Genres: Erotic Romance
Fifty Shades of Grey is the hotly anticipated film adaptation of the bestselling book that has become a global phenomenon. Since its release, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has been translated in 52 languages worldwide and sold more than 90 million copies in e-book and print—making it one of the biggest and fastest-selling book series ever.
Stepping into the roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, who have become iconic to millions of readers, are Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. Joining them in the cast are Luke Grimes as Christian’s brother, Elliot; Victor Rasuk as Anastasia’s close friend, José; and Jennifer Ehle as Anastasia’s mother, Carla. Fifty Shades of Grey is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside E L James, the creator of the series. The screenplay is by Kelly Marcel, with revisions by Patrick Marber and Mark Bomback.
Fifty Shades of Grey
I like so many around the world could not wait to see the story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel come to life on the big screen. I think where I may have differed from most was I never connected an actor or actress to the characters in the book.
The day finally arrived and I was waiting in intense anticipation for 8pm to roll around. The fantasy that EL James created and the movie I had played thousands of times in my mind would finally play out in front of my eyes.
The first thing I noticed when I was in the theater lobby was the crackle of excitement from all who ran up to the large and may I say enticing display of the film. Some stood in front and took pictures, others stood in groups. Some were bold enough to lay a hand upon Christian’s chest and one well she planted a kiss right on those luscious lips. Granted it was a cardboard cutout but no one seemed to mind.
Upon walking into the theater my first surprise, the many men seated in the first row. Now granted they were with their dates but I will admit I was still surprised. The second thing I noticed was how hyped up everyone was. People who did not know each other all taking, laughing and waiting not so patiently for the theater lights to dim. Phones illuminated the theater as people posted on Facebook, took selfies and group pictures and stirred in their seats awaiting the start of the film.
The previews end… the phones go black and the clouds of the opening sequence roll in and with it applause. As silence fills the room one man screams out “go get ‘em Christian” and laughter ensues breaking the nervous tension.
Having no preconceived notions of what to expect I have to say I adored the film. The transfer from book to screenplay was extremely well written. I loved the humor that had been infused into the script and found it a wonderful way to showcase Dakota’s immense talent while playing the role of Ana. Jamie played the role of Christian Grey well. I found that his facial expressions as much as his body language brought the character full circle.
The supporting cast worked well and I was very impressed with Marcia Gay Harden as Christian’s mother. Though the supporting cast’s part were small I felt they were well-played out.
I guess what you really want to know about is the sex. Working within the rating the film received I found the sex scenes to be perfect. Sensual, exciting, enticing and hot … so very hot.
Were there things from the book I wish could have made into the movie, you bet. I will say I was not disappointed as I realize that time limitations were a factor. I also believe there would never be a way to please all of the fans as we each have our own favorite parts.
The ending. I knew how it ended, in fact I remember my exact feelings when reading the series for the first time. I was shattered, stunned into disbelief by not only Ana’s willingness to try but the outcome. So when the scene in the movie played out I stunned myself. My reaction shook me to my core. From the first sound effect I held my breath and did not release it until Ana shed her last tear.
Now I will admit to you I have seen the film twice. The second time was better than the first. While I left the first film enjoying Jamie’s performance the second film sold me on him as Christian Grey. The second time around was just as if not more enjoyable. Today I left the theater with the same feeling I had when I finished the first book I.WANT.MORE.
On a side not Fifty Shades holds a very special meaning to me. It introduced me to a large group of amazing women who I would never had the privilege of knowing without the book and a private Facebook page. Within that group was one special lady who so graciously extended me an invitation to become a guest reviewer on her blog. In doing so I have become a part of the amazing and talented women at Literati Literature Lovers. They enrich my life on a daily basis and I am so proud to not only call them friends but to be included on their amazing team.
While writing my thoughts, I have not read what Debbie wrote, and I’m not even going to try and compete with her. 🙂 I’ve always told Debbie that she has a magical way with words and should consider writing her own book. What a gift–one that I do no possess.
I attended the 8:00 PM showing of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie on Thursday, February 12, 2015, which was at the exact same time Debbie had gone. She lives near Chicago, and I live near Atlanta. I attended the showing with one of my best friends who had listened to the books on audio upon lots of coercion from me. ( Sadly, we were both “closet readers” when it came to the trilogy. More to come on that subject.) The sold-out theater consisted of mainly women and a few brave men. One couple was clearly in their early eighties. Loved it.
First thought: Jamie Dornan was too short and too skinny for the role of Christian Grey. Now, those ripped jeans that hung low on his hips were absolutely perfect! 🙂 He was very robotic and at times I felt like he was reading from a script. His words didn’t flow which meant the scenes didn’t flow. Based on his interview with Jimmy Fallon, he stated that he speaks with an Irish accent and had to adjust that with his role because Christian does not have an accent. I think that may have contributed to his awkward acting/talking.
There was quite a bit of laughter by the audience during the scene where Anastasia interviews Christian. I absolutely loved the piano score that was playing in the background near the end of the interview. It was perfect.
The scene in Clayton’s Hardware where Christian shows up for his “supplies” was funny and absolutely perfect. I loved Anastasia here and the overall “feel” of that scene and when she referred to Christian as a “serial killer.”
I did not like Jamie’s acting during the scene where he and Anastasia go out for coffee. Again, it seemed robotic and lacked enthusiasm and emotion.
Favorite Scene: When Anastasia drunk calls and texts Christian from the bar. This was the scene that truly made me fall in love with Dakota playing the role of Anastasia. (Side note: I was not really a fan of either of the two who were cast for the roles of Christian or Anastasia. Quite honestly, I had zero faith in Dakota pulling off this role. Wow, did she ever prove me wrong.)
The music playing during the helicopter ride to Seattle was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I believe it was Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do.
“I don’t make love. I fuck…hard.” Again, lots of screaming throughout the theater.
Disappointment: Elliot Grey said “Laters baby” to Kate. And then Christian said it to Anastasia, and it was just weird and awkward. I felt nothing like I felt while reading the book. No swooning.
Biggest Disappointment: One of my favorite scenes from the book is when Christian and Anastasia wake up early “to chase the dawn.” I could visualize that scene so perfectly. So I was very excited to see this happening in the movie. But instead they rode in a glider on a very, very cloudy day that just didn’t have the “power” that that scene did in the book, and Christian never mentioned chasing the dawn. This would have been something so easy to do. This is where we would have seen a sweet, playful, and romantic side of Christian. I’m swooning just thinking about it.
Second Favorite Scene: The negotiation of the contract took place in Christian’s office, with was dimly lit like a restaurant, on a long table. Christian was seated at one end and Anastasia was at the other. This is when I could truly see how Anastasia was in charge and that Christian just wanted her any way he could have her. She set the tone! I loved her negotiating skills, and this scene was funny and light hearted as well.
The last ten minutes of the movie literally broke my heart, which is when Christian punished Anastasia in the Red Room with six whips of the belt. I cringe just thinking about it and could barely watch that scene played out on the big screen. Once again, Dakota’s acting was superb as she lie in bed sobbing, realizing that she could not love Christian or be who he wanted her to be.
When I first read the Fifty Shades books, I didn’t know that they were Fanfiction (Twilight) until two months afterwards. However, there were numerous times throughout this movie where I thought I was watching Twilight or got confused, especially when it came to Anastasia/Bella. This definitely distracted me on numerous occasions.
Now, I will tell you that I am completely and utterly obsessed with the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. Every song was just perfect and such a compliment to the entire movie. I loved that a few of the original songs from the book were also included in the movie and soundtrack (I’m On Fire, Witchcraft). Earned It has been on constant repeat too!
Since the movie is from a third person perspective, we never get to know what Ana is thinking or feeling unlike the books which is told from Ana’s POV. Much of the book is pages and pages of Anastasia contemplating her feelings for Christian or hearing about her inner Goddess.
When I left the theater that evening, I was really disappointed and said I wouldn’t see the movie again and probably wouldn’t see the next two movies. However, after replaying different parts of the movie in my mind, I think I really liked it more than I thought and do want to see it again.
Now back to my previous comment of being a “closet reader.” I read FSOG in April 2012 but never publicly talked about it on my personal Facebook. I was in a private FSOG group, had run a successful FSOG online book club, and was involved in two blogs. Today, after much thought, I decided to “come out” as a closet reader. Many of my “Christian” friends had been very judgmental and quite vocal over the books and movie. Here’s a small portion of my post:
“Anyhow, as a married woman of 22 years to my high school sweetheart, feel free to judge me, pray for me, or pity me. And before you protest or give me your piece of mind about why I would read such trash, please read the books first. There is no rape. And there is no abuse. As a professional male reviewer said it best, ‘It’s about how she (Ana) redeems the psychologically twisted Grey—it’s not for nothing his first name’s Christian—by teaching him how to love, in part by meeting him halfway in his desires. This is, beneath it all, corny stuff, but what makes it engaging is Johnson, an actress of ineffably awkward charm, who pulls off the trick of bringing a thinly drawn character to vibrant life.'”
If I had to rate the movie like books, I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. But I would never, ever recommend seeing the movie without reading all three books first–yes, all three. Because honestly, the movie is a little screwed up , and I never really saw the real love that Christian had for Anastasia. I didn’t see that develop in the movie.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be fair to tell you how thankful I am for E.L. James. For the past three years, my life has become richer from all the close friendships I’ve made over this one common bond–Christian Grey/Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy. Laters baby.