Pretty dull, considering the subject matter. So this is about English major Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). She fills in for her friend to interview the mysterious billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Her life is about to be turned upside down when he asks her out on a date, and she soon learns about his sordid bedroom activities. It has been confirmed: this was originally conceived as Twilight fan-fiction. Talk about setting your sights low; speaking as somebody who has seen all five Twilight movies, I can rightfully say: those are stories that don’t need additional exploration. It’s a series that is already stretched as is, who needs to see the further adventures? These are different characters, sure, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the female protagonists; both Bella Swan and Anastasia Steele are equals as far as being complete blank slates. They’re both not terrible looking, but they are not drop-dead gorgeous to the point that guys should be fighting for them; if either one of them were playing hard-to-get, I promise you: any guy would just move on.
This series is wildly popular, and I really haven’t been able to determine why. I have not read the books, but my wife confirmed that they are amateurishly written, overusing the word “clamor” more times than she could count. What’s frustrating about this material has very little to do with the depravity of it all, it is grating because the characters are so inconsistent. As smart as Anastasia is supposed to be, she freaks out when Christian does his usual activities… that is literally what she signed up for, and I do mean that a contract is drafted. At the same time, Christian repeatedly says “I don’t do romance”, and then proceeds to take Anastasia on helicopter rides, plane rides, and out for family dinners. Apart from having a dark streak in the bedroom, the guy does nothing BUT romance. Both of them do nothing but send mixed signals, which would be frustrating in any relationship, never mind in a movie.
This is also really creepy, and again, it has very little to do with the kinky flair this story has to it. Christian is essentially a sexually scarred Bruce Wayne throughout this, and he appears out of nowhere at Anastasia’s place of work to surprise her with a date. He also apparently has tracking hooked up to her BAL, because the moment Anastasia has one drink too many, he again, appears out of nowhere. He has so many sociopathic tendencies that it would cause red flags to go up for anybody, but Anastasia remains oblivious throughout. You can watch this as an unintentional comedy and have a movie to laugh at and make fun of all of the melodrama, much like The Boy Next Door, but that’s really the best I can say about it. This story will lead women to believe that you can change your man to be the guy of your dreams, which is not a message females today really need to be hearing. Bottom line: both of these characters need to get over themselves, and I promise you will feel the same way if you choose to watch this.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) *1/2
– Critic for Hire