not?

Liked this post? You may enjoy my review of yet another scandalous movie The Interview, as well as the 40 reasons why obstacle racing is like kinky sex.

Hugs and kisses… and stuff,
SOLO

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Posted February 23, 2015

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