Monday, February 23, 2015

50 Shades of Nay

I haven’t laughed that hard in a movie in a really, really long time.

At one point during 50 Shades of Grey, I was laughing so hard that I was wheezing and crying at the same time. Considering it was when Christian had just told Ana he was going to fuck her into next week, I hardly think I had the response the filmmakers intended.

I don’t even know where to begin. Was it the wooden acting, the stilted dialogue, or the least erotic sex scenes since Monty Python? When the movie ended, one of my friends who had not read the book and knew little about the movie was actually shocked Christian was supposed to be seen as sexy at all. She thought he was supposed to be a little boy lost. Honestly, poor Christian looked like he was going to weep when he had to flog her and that wasn’t acting. That was just Jamie Dornan cringing at his career choices. He looked absolutely mortified at the words coming out of his own mouth. In fact, when he had to utter one of the signature lines of the book, “I’m 50 shades of fucked up,” he couldn’t even face the camera. That is a man who went home and took a chemical shower after shooting every day. Was he a good Christian? Well, if you like serial killers, sure. Every line came out so flat and absent of any emotion, I thought the red room of pain was going to turn into Dexter’s kill room. Maybe the Irish actor just couldn’t pull off an American accent, but maybe the director should have screen-tested for that before they cast him? I’ve never seen more than a commercial for Sons of Anarchy, but from those 30 second bites alone, I can tell you that Charlie Hunnam would have left us all wanting more. Jamie Dornan just left us wanting.

Moving on to Ana – she was fine. In fact, she actually managed to breathe some life into the caricature that is the written Anastasia Steele. She was cute and funny and pretty to look at, which is great since we spent 90 percent of the movie in extreme close up of her face and various other body parts. From where I was sitting in the movie theater, I thought her nipples were going to poke my eyes out. I will never understand why a movie meant for women spent so much time showing me a naked woman. If I want to see boobs, I’ll look down my own shirt. (It must have been a very cold movie set because that poor woman had nipples that could etch glass. One fellow movie buddy actually wondered if she had a nipple fluffer because they never flagged.) Why am I spending so much time talking about her nipples? Because the movie Never. Stopped. Showing. Them. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they were in the end credits. How many shots of Christian’s naked ass did we get? One. One measly second of male nudity, but enough lingering shots of Ana that I could tell you Dakota Johnson’s most personal grooming habits.

How were the sex scenes? Mediocre at best. One friend spent the sex scenes worrying about a mole on the actresses’ arm. While I will admit that my theater filled with women did seem to spend a lot of time squirming in their seats during the sex scenes, it was mostly because they were so uncomfortable to watch. She was all gasping and writhing while he just stared at her with dead eyes, no smile, and a flogger. He wasn’t come hither, he was creepy. And not to be overly graphic (but there is almost no way to avoid it), no one ever had a happy. This is a movie about sex. When they aren’t having sex, they are talking about sex. If you excise all the scenes where they do neither, the movie length shrinks to that of the average Super Bowl commercial. The characters had to finish at some point. I mean, they were always shown either sleeping or playing the piano (fully dressed) afterward, but did they get to make an O face? Did they reach their happy place? We’ll never know because the director never showed us. The audience was blue-balled.

The biggest problem with the book remains the biggest problem with the movie - their relationship is disturbing. He would say something that would make any sane women run screaming into another room, and she would just smile. A guy who tells me to “EAT!” on a coffee date? Or who basically breaks into my house, steals my car, follows me across the country, makes me sign a non-disclosure agreement so that I have no legal recourse in the event of any abuse, and tells me that I’ll need a safe word on the first date? RED FLAG! RED FLAG! If he was some mid-level manager at a big box store, with a slightly receding hairline, and who drove a Toyota? She would have called the cops on him the minute he just shows up at her place of employment asking for zip ties, duct tape, and a length of rope. His behavior screams murderer not lover. Run! RUN!

And then, just when you thought the movie couldn’t get any worse – it does.



When the movie ended, abruptly, in what appeared to be the middle of a scene, in what should have been roughly the second act, I actually yelled out loud, “Where the FUCK is rest of the movie?” And I was supposed to have given up cursing for Lent too. But honestly, what the hell happened? The movie ending was the equivalent of finding out your book chapter ended in the middle of a sentence. It didn’t so much end as just stop playing. One of the ladies behind me (not in my group) stated that she was not leaving the theater until the rest of the movie finished playing and I could understand her frustration. I know that this is supposed to be a trilogy, but I’m pretty sure that means there should be three separate plots over the course of three separate movies, not one plot that just stops mid-scene and continues two years later. This wasn’t just a girl interrupted in the middle of her thoughts, this was just girl. She didn’t get far enough in the story to have thoughts.

I knew this movie was going to be stupid. The source material was stupid. I knew it was going to be ridiculous because the source material was ridiculous. However, I still expected a full-length motion picture. This was a short-film stretched to the point of breaking. Am I glad I saw it? Yes, I don’t like to be ignorant and if I am going to argue about something, I better damn well know what I am talking about. Also, I had a great time with my friends I think you would as well. So, grab a handful of your best buddies (leave the husbands at home) and go to the show. It’s worth it. Everyone needs a little release and I assure you, you will laugh so hard that all the tension will absolutely melt away from your body, leaving you with a warm, satisfying finish. 

Don't want to see the movie? I'll sum it up for you.

Meet cute
Him - I can't be with you, but I can't stay away from you.
Her - Um
Him - This is how I have sex. I want to have sex this way with you.
Her - Um.
Him - Can I do these things to you?
Her - Um. Maybe.
Him - I want to do these things to you.
Her - Why do you want to do these things?
Him - Because I like to do these things.
Him - Can I do these things?
Her - Let's discuss these things.
Him - Can I do them Now?
Her - Sure, but only some.
Her - Ok, do the worst of those things to me.
Him - (Does worst)
Her - Oh, ow, that hurt, why did you do that to me?
Him - Baffled.
Her - But why would you do those things to me? What you make you ever think you could do those things to me?
Him - ?????

Move ends. 

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