It’s finally happened. I’ve finally seen a movie that my friends were BEGGING me to go with them to see in theaters. They all thought that it was going to be a big laugh, and that we would sneak in some booze to the theater, a practices we have done many times before, to help with the lulz. I couldn’t do it. I have hated that story for ages, and I wasn’t about to let a movie theater have anymore money than necessary. Not for this garbage. I new that that film would SUCK the moment I saw the trailers. Hell, the moment I saw the book. It’s all such garbage. Garbage based on garbage! It started out at Twilight fan-fiction! The fuck?! Who would believe that I would pay money to see that?! Well, after much pushing, I relented and watched it on Netflix. I promised that I would do a review of this film, and I am a man of my word. Hopefully you all appreciate what I put myself through for you.
The first thing to know about this film is that its target audience is sad, middle-aged, suburban housewives whose marriages have dried up beyond recognition. The second thing to know about this film is that, must like the book, they can’t write a good Dom/sub relationship. The book doesn’t get how the dynamic works, and neither does this film. There are plenty of articles written about why the book misrepresents D/s relationships, so you can find that on your own. But I feel I have to clarify these statements, before I go any further.
Keeping with my formula, let’s talk about the “plot” of this film. I’m sure that I’m talking to myself here. Everyone has seen this movie, by now. The plot goes that Anastasia Steele (the ultimate porn name) gets out of college and goes to work for Christian Grey (not such a good porn name, but still decent). But, she also goes to work for him, in bed! (Ooooooh!) Thus begins the awkward and forced-as-fuck romance between the two of them. And that’s it. There is no more plot to this film. This film’s entire marketing is that it’s the same boring romance film, with an exotic edge. That’s it. Take out the S&M stuff, and this film is about as interesting as going to the zoo.
Man, what to talk about when looking at this movie. I guess the first thing that I really want to point out is that this film sucks. It really, really sucks. My friends all thought that they were going to go into the movie and get a good laugh at it. They believed that it would suck in a way where it’s kind of funny. And to be honest, it doesn’t. This is just a genuinely terrible movie, with no real enjoyment factor coming from how bad it is.
The strange part about how bad of a move this is is the fact that the director and everyone involved with the production side of this film actually tried to make it as good as they could. It’s like this person understood what a giant pile of shit she was handed, so she wanted to at least make it good enough to be forgotten. If that makes sense. Like, with the writing she was given, she could have gone all the way and made this on the same level as porn. It wouldn’t have been hard. Going all the way to mega-smut levels would have been easy. I mean, have you read any of that book? The narration makes it sound like the author is orgasming every fourth page! This film doesn’t have that narration. It is told straight. But this director could have kept that narration in there. She could have made it so that this film was just as smutty as the book. But she didn’t. She tried to class it up a bit. A noble effort, but misplaced. And it didn’t work. This film still sucks. A lot. But dear God did she try and make it better. I guess the goal was to make it so that it was only bad to the point that nobody will be thinking about it in 10 years. If so, bravo, good madam. You succeeded. This film will be forgotten in a few years.
All of that said, this movie still sucks. I got the impression throughout the entire film that every actor was doing this for the fame. They knew that Fifty Shades of Grey was hot, so they knew that being in this shit would get them name recognition. It was a ploy, and not the greatest one, either. Oh well, if that’s what they want to do. I remember hearing something about how the main dude who played Grey regretted being in this film. Self-awareness is a powerful trait.
Honestly not sure what else to say about this film. The sex scenes weren’t that hot. That was the marketing behind the book. It was porn, for women. But the director of this movie clearly didn’t know what she was doing with making scenes like that. The actors clearly didn’t know what they were doing in making the kinky scenes. Everyone involved would have been well-served by watching porn and taking notes. It would have made this far more enjoyable. What the hell, it wasn’t going to be good. So at least it could be memorable. This movie is so awful.
I suppose I could also talk about the “romance” element. It…existed. It wasn’t a situation like Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Episode II, where they had AWFUL chemistry. Nor did they have good chemistry. It…existed. There was just enough chemistry there to sell it, but not enough to make me believe it. Though, from what my friends told me, none of the housewives who were in the theater to see this shit wanted to see the romance anyway. There were huffs and puffs of impatience for the sex. See what I mean about them going all the way with the smut? The target audience for this crap clearly wants to see porn, but they want it to be classy enough so that they don’t get compared to men. It’s a bummer that this film is too self-aware to go that far.
All-in-all, this was a bad movie. But for those who are looking for a film that is so bad that you can laugh at it, I’m afraid that you’ll be disappointed. Oh, why am I bothering. Everyone who wanted to see this film, for whatever reason, already has. I am just making this review for my own gratification, so the audience that I have knows how much I think that two hours of my time was wasted. Keelah Se’lai.
5 out of 10