The best part of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” experience may very well be the trailer for Judd Apatow’s upcoming movie, “Trainwreck,” starring Amy Schumer, Bill Hader and LeBron James. But the long-awaited book-turned-film turned out to not be as much of a stinking pile of garbage as one might expect. (I’m talking to you, modern “Annie”).
While I hope you and your 50 shades of bae had more romantic Valentine’s Day plans than watching Dakota Johnson get her ass whipped with a belt, the Sam Taylor-Johnson movie proved watchable, at the very least.
The film begins with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), a senior majoring in English literature, filling in for her sick roommate and interviewing an eligible billionaire bachelor, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), for the campus newspaper.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” starts off a little like “She’s All That,” attempting to portray the constantly sexy Johnson as a conservative and timid virgin, obvious from her button-up sweater and low ponytail. The filmmakers give the impression that she transformed into a sexual minx when she let her hair loose and put on a dress, but the effect was laughably flat.
The entire first half-hour of the movie is nearly a trailer for itself, advertising the sexual tension that anyone who doesn’t live under a rock has already heard about. But the characters gaze at each other without any tension whatsoever, and their expressions turn orgasmic at every touch. Painfully obvious, childishly flirty and clumsily blunt, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the perfect recipe for a shameful disappointment. That’s why I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I liked it.
Maybe it’s because my expectations were low — it has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 26 percent — or maybe it’s because of the surprisingly interesting story, the confounding but hot sex scenes, or the mystery behind Christian Grey that I left Regal Cinemas wanting to know what happens when 50 shades gets darker.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” feels like a film that was banged out for the purpose of box office sales while the book it’s based on remained immensely popular. The characters are underdeveloped; the performances, save for token impressively heartfelt scenes, are lackluster and the soundtrack is a constant reminder that this film is a gold mine and not much more. Somehow, though, I was left wanting more, genuinely wondering about the truth behind Christian Grey. This leads me to believe that with a little bit more time and care lent to crafting this movie, it might have been something that the general population would respect a little bit more.
All in all, I would rate it 50 shades of a-okay and readily admit that I’m patiently awaiting the inevitable sequel.