Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey Review

"Because I'm fifty shades of fucked up, Anastasia."

Holy shit. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I mean, I knew this would be bad. Of course it was going to be bad. I never expected it to be this bad.

I have never read a single page of the trilogy of novels by E.L. James. Well, actually let me go back and be totally honest: I read one page. My wife grabbed the book off the shelf at Target and said I had to read how terribly written it was, and she flipped to one specific sequence. My eyes were instantly drawn to one line right smack dab in the middle.

"That's a butt plug."

Just like that, I was introduced to the wild and wacky world of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, which, by the way, are terrible characters names if you are actually writing seriously. Those names belong in either an actual porno or a spoof of one. From what I understand, these three novels are attempting to be literature of sorts.

"That's a butt plug."


So I didn't even really read one page. I just kept staring at the words butt and plug and giggling in the middle of a Target aisle. Why was I giggling? First, because I am 31 going on 12 and butt plugs are funny. Second, because this was an actual best selling book and it contained the line "That's a butt plug." in it. There are so many books out there that are beautifully written and interesting and complex and layered with thematic brilliance, but what grabs everyone's attention and becomes a worldwide sensation?

"That's a butt plug."

So you may be asking, if I already knew the books were nonsense from reading one line in the middle of one random page, why would you expect anything at all from the film adaptation? It's a good question and one I feel I must address. I had very, very low expectations of this movie, but I figured at least someone had the chance to go in and hack the book to pieces while forming a halfway decent screenplay. I hoped that perhaps some stylish direction could distract the audience from the words being said.

Now I am sitting here wishing I had a butt plug.

When they were making casting decisions on this film, what exactly was the criteria? I have a general idea:

Anastasia Steele - Looking for someone with absolutely no talent nor a soul. Must speak in the exact same tone at all times regardless of the circumstances. Try and find the person who seems most dead. No, not like a zombie, just a dead person moving around and saying things. Sort of like a less awesome Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's, but rather than moving around due to music, she should just kinda stand there. Must deliver dialogue like she saw a horrible tragedy recently and is still in shock.

Christian Grey - Looking for a good looking guy, but not too good looking. Like, the 9th best looking guy at a Frat party. Must also have no talent nor a soul and deliver every single line like he is your extremely boring dad who gave up on life after committing wartime atrocities during Vietnam. May also be a dead person, but still has to be in peak physical condition despite deceased condition.

I just finished watching this and I can barely remember what happened? What happened? Does someone want to fill me in? Fifty Shades of Grey is sort of like being really excited to climb into a swimming pool on a hot day, only to find the water is at best lukewarm and mostly made up of urine and the shame glaze of a lonely adolescent male. It's just two hours of bland conversations that occasionally throw in a shocking word like "fuck" to try and trick the audience into thinking something interesting is happening, and also one scene in which they negotiate a contract while sitting in a strangely dark office board room lit with an Oompa Loompa lamp. Why not turn on another fucking light? Wouldn't it be better if you two fuckwads could actually read the stupid let's have funky sex agreement?

Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the worst films of the year. It might be the worst. I need to sleep on it. I wouldn't sleep with it because I could have better sex with an order of Burger King Chicken Fries and a cheese grater for sensation. I get more turned on when I watch documentaries about saving endangered wildlife than I did at any point watching this sweaty turd of a film. Yes, even during the scene in which he rubs her down with an ice cube and she bites her lip for the 45th time in ten minutes. Scandalous!

"That's a butt plug."

I need to wrap this review up now. There is an episode of "Cupcake Wars" on the television and the sound of the blender is making my blood boil to just the right temperature.

It feels good to be alive again.



  1. Ah, something as infamous as the Twilight saga pops up just in time after it ends. Yeah, wasn't thinking this would be any good, and I'll never see it. But hearing stories about how possessive the author is about her work is incredible. I'm pretty sure she tried really hard to keep the dialogue in the book and put it into the movie. And considering she wants to be the only writer for the next film, and her husband is going to direct it I wonder why the studio would even bother.

    1. Oh the dialogue Cody. The dialogue. Even this scathing review doesn't do it justice. I would occasionally just start laughing while watching, but the laughter was derived from pain and confusion as to how this tripe is popular. I was told the novels were poorly written, but I had no idea...

  2. So what part of it earned its half star? Was it that someone could turn the camera on and point it in the proper direction? (FYI, I haven't seen this)

    1. Honestly, halfway decent cinematography (some cool looking shots/scenes) and really good music. That's it. Nothing else.

      Not even my worst of the year after the dust settled. Mortdecai still wins that one, but this is a close second.

  3. Scott, this is one of the funniest film reviews I've ever read! I haven't watched it but the woman who directed it (Sam Taylor Johnson) also directed Nowhere Boy, so at the very least she must've classed up the joint a bit. I'm sure it was a big paycheck but I respect her for not shying away from it. There are simply too few mainstream female directors, so I almost want to see it just to support her work.

    I also haven't read the book but from the sounds of it it's a thinly veiled borrowing (to put it nicely) of Secretary, which was a much more realistic short story by Mary Gaitskill, and a pretty good film, I say. Have you seen that one with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal?

    1. First Donna, I want to thank you for what you said right off the bat here because I really appreciate it. When I wrote this, it was 3 AM and I wasn't even getting a chuckle out of my own was a tired, grouchy rant that when I re-read the next morning I found far more amusing then when I wrote it, haha.

      I take no issue with the direction of Sam Taylor Johnson, I really don't. There is nothing she could have done. The screenplay and performances were so lifeless you could have plugged in any of my favorite filmmakers, past or present, and the finished product still would have been awful. Honestly, it was filmed with confidence and some of the photography was crisp and interesting, but man the dialogue...I couldn't get beyond it to appreciate enough of anything else.

      I have seen Secretary and yes, it was a much better film than this. Much, much better.

  4. I don't get why everybody's hating on fifty shades of grey. At least it gave us a good laugh. I don't remember ever giggling so much while reading a book before. It was partly because I was. Yes, I know I was too young but what did people expect? Everybody was talking about it, it was everywhere. I was curious so I read it. Even I knew the grammar was extremely off and the repetition was pretty annoying. I spent a week saying suddenly for everything after I'd finished the series.

    This review is about the most awesome review I've read. I feel bad for the people who went to see the movie. They will never get back those wasted hours and money. Unless they took it as a comedy and had a good laugh.

  5. Very good article interesting and useful

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