Disclaimer before we begin this post: We don’t, in any way, shape, or form, condone the abusive nature of the storyline of 50 Shades of Grey. We realize the subject matter is a sensitive one and, in this post, we will not be discussing controversial themes. This is purely an account of our experience. Having heard that the movie strayed significantly from the themes of the book, we decided, as “movie investigators” (Rachel came up with that one), to find out for ourselves.
Many years ago, Rachel picked up the 50 Shades of Grey novel at her local bookstore, accidentally assuming (Rachel would really like to stress that this was an accident) that it was a murder mystery novel (oh, how wrong she was). Merilla had read the book also, not knowing what it was about. For those who don’t know, 50 Shades of Grey was originally posted on a website as Twilight fanfiction, but somehow (how did this happen????) got published. Like, really published. Really poorly written fanfiction was made into a book. A publisher sat down and thought to him or herself, “Hey. Yeah. This is a good idea. We should publish this for all to see.” The book details the relationship between two characters, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, the former of which is obsessed with BDSM. Anastasia is swept up in a sketchy and extremely controlling relationship, which has bothered many readers and caused much controversy over how women are treated in literature.
So, knowing all of this, we put our reservations aside, because we knew that two Beyoncé remixes were on the soundtrack. If anything, you should listen to those. You don’t even need to see the movie.
We walk into the movie theater and it is packed with college students, old women, and people on dates (we’re not sure they knew what the movie was about). The best part of this experience was easily the audience’s reactions and commentary throughout the film. The first 30 minutes of the film were unbearably awkward to the point where the entire audience was laughing. We want to give the directors the benefit of the doubt and assume that the dialogue was intentionally one-dimensional and awkward, but we can’t really say that with straight faces.
The relationship between Anastasia and Christian goes from 0 to 100 in two minutes. First, they are getting coffee and then, literally two days after they met, he’s going on about how they can’t be together *cue brooding stare*. We can’t keep ourselves together – we’re cracking up the entire time and so is the rest of the crowd. As expected, a good chunk of the movie portrays Anastasia and Christian getting intimate. We wouldn’t recommend seeing it with your parents, grandparents, mailman, RA, pet, or significant others.
Jamie Dornan, who played Christian, is extremely attractive. His shining moment was when he “seductively” bit a piece of toast and everyone, including Anastasia, is like, “Wait what? Was that supposed to be sexy?” He can definitely work a suit, but the entire movie, he had the same facial expression (a piercing stare and a smirk – oooo so mysterious).
Dakota Johnson was relatively convincing as Anastasia, particularly when Anastasia drunk dials Christian, making fun of how hot and cold he is *cue Katy Perry music*.
Looking back on the film with hindsight, the reviews we read were correct in that the movie emphasized consent much more than the book. Both Johnson and Dornan have, in multiple interviews, expressed that they do not condone the abusive underpinnings of Christian and Anastasia’s relationship. The directors also took the appropriate liberty of redefining the nature of their relationship. Of course, any film based even remotely on Twilight won’t be winning any awards except maybe “Best Unintentionally Awkward Movie of 2015”.
Reviews of the movie have been positive and negative. Here are some we found:
“Wow who knew eating carbs could be so sexy?” -The Washington Post
“Why wasn’t Nicolas Cage asked to be involved in this movie?” -Publicist of Nicolas Cage
“Wait…is this ACTUALLY a movie? And it’s made THAT much money? Is this the apocalypse? Am I having a stroke?” -Everyone everywhere