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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

From Book to Movie: Fifty Shades of Grey

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Let's just say, I was not going to write this post. I wasn't. However, I have been a little curious about people's thoughts on the film. So I figured, might as well share mine.

The Book

What a piece of crap. I first read Fifty Shades of Grey, by EL James back in 2012 at the peak of it's hype. Everyone woman in the office I was working at was reading it, and I wanted in on the craze. I don't think I have read such a terrible book in my life. If you've read the book, than you know. The writing is embarrassingly bad: From the dialogue all the way to the sentence structures and descriptions. I don't know what publishers were thinking printing this book- but, they must have been onto something, because Fifty Shades of Grey has gone on to sell something like 100 million copies or something stupid like that. Why though? I am certain there was and has been better erotic fiction written.

I guess I can sort of see the appeal. Regular boring girl, wins the attention of young billionaire bachelor. He's rich, he's hot, and he wants her so badly he can't seem to stay away. It's every girls fantasy, (have I mentioned yet,  James initially wrote this as a Twilight fan fiction... *le sigh*). What's funny about this book though, readers everywhere knew it was bad, gross bad. But like any disturbing thing, you can't help but stare, an share it with your friends (I know I certainly encouraged a couple ladies to read it- "guys, you have to read this, it's so bad, just read it.")

I attempted to reread Fifty Shades of Grey in November in anticipation of the film, but I couldn't do it. The writing was bad, the relationship was messed up, the dialogue was EYE ROLL inducing. I just could not. I have since skimmed it. I also have only read the first two books in the trilogy, I couldn't force myself to read the third. I don't think I ever will.

Anywho, let's get onto what we're really here for...

The Movie

When I first heard that Fifty Shades of Grey was going to be a movie, my first reaction was: Whaaaaa?!?! How on earth was this even a possibility. Fifty Shades of Grey, and erotic novel, how?Even now,  I find myself shaking my head thinking, I can't believe they made a movie, I can't believe it.

I went into this movie with low expectations. Very low expectations. The trailers hadn't blown me away. Nor has the cast really (even though, I am a HUGE Jamie Dornan fan, I thought Christian Grey was beneath him).  But I knew I was going to see the film- what can I say, I love the movies.  So, I went. On a Monday afternoon, with a girlfriend.

Really, the movie is kind of dumb. But I loved it. It was the perfect combo of corny and eye rolling. It was a grown up Twilight (and I loved Twilight).  Much like Twilight, the movie took away most of what made the book unbearable. Such as, The ridiculous dialogue (although there was still plenty of it), and the millions of ridiculous emails the two send to one another were also missing. In it's place, there was spunk and humour. Where somethings in the book were down right pathetic, the movie kind of made a joke out of them. I really appreciated that. I felt like I was part of one big inside joke.

I am not saying that the whole film was one big satire. It was not. The movie gets pretty nitty gritty. So, yeah, let's talk about the sexy times. They were sexy. I'd even go as far to say they were tasteful. This movie is not a pornography, I wouldn't even go as far as to say it's soft core porn, it's not graphic or smutty. There are less then five sex scenes in the movie, Dakota Johnson goes fully nude in the film, but not in a exhibitionist kind of way. She's just naked. I was initially a little shocked by what I was seeing, but then I thought, Sara, you've seen both True Blood and Game of Thrones, both Television shows are more sexually explicit than this. And it's the truth.

And finally, our Christian and Ana.

 Let's just say, Dakota Johnson completely stole the show! She was absolutely brilliant. She was so charming, and really brought Ana to life. And made her likeable. I don't know about you, but book Ana was awful. Whiny and annoying. Not movie Ana.  Dakota says something in the March issue of Glamour magazine, she says she doesn't see Ana as being weak, she believes her to be stronger than Christian is. I don't believe that to be true about book Ana, Movie Ana-Dakota's Ana, I would agree. I am completely smitten by Dakota Johnson. Jamie Dornan, I love him. I think he's so handsome, and a brilliant actor- if you haven't seen him in The Fall, you need to, he will creep you right out. I wasn't thrilled with him being cast as Christian Grey- like I mentioned earlier, he could do so much better. I couldn't picture it- I couldn't picture anyone being Christian Grey. I don't know if he did a spectacular job, but I thought it was believable. And he was hot.

I am sure there are 10 million other things I could talk about, in regards to this film. The chemistry between Dakota and Jamie (I thought it was fine), does it promote/support rape culture (absolutely not), is it an abusive relationship (perhaps, it's definitely unbalanced and dysfunctional). But I don't think that I need to. It was a fun film to watch with a friend, where we could giggle like we were back in high school. I certainly hope the sequels get the green light- that ending.

Ps- The soundtrack is spectacular! I am obsessed with the song Earned It by The Weekend. So good.

What about you guys? Have you seen the movie? What were your thoughts? I'm curious, so let me know.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

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  1. I will prob see this movie sometime eventually. And I'm thinking I'll find it just as entertaining as you did. I don't know why, but there is something comforting about watching a corny movie whereas with a book you just want to rip your eyes out? Does that make sense? Of course, it helps that Ana isn't annoying in the movie as she is in the book. I'm surprised that you say there wasn't as much sex/nudity as there is in GoT/TB. I'm curious how they pulled that off, made the transition to movie format without making things too porny. So yes, I'm intrigued about watching it now... though I won't be paying theatre price to go see it. Maybe I would if I knew anybody who would go see it with me!

  2. This is very interesting. I saw the movie and I was laughing at all the inappropriate places and kind of snoozed through the sex scenes because i didn't think they were that interesting or erotic, or even you know, all that much - i think a regular episode of Game of Thrones has just as much sex and nudity - so I was pretty Meh about it.

    I thought the leads had some chemistry when they weren't trying to pushing, but no one looked as disinterested in being a Dom as Jamie Dornan, he was bored out of his mind during those scenes and you can so tell.


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"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
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