|"Christian, blindfold me from this stupid movie you've put me in!"|
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. U.S.A., English, Color, 125 minutes) I have never read a single sentence in any of the three books from the erotic bestselling trilogy known as "Fifty Shades", and I really don't need to. The story about the sadomasochistic entanglement between the naïve Anastasia Steele and the billionaire Christian Grey seemed like schmaltz that taps into the deep sexual desires of women all over.
Seeing as I hate schmaltzy relationships and my sex life is fine, I wasn't the demo for these books anyway.
The latest literature phenomenon after "Twilight" about abusive relationships disguised as love had women glued to their books and e-readers as they thumbed through pages of bondage and dark sexual encounters.
It seemed inevitable that it became adapted for the big screen, and now that it's here I wish there was something that would have made seeing it worthwhile.
When I walked into the packed Valentine's Day showing with my girl friend and honkered down next to a man pulled into the macabre by his significant other, I immediately made my reasons for seeing the movie known: It looked awful, and I was hoping that it would be "Showgirls" bad - a term used to describe the 1995 campy stripper movie that is so bad it's good.
The guy must have thought we were crazy for wanting to be tortured like the female lead of the movie. As it is, I think everyone in the audience was more tortured than Anastasia.
In this glacially-paced film, Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) have a more boring sex life than anyone else I've ever openly talked to about sex, and they use whips and chains! What starts as genuine curiosity grows into stone-faced, monotonous back-and-forth conversations about (not) being a couple and what exactly things like submission and butt plugs are — that last one killed me.
Sex sells, it explains why over 100 million copies of the books have sold around the world, and then becoming the number one movie in America over Valentine's Day weekend. I wish this movie had some intimate and graphic sex scenes to back-up the cultural rumblings that launched its popularity.
I've never seen such boring and uninteresting sex in my life. And if you want to see some real flogging and masochism, watch "The Passion of the Christ" because this movie provides none.
First off, nothing kills the mood more during the very few sexual encounters than the overbearing music that play every time, whether it be the original score by Danny Elfman or the 18,287 songs that played during the most intimate moments. To me, sex on film is most effective when it's raw and lacking any soundtrack. I want to hear and see the pleasures and/or awkwardness that comes from sex, not the stupid sex playlist someone created for the mood. This was more like a jukebox musical it had so much music in it.
Second, Dakota and Jamie have no chemistry with each other. He stares at her with some intensity and she always looks like she's on the verge of crying. Sex in movies is great, and is even hotter when there's some level of chemistry between the actors. I had more chemistry with the guy I talked to when I first got to my seat than those two had in the two-hour runtime.
Lastly, there is not much sex to be shown. It's mostly reaction shots of what's going on. Faces moaning from "pleasure", thrusting bodies we only see from the chest up and curling toes. If this is a movie about bondage I better see some whip-to-flesh action instead of seeing what kind of responses come from certain actions.
In addition to the boring sex, the dialogue is poor and unintentionally hilarious. So funny that people laughed more at this movie than the trailers for upcoming comedy releases. And Christian and Anastasia are such annoying characters they're insufferable. Everyone says one thing and does another. You get tired of their games and ignorance so easily.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" more pedantic than it is pleasurable. To take a page from the hilarious HBO comedy "Veep", this film is a Viagra prohibitor.
The one good thing I can say about the movie is that while using my theater rewards card to buy the tickets I got a free one. Must have been a sign that since I couldn't get a refund they might as well pay me back for my time wasted.