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Movie Breakdown: Fifty Shades Of Grey

February 12, 2015

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The immensely popular “erotic romance novel” Fifty Shades of Grey gets adapted for the big screen.  Horny people everywhere are stoked.

The Reality:

Buried somewhere deep in Fifty Shades of Grey is a movie I’d like to see.  Now, that’s not to say director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation is terrible.  It isn’t.  Far from it, actually.  The film just isn’t particularly good either, though I’m not sure it really ever had the chance to be.  Many of the movie’s faults – giggle-worthy dialogue and sex scenes, a soundtrack riddled with out of place pop artists, a bare-bones story – seem less like questionable decisions and more like unavoidable ones, as there’s clearly a drive to deliver the kind of movie that the zillion fans of the book expect/want.  I get that.  However, the shiny, smutty shallowness demanded by said fans blots out a couple of charged, but nicely layered performances by Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and it also stomps on what could have been an interesting look at sex, relationships and what you’re willing to do for someone else.  Oh well.  At least now we all know “it is what it is” and that’s that.  See it if you want, but don’t expect to get much out of it other than something to chuckle about with your friends.

One final note, my favorite part about the movie was Christian Grey’s playroom.  Outside of it he’s always in a suit and looking super professional.  In the sex dungeon though, he is shirtless and in … ripped up jeans.  Whenever the couple enter the room, there’s soft music and slo-mo … and Grey’s ripped up, mall-bought jeans.  Surely there had to have been a better pants option to make him look rugged and wild.  I laughed out loud every single time.

The Lesson:

Pay attention to those red flags, ladies.

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