Monday, March 2, 2015

50 Shades of Blah

It is becoming more apparent that in our society, if there is a hit book that sweeps the nation, it will probably be a hit movie within a year.  As a person who enjoys to read and loves book versions 9 times out of 10 better than the movie version, you could imagine my dismay when I heard they were turning 50 Shades of Grey into a movie.  Not because I thought the integrity of the book would be compromised because honestly, it's just a well written romance novel and could be interchanged with any love story. This love story just so happens to be one that embodies a lifestyle that many people are curious about but maybe not interested in pursuing themselves.

If you have read the books then you will understand how intense the chemistry and relationship is between Anastasia and Christian.  It's something that while reading will consume your thoughts and make you question certain things about your sexual appetites.  At first you may think it's just some perverse book about a woman who is giving herself over completely to a man and letting him completely take over.  This simply isn't the case.  The book depicts a relationship of a woman trying to figure out who she is, what love is and if the man she loves is worth loving.  The gratuitous sex is just a bonus and quite frankly refreshing.  It doesn't give the illusion of some "white knight" scenario and that as adults, whatever your choice may be, it's still your choice.

After hearing that this franchise was going to become a movie, I was very flabbergasted.   How can you possibly make books that are this graphic into movies, with ratings that are acceptable and not compromise the book?  The answer, you can't.  When they originally cast Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey, I was briefly excited because I felt like his work on Sons of Anarchy would be a great contribution to the character.  Then they cast Dakota Johnson, who has had some minor roles in various projects, she's still fairly unknown.   While I wasn't necessarily pleased with the choice of leading lady, I understood why they would need someone like her.  No actress that has any major credit behind her would want to touch this project.  It's way too controversial and there would be a substantial amount of nudity.   Then it was announced that Charlie Hunnam was having to back out of the project due to "scheduling conflicts" with Sons of Anarchy.  It's my belief that they hadn't fully disclosed the nature of the book and before signing anything, the actor actually read the material and decided that this probably wasn't the best choice to further his career.  

Once they finally landed on Jamie Dornan and cemented the premier date on 2/14/15, I knew the project was going to be everything that the bleeding hearts of the world wanted it to be, a diet coke version of the material that E.L. James had written.  Not one to completely write something off though, I decided that I should see the movie and give it a chance.  

After deciding to watch the movie opening night and seeing the crazed fans that were there to watch the film, I let myself get optimistic, hopeful even.  Maybe this could be a film that wouldn't disappoint it's written work.   Unfortunately I was disappointed and not at all surprised.  While Johnson and Doran slip beautifully into the roles given to them, the writing and direction of the film were meh at best.  I knew it wouldn't be as intense as the books but I also felt like the attraction between these actors wasn't quite there and it had nothing to do with the actors themselves but the body of the work.  I wasn't buying what they were selling.  At the end of the movie, I could actually see her never coming back and being able to survive.  Granted her being a virgin would compromise her a little bit emotionally, if you are putting things into real life terms, this girl would have quite the story to tell.  She lost her V card to a billionaire philanthropist, not too shabby in the grand scheme of things.  Not wanting to live this lifestyle of getting "rewarded" when good and "punished" when bad is also understandable because this type of behavior would only happen really with children and not adults.  Since you have no real idea why someone would feel the need to act this way  (because they haven't explained any of his background in the first film) it gets a little muddled and her reaction to leave the apartment at the end is the same reaction that anyone would have in that same situation. 

The movie is ideal for those who are wanting to pretend to have a spicy romantic life and it could open up the topic of conversation to heat things up in the bedroom with your partner but ultimately this movie is the equivalent of a Twilight or Divergent series.  Something that wants to be as successful and awesome as the Hunger Games or Harry Potter but never being able to reach its true potential.   

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