Monday, February 16, 2015

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey


Before you ask: yes, I've read all three of the Fifty Shades books in the trilogy (and no, you won't find reviews on my book blog). Fifty Shades started the current erotica boom that you will notice occurring now in books, and although I wasn't a fan of the writing itself (it's a bit dreadful), the actual story was interesting, so I was interested in seeing it on the big screen.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a college senior who takes her roommate's assignment to interview Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for their school paper, since the roommate is sick that day. She meets Mr. Grey, a 27-year-old self-made billionaire, and is intimidated by him, but also very curious about his background. She's also very attracted to him, and the next day or so he shows up at her job at the hardware store posing to buy some supplies. He then starts to pursue her, but she quickly learns that he has a certain preference for the sexual activities in his life; she must decide if she should leave him, or stay with him as his submissive.

I would say my theater was about 75% women or more - I dragged my boyfriend to see the movie with me, and I did see a few men in the theater, but overall it's more of a girls' night out film. The script was cliche at times but there are a few scenes that were done well. Dakota Johnson as Ana Steele was a good casting choice; in real life, she's 25 and Dornan (Mr. Grey) is 32, but their 21 and 27 ages in the movie were believable. I didn't start to warm up to Dornan as Grey until the end, though; his performance has been criticized as being too robotic, but in the book that is how Grey is - very controlled, always the consummate businessman.

Maybe see this movie. If you haven't read the books, the ending will be a bit of a surprise, and the reason for it is that they're setting up the next two films in the series. Overall, I found the film a bit tame compared to the books, and although it was a fun date night movie, it's not one I found myself thinking about much after I left the theater. I believe I've read that the next two movies are already a definite go, and I'd be interested to see if they can improve upon this initial film - I'd probably head to the theater to see it, but it's one I'd save for a matinee, and I'd recommend saving Mr. Grey for a matinee this time as well.

Fifty Shades of Grey is rated R with a runtime of 125 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.

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