by Dan Colasimone
Somehow I never got around to reading E.L. James’s 50 Shades books as I was busy watching ABC News 24 and browsing ASOS, so the movie version of the original novel was a great chance for me to catch up on the storyline. Plus, reading about boobies is heaps of fun but I am a bit old fashioned and would prefer to see them on the big screen.
Since I have already started talking about boobies, and since the movie is mostly about sex, let me discuss the raunchy bits straight away. I was slightly bemused that those raunchy bits seemed to offer a lot more for us males in the audience (all three of us) than for the ladies. There was a high nork count throughout the movie and only the most fleeting glimpse of willy. It was so fleeting, in fact, that it may not have even been willy; it might have just been a the guy’s thumb or a stick of celery or something. Sure, we saw our fair share of sculpted male abs, but there was definitely more female flesh on display. As for the much-hyped S&M elements, well—I’m no bondage expert but it all appeared rather tame. Surely there’s more to it than blindfolds and a light whipping session?
The plot itself was about as feasible as that of the Cinderella trailer that played before the main feature. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a babein’ student who is made to look a little bit ‘plain’ in the way Hollywood movies make hot actresses look ‘plain,’ i.e. her hair is slightly less than perfect and she wears jumpers and jeans. She has to interview Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), who is a young, handsome billionaire who runs his own business empire. I don’t think it was explained what his business is. Possibly neck ties. He has a lot of neck ties. Even though he is the most eligible bachelor in the world and his office is staffed entirely by super models, he becomes immediately obsessed with Anastasia. He pursues her romantically in the way that billionaires generally do; by buying her lavish gifts, taking her on helicopter rides, playing the piano for her etc., insisting all the while that he doesn’t do romance and is really just a sexual pervert. He soon introduces her to his ‘game room,’ which is not, as Anastasia suspects, where he keeps his Xbox. It is *gasp* full of bondage gear. The tension in the plot is based around just how far our heroine will go with Mr Grey as she tries to uncover why he is such a perv. She quivers a lot and bites her lip. He broods, unconvincingly. There is an awful lot of talk about a contract. It is hard to care.
Overall it is slow and quite dull and there is perhaps one decent sex scene. The epically cheesy lines which pop up occasionally are not enough to save it.
Favourite quote: “Roll your eyes at me again and I’ll take you across my knee."
by Emilee Woolcock
Never a fan of the books, my expectations for the movie were always low. Certain middle aged women would bend me over and smack me for saying this, but I was never convinced in the novel’s ‘red hot steam factor’ that left them gagging for more. However, after the film’s feminist-backlash, I thought that the silver screen could deliver what the novel wasn’t able to.
Much like bad sex itself, the film was a disappointment. It is a rehashed tale of lust and love with symbolism that slaps you in the face; and aside from the skewed sexual balance between white wine drinking billionaire, Grey and virgin student, Steele, their pubic hair, and Anna still using a flip phone (hello, 2009?!), there was never a moment when I was shocked or confronted.
The movie is a cross between Alice in Wonderland in greyscale and the Bold and the Beautiful on Horny Goat Weed. Anna falls down the rabbit hole into Grey’s world of bondage, dominance, mummy-issues, piano serenades and wealth. She is confused and intrigued, all the while biting her perfectly raspberry-stained lips. She is unawares to her powers over men or the powers of men, until she is confronted by Grey’s bouffant of curls.
She swoons and stumbles like Bambi on ice, he has a bemused smirk, they dabble in what can only be described (I imagine) as low-level bondage, he fights the lure of her raspberry stained lips as he begins to break his ‘rules,’ then it all ends in the ultimate anticlimax.
On a positive note, the majority of other cinema-goers seemed to snicker in the same parts as me, which only leads me to assume that nobody took this film that seriously. Secondly, they make a big point out of using condoms, so the naysayers obviously did not take into consideration Christian and Anna as safe sex role models.
Favourite Quote: “I exercise control on all things, Miss Steele.”
Plot 1/5: Sign the contract. Don’t sign the contract. It’s hard to care.
Sexiness factor 2/5: Only because Dakota Johnson is a weapon and there is plenty of norkage.
Overall 2/5: This is not the worst movie ever but it is way too boring to be worth the hype.
Image credit: 50 Shades Updates