50 Shades of Grey hits theaters today just in time for Valentine’s Day and every male (or female) who indulges their female (or male) will be flocking to the movies this weekend to see this titillating film. After seeing the movie (review posted by GoD very soon), I was able to figure out why I liked it so much, while also pinpointing just what wasn’t sitting right.
Without further ado….my likes and dislikes for this guilty pleasure.
Fifty Shades of Grey – The Movie: Likes and Dislikes
1. Two much nudity: I know…. I know. The sex part of the movie is about a male dominant who finds his submissive. But there was too much very large screen-sized nipple floating across the screen. On the other hand, it was toned down for viewers. The book got into graphic detail, while the movie definitely played and skirted around the really hardcore bondage sex.
2. Not enough Marcia Gay Harden: One of my favorite character actresses, Harden was perfect as Christian Grey’s mother, both caring yet respectful of the walls he put up, and super excited that she met Anastasia. I really hope she gets more screen time in the sequels.
3. Domination: Again-dominant/submissive subplot, so what could I expect? The prone positions of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) still bothered me though.
4. Jamie Dornan, while definitely hot and stoic, as the Christian Grey character is meant to be, looked more uncomfortable than the character required. It made me think the actor was uncomfortable and I don’t think we are supposed to think that.
5. Charlie Hunnam was not Christian Grey. When Hunnam was first pick for the lead, I was skeptical that his acting chops were wide enough to mute his passionate nature he displayed as Jax on Sons of Anarchy. But now that I’ve seen the requirements of the role, I think he would have been great as Christian Grey — clean cut, virtually unsmiling with fire only in his eyes the majority of the time, Hunnam could have pulled it off. I think he would have come with a bigger fan base, which would have made many find the movie more enjoyable. Dornan, without many big time credits, is missing that aspect.
1. It is way better than the book. While many criticized author E.L. James for less than stellar writing, it still sold over 100 million copies. Through the magic of the screenwriter and the talent of Dornan and Johnson, the movie managed to move me (in between the sex) to tears in that romance novel sad kind of way.
2. Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele was spot on and more. Initially doubtful that she or really anybody could pull off a 22-year old virgin that could still hold her own around worldly Christian Grey, I was convinced almost immediately. It must have been one of those legendary casting moments when she walked in, one of those I-knew-she-was-Anastasia-Steele-from-the-moment-I-saw-her.
3. It was good in that bodice-ripping-romance-novel sort of way. Women know what I am talking about. Remember the tears I mentioned 2 Likes ago? I cried at least 3 times.
4. The sets: From Christian’s freaky playroom to his sterile apartment and office, each set looked meticulous in thought. When Anastasia says “Look at me” to Christian, the contrast is apparent to the clean lines of everything in his world. I know films wait until the correct light when filming outdoor scenes, but it almost makes you feel like the director yelled “Cut!” and then the sun set, off work at last.
5. The music: Oh the music! From the remix of Beyonce‘s “Crazy in Love” to Annie Lennox‘s cover of Sinatra’s “I Put a Spell on You” (here below), the music is a character of its own, and a good one. Even just the background music (you can hear some in the trailer below), is placed just so. That is to be expected when a movie is stamped with “Music by Danny Elfman” (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, and on and on and on..).