So I went against my own word and saw Fifty Shades of Grey Valentine’s Day weekend! Considering the overwhelming response my previous “50 Shades Disillusioned” blog has received, I figured I’d share my thoughts with everyone. It wasn’t as bad as everyone is making it out to be. I don’t think most people trashing it as bad as they are went in with an open mind. Was it really any worse than ‘Twilight’? Was it really any different than any other modern day chick flick? I think some simply decided they hated the book years ago (probably without reading that either), and were just going to trash the movie regardless without even seeing it. And they sure as hell have, wow. In my case, Paying $30 for every movie I see ensures I go into EVERY movie with an open mind, wanting to like it. There were alot of laughs. Like, consistently for the first hour. Not in a way that ruined the movie. If you dont find yourself laughing at some points during the majority of these far-fetched chick flicks, even as a woman, that’s kind of strange anyway right? I dont think it wrongly “glorified” anything about his behavior like some reviews said. You find yourself rooting for the guy to get over his obsessions and demons because he’s obviously shown to be unhappy. I think the only thing ‘glorifying anything its just some of the goofy fan girls saying ‘marry me christian grey’ and talking about finding their own Christian Grey, whatever that means exactly, and it can mean any number of things. That’s with any guy in any romance story though. I didn’t feel like the movie portrayed him as someone to be idolized over whatsoever. He seemed weird and straight creepy for the majority of it, things he would say, and especially when he would simply appear out of nowhere, or fly across country to take a drink out of Anna’s hand. That wasn’t the actor. That’s how he was written. As someone who’s worked through my own real life intimacy issues that the movie deals with, I thought the movie was responsible, and I was not expecting to feel that way. It wasn’t all that romantic. The soundtrack is good, and the movie itself was put together very well in every aspect. As soon as the heart of the movie started to reveal itself, very late into the movie, it abruptly ended to make way for sequels, so it’s hard to judge completely.
It’s a funny thing. There was a point in time where seeing the movie probably would have enticed me quite a bit, even as touch and go as it was. (He only spanked her 3 times? Really?) There was another point where it may have even bothered me quite a bit to sit through. Now, however, it did absolutely nothing for me on either end. I guess that goes to show just how much has changed and progressed over the past few years for me.
And enough about how this poor actor didn’t “FIT” as Christian Gray. His acting was fine, passable. The lines would have been hard for anyone to say without sounding silly. This is not the actors fault. It’s the writers job to create good dialogue, and strong characters. ‘Christian Grey’ is simply not a character of great depth. EL James is not a writer of great dialogue, either. Method actors like Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio or Bradley Cooper didn’t need to be called in for this task, not that they were going to be taking the calls anyway. There’s a reason why no one can seem to agree on who or what Christian Grey should have been: It’s a fictional story that takes place in the imagination, so everyone fills in the blanks with what they want. And this clearly is what happened with the character “Christian Grey”, who from one woman to the next will SWEAR he is several quite different, yet specific things or “ways”. It’s not even a matter of interpretation or discussion for some of them. Hell people swore that I was ‘Christian Grey’ for years, and I don’t think I’m really anything like what I saw on the screen. That is the beauty of books in many ways. Women prefer erotic novels to erotic films by a ridiculous margin for this reason. When something is committed to screen, the imagination is forever destroyed. Jamie Dornan IS Christian Grey, for better or worse. Google it, and he is what will come up until the end of time, for better or worse. Just like Daniel Radcliff will for “Harry Potter”, and Robert Pattison will for “Edward Cullen”. Did Leonardo Dicaprio not look enough like Jay Gatsby? Was Ryan Gosling the perfect fit for Noah? Does Jennifer Lawrence not fit the part of Katniss? Who knows, they are fictional characters! There is no right answer. Beauty is subjective. There is no one choice that would have satisfied everyone woman’s imaginations, and there is no adaptation of this book that would have satisfied everyone either.
Like the books female character, the readers interest in the man comes before their interest in his unique sexual quirks. They accept it, like Anastasia, because they are bought into the guy as “fill in your perfect man”. She doesn’t love BDSM, she loves him. She’s only open to considering it because of him. It’s more about the relationship between the two, with everything else merely as a backdrop. It allows women the illusion of feeling like they are super wild and kinky for liking the book. I’ve met these women in person, who’s only claim to ‘kinkiness’ was this book. Trust me, kinky they aren’t. Because essentially, it’s your typical cliche romance novel, disguised as something different and risque. Two people madly, immediately in love with each other. Replace the judgmental parents obstacle with “I’m too damaged to love” obstacle. Replace the sunny southern countryside of a Nicholas Sparks novel with mansions and corporate skyscrapers. Replace “All American down to earth sweetheart guy” with “handsome yet troubled billionaire.” Just replace the kissing in the rain scene with sex. Well, replace just about every scene with sex, which I think continually holds the story back ironically. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to sex, at least in books and movies. Actually, only in books and movies. Call me old fashioned, but I think ultimately, while they aren’t perfect either, the Nicholas Sparks cliches hit closer to home and resonate more with the heart. I think what’s really needed is something else entirely that is more realistic to love and relationships. Unfortunately, the public and Hollywood seem to think ‘realistic’ means pessimistic takes on relationships without any heart, or “Anti-Love”, and that doesn’t have to be the case. As they say sometimes when you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself. Maybe I’ll just have to do that. All in due time.