Skip to content

Jenny’s 50 Shades of Grey movie review.

Posted in Uncategorized

I know a lot of you have been waiting for me to go see 50 Shades of Grey and come roaring back to the blog in a blaze of righteous fury, but it’s a little difficult for me to do. The film is bad. And not bad in a fun, Showgirls kind of way. Bad in the way that feels like you’d be doing the actors a service by turning away from the screen and sparing all of you a lot of embarrassment.

In her role, Dakota Johnson did the impossible: she made me like Anastasia Rose Steele. Every annoying quirk and simper of her book counterpart is washed away, in part because the audience is spared the litany of complaints and absurdly antiquated expletives that made up her internal monologue in the book . Although she still bites her lip–my guess is that at least $500,000 of the film’s $60M budget was spent on chapstick–and trips over her own feet, movie Ana is funny and endearing. She has a backbone that book Ana lacked, and more sexual agency than E.L. James afforded her. There were places in the film where her delivery seemed to suggest that she was as bewildered by the actions of Christian Grey as the audience should have been.

The best that can be said about Jamie Dornan is that he showed up to the set and stood in the correct lighting. I can’t even say that he did the best he could with what he had to work with. It has to be difficult to perform in a role where the character’s singular personality trait is “sexy weirdo,” but Dornan doesn’t even appear to be trying. There’s a sense throughout that he knows he’s too good for the material, but rather than coming off with the same oh-jeez charm that Johnson exudes, Dornan flounders, seemingly unwilling or unable to find a workable angle to slip more than one dimension into the character. It’s as though the leads are aware that they’re in a bad movie, but only one of them is trying to make the most of it.

The rest of the cast is hit-or-miss. Marcia Gay Harden breezes through her scenes as Christian’s mother in a bad impression of Lucille Bluth, while Jennifer Ehle infuses the role of Ana’s hopelessly romantic mom with effortless maternal sweetness. The fathers might as well be wallpaper, and Rita Ora, whose casting was touted as the second coming when it was announced, is reduced to uttering a handful of earnestly delivered, but forgettable lines. She shows a lot of promise for the sequels; though the script keeps her effectively silent, she steals the attention from the rest of the supporting cast in her scenes.

Screenwriter  Kelly Marcel and director Sam Taylor-Johnson managed to trim many of the most ridiculous and creepy bits from the novel. Not only did they do away with the infamous tampon interlude, but they mercifully shortened the fingering-under-the-dinner-table scene at Grey’s parents’ house, and we were spared Ana’s forced gynecological consultation. References to the helicopter were reduced by at least 90%, and when Christian fails to kiss Ana outside of the coffee shop, she doesn’t crumble to the ground weeping in a parking garage. Gone too is any mention of Ana’s sexual non-history. Though she tells Christian that she’s a virgin, the script doesn’t bring up her startlingly absent pre-Grey sexuality.

But even without the melodrama, 50 Shades of Grey is destined for absurdity. The on-set fights between the director and author are well-documented. It’s fun to guess at which lines remained at the author’s insistence; when Dornan mournfully tells Johnson, “I’m fifty shades of fucked up,” you can almost hear the screenwriter’s resumé revising itself. It’s no surprise that in moments when the dialogue skews to the side of clunky, it’s almost always on lines that appeared in the book. “I don’t make love. I fuck, hard,” and “Laters, baby,” both statements that fans of the novel swooned for, fall flat when spoken aloud, and more than a few bursts of laughter punctuated the showing I attended, usually at moments where the audience was clearly meant to engage emotionally. The soundtrack does no favors, either. As Christian took care of Ana’s virginity “situation,” Sia warbled the lyrics, “You can do it,” in the background, as though the soundtrack was unintentionally cheering him on thrust for thrust.

And oh, the thrusting. The only real disservice the movie does to the book is not deviating from the sex scenes as written. The novel contained endless pages of repetitive sensuality; he ties her up, he goes down on her, they introduce a prop of some sort, he mounts her and she “detonates around him.” As mind-numbingly copy-pasted as those scenes read, the hastened pace of filmmaking renders them more unbearable. Viewers are given a tantalizing glimpse into a room with far too many and far too similar sex toys: my friend Quinn remarked that Grey’s Red Room sported no less than five identical canes, and he appeared to have enough multiples of the same type of cuff to bind a sub with seven arms. Yet a blindfold, some dangerously represented bondage, and a few timid slaps with a riding crop and a flogger is the only kink the audience sees. Yes, the visual is more tantalizing than reading vague descriptions of touches down there and ellipses-heavy orgasms, but we never actually see the culmination of all their breathy passion, either. Instead, we’re treated to various angles of vigorously flexing buttocks and some extremely light sensation play, none of which seems to back up Grey’s deep need to cause Ana pain. I’ve been on connecting flights that were more painful than any of the BDSM in this movie.

A common theme in reviews I’ve seen from other bloggers was a sense of relief that Grey doesn’t come off as abusive. This makes me wonder if I didn’t accidentally wander into the wrong theatre and see something else entirely. Christian still tracks Ana’s cell phone to find her and take her away to undress her and sleep beside her in his hotel room. When Ana sends him a message giving him the brush off, he enters her apartment uninvited in the name of  seducing her. He steals her car and sells it, replacing it with a more expensive one without asking her, and when she objects, he spanks her and leaves her without aftercare. Another spanking incident takes place at his parents’ house, where he hoists her over his shoulder and slaps her behind out of anger at her failure to clear her vacation plans with him. Perhaps the most disturbing example of his abuse comes at the end of the movie, when, at Ana’s request, he lets loose on her with with a braided belt. Though she doesn’t safe word, the sight of her lying there, openly weeping and clearly not enjoying herself, isn’t enough to stop him. Without Ana’s inner monologue describing how terrified and intimidated she is by Grey’s behavior, his abusive tendencies and exertion of total control over her really are lessened in comparison, much in the same way that having a cavity filled is less unpleasant than having a root canal. The abuse is still there in full force, and though Ana comes off as spunky, she doesn’t object to Christian’s actions until the very end of the movie. No matter how much agency the script gives Ana, her simply not minding or being able to excuse Grey’s stalking and possessiveness doesn’t absolve him of it.

The run time, a bloated 125 minutes, caused one gentleman in the theatre to stand up and shout, “Thank God!” the moment the credits rolled. Considering that E.L. James is rumored to have demanded to write the sequel’s screenplay, maybe we should all just be thankful that this first movie wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did wear a little something special to meet Mr. Grey:

IMG_20150217_204700230(For those who’ve asked, I made the t-shirt on Zazzle, and it’s available here)

 

155 Comments

  1. You really wore that T-shirt to the movie? LOL.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Yes I did. And, in an unfortunate turn of events, a steakhouse having Kid’s Night and multiple children’s birthdays.

      February 19, 2015
      |Reply
      • PersonMcPerson
        PersonMcPerson

        You’re my hero.

        February 23, 2015
        |Reply
  2. Iaine MacDonald
    Iaine MacDonald

    “Ive been on connecting flights more painful…”
    You are my spirit animal.
    You should get an award for that line alone.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  3. Jo
    Jo

    “I’ve been on connecting flights that were more painful than any of the BDSM in this movie.”

    I just laughed for ten minutes straight. Thank you.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  4. Chris
    Chris

    Hahaha I haven’t seen the movie and don’t plan to but OMG i enjoyed your blog. Love the tshirt! I need me one of those!

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I added the buy link to the post, below the picture.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
  5. Ren
    Ren

    Jennifer Ehle was in this film?? Oh god, it makes me want to cry to think that the most perfect Lizzie Bennet ever has ended up in such a piece of trash 🙁

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  6. Det
    Det

    I really don’t blame Dornan for just sort of being there. Christian Grey has got to be one of the most unlikeable characters in all of fiction. Even when he isn’t being manipulative and creepy, he’s self-centered, condescending, petulant, and pretentious, a humorless, joyless black hole of a character. There’s nothing there. He’s like a pile of awful in an expensive suit. I think the only way they’d be able to salvage the character would be to either change almost everything about him, or drop the pretense and play him as a villain, neither of which, I’m sure, EL James would allow.

    I’m not really surprised they managed to make Ana more likable since, like Bella, most of her terribleness is confined to her inner monologue. Take that away and she has at least the vague outlines of a decent character, and hats off to Dakota Johnson for having the charm to realize that potential. It sounds like she deserves better than this double crap franchise.

    I think I feel sorriest for the director and the screenwriter, though. I don’t know if there was any possibility this movie would be good, but with EL James breathing down their necks, they didn’t even have a fighting chance.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
    • I agree, without changing the character entirely, the only way to salvage Christian Grey would be if Dornan totally trolled the role like RPattz did with Edward, lol.

      February 19, 2015
      |Reply
      • Jen
        Jen

        maybe he’ll do it in the sequels trolololol

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • Tammy
          Tammy

          Yes please lol. He’ll show EL who’s the biggest troll under the bridge.

          February 20, 2015
          |Reply
    • Amanda Wilson
      Amanda Wilson

      Just curious for those of you who claim to hate the books, the movie, the characters, the lines from the story, etc…why you bother spending a fair amount of time commenting/tearing down a book and movie many of us love. You describe Christian’s character in great detail which is surprising since none of you saw or liked the movie nor read the books. If you had read the trilogy then you’d be able to better understand why his character is the way he is and that he doesn’t want to be that way, esp. after he meets Ana! I guess I just don’t get the point of taking the time to go online just to rip apart a story, movie and characters many, many of us love!! How can you fairly critique/criticize something you have no firsthand knowledge of??? It only makes you look ridiculous when you do!!

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
      • Are you fucking kidding? I think everyone who comments on this blog HAS had to suffer though those repugnant plagarised pieces of literary garbage. Hence WHY we can take aim at all the themes in them.
        I suppose next you’ll be saying that there is “nothing abusive” about the books.

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
      • JennyTrout
        JennyTrout

        “How can you fairly critique/criticize something you have no firsthand knowledge of??? It only makes you look ridiculous when you do!!”

        You might wanna take your own advice before you comment about how I haven’t read the books.

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • ArgentLA
          ArgentLA

          Jenny needs some literary equivalent of the Purple Heart for having endured all three books.

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
        • Sushi
          Sushi

          I hope they tell you to write your own book next.

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
      • 1. Many of us read the books. When they were fanfic. We know exactly what is in them.

        2. Many of us are kinksters. And we find it reprehensible that someone would do exactly zero research about how we live our lives and portray us as people who need to be “fixed.”

        3. Many of us remember Erika’s disdain for fandom and community during her brief parade through the Twilight fandom, the lack of respect she had for the community, and her subsequent denial of us when the book got popular.

        4. Many of us are abuse and/or rape survivors, and don’t find the idea of a man who forces a woman into a relationship that is outside of her comfort zone to be something people should view as fantasy or entertainment.

        5. Almost none of us go waltzing into the blindly devotive rhapsodizing over a property we wish didn’t exist to tell you all you need to adjust yourselves, yet so many of you feel the need to wander into OUR safe space where we talk about how this book — offensive to so many of us — with the zealotry of a demented missionary.

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
      • Vince
        Vince

        By your own logic, you shouldn’t have bothered making your comment. Many people enjoy Jenny’s 50 Shades posts and the discussions they generate, ergo why bother coming here to criticise?

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
      • Mitzy247
        Mitzy247

        Okay, so everyone is shooting down your “read the books” defense. Your next step is: “You didn’t get it.”

        If that fails, you can ask them to read them again with an open mind or just go for: “They’re just fantasy!”

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
      • Det
        Det

        Amanda — the fact that so many people love these books is exactly why I have a burning desire to tear them apart, or rather, scour off the sparkly finish to show the dangerous ugliness at its core. You’re right, I haven’t read the books, just read-throughs and detailed discussions with plenty of quotes. I don’t believe I can fairly critique the books, which is why I initially only posted a short little comment. However, from what I have read, I do believe I have the right to an opinion, and my opinion is that Christian Grey is an irredeemable monster, and that these books depict an abusive relationship. Not purely because of the sex, although there are scenes, such as chapter twelve of the first book, where sexual activity is initiated without Ana’s consent. (I know she does “come around” later in the scene, but she starts out saying no, which Christian reacts to by threatening her. A no is not a maybe or a yes that needs convincing, and if you have reason to believe your partner won’t stop no matter what you say or do and you stop protesting, that isn’t meaningful consent.) The issues present in the sex scenes exist in every interaction between Christian and Ana: he doesn’t respect her. He disregards her needs in favor of his in most, if not all, situations. He doesn’t want her to make her own choices. He makes lists of people she can and can’t see. He interferes with her job. He controls minute aspects of her life by making high-handed demands and reacting with coldness, rage, or outright violence if she even dares to question him, and no, he doesn’t get better as the series goes on, because the scenes in Fifty Shades Freed where he “wants to beat the shit out of [her]” for going out with Kate and narrowly avoiding being kidnapped are some of the worst in the whole series, not to mention how he reacts when he finds out she’s pregnant. None of this would be okay in any relationship, BDSM or vanilla, but it’s also notable that Ana never consents to a BDSM relationship. She says repeatedly that she isn’t a submissive and that she doesn’t want to be hit, so Christian’s insistence on doing so anyway isn’t kink, which should be readily agreed upon by both partners, it’s abuse.
        I’ve talked to a lot of people who are triggered by this book, people who are reminded of someone who manipulated, controlled, and hurt them in the past. And that’s why I’m so against these books and their popularity. Being in an abusive relationship is horrible, and it can be incredibly hard to fight your way out when the other person is going out of their way to isolate you, scare you, belittle you, discredit you even to yourself, make you believe it’s all your fault. They’ll seem affectionate, even loving, when you’re behaving exactly they want you to so you’ll think they can change, and maybe if you try harder and conform more, everything will be okay. It’s a toxic, horrible headspace, and it’s confusing enough without this awful awful book telling women “you should be flattered if some guy you barely know tracks your phone” and “it’s romantic when your boyfriend constantly tells you what to do and treats you like a misbehaving child” and “it doesn’t matter if your husband flies into a rage at you for disobeying him, he can’t help it because of his tragic past.” And yes, I know about Christian’s “tragic past” and no, living in poverty for four years that he should barely remember neither explains or justifies his behavior. No amount of tragedy would make the way he treats people okay, because no matter what happens to you as a child, ultimately, as an adult, you are responsible for your own actions, but Christian’s fixation on that short period of his life and his demonization of his birth mother is pathetic. Some people — a lot of people — struggle their whole lives and still manage to treat others decently and not demand control of all things at all times. In that respect, Christian, in addition to being everything I said above, is an emotional weakling who has chosen to revel in being “fucked up” and blame everyone else for his problems instead of using the resources at his disposal to accept and move on from what happened to him. Real people do it every day. It shouldn’t be too much to ask from an acclaimed romantic hero.

        I have to tell you, I did not want to care about this series. I started with the read-throughs because it was this massive cultural phenomenon and I like to be well-informed. When I realized what kind of relationship these books were promoting, it made me sick. It reminded me too much of my college boyfriend who had to know where I was every second of every day, who broke into my dorm room just to let me know he could, and who got angry at me for talking to other guys, even my little brother. I heard other people’s stories, and I got even sicker. This happens to people every day, and it can be hard to see until you’re in the middle of it, and here’s EL James romanticizing it, obscuring warning signs, making it that much harder for naive young women — real-life Anas — to trust their guts. These books are going to hurt people. Probably, they already have, and that horrifies me. That college boyfriend? Even after it was over, I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to do, so I said and did nothing, and probably, he went on to hurt more girls like me. I barely live with myself for that. I won’t keep quiet again. I believe these books are poison, making things even easier for the monsters out there, and I’m not going to turn my back and just let that happen. I know there’s very little I can do, but if even one person sees how toxic the “romance” in this series is, understands the warning signs and goes on to protect themselves, this won’t have been a waste of my time. I don’t want anyone to get caught in the trap that I did. That’s why I bother.

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • pinkoeria
          pinkoeria

          Amen!

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
        • Heather
          Heather

          Beautifully put! Thank you for sharing your experience s with us.

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
        • Cecelia Lewis
          Cecelia Lewis

          Oh yea, what about the sex music, and TV promoting gay sex, get real its a fantastic porn

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
          • Zucot
            Zucot

            To quote my 2009 self: “Obvious troll is obvious.”

            January 4, 2016
        • Jennifer Bauer
          Jennifer Bauer

          Beautifully worded commentary on this sad, sick trilogy of literary? trash! I read it because my mid 20s daughter and all her friends were all thinking it was good. Had to see what was going on…having been “unlucky in love” lol, I was appalled by the pathetic, patriarchal “Beauty and the Beast” message this garbage sends to a whole new generation of young people. EL James is disgusting too.

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
        • Ilex
          Ilex

          Like, like, like!!!

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
        • Cat
          Cat

          My hatred of the book is highly personal for me too. I was in an abusive relationship, and before that, I had kinky fantasies long before I ever had sex. Reading abusive relationships doesn’t exactly trigger me, as that was 9 years ago, but it angers and depresses me. The handcuffs and whips aren’t what’s wrong with Christian and Ana’s relationship – it’s how he demeans her, hurts her, controls her, and disrespects her wishes. Maybe that’s EL James saying that BDSM is abuse, but Christian is fucking abusive when he’s not doing BDSM. I can say from personal experience that kinky sex isn’t inherently degrading, but anything can be degrading if you’re in a bad relationship.

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
        • Spockchick
          Spockchick

          Great post, very eloquent about this abusers manifesto wrapped up in a sparkly romance wrapper.

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
        • Annie
          Annie

          Det- beautiful comment, beautifully said.
          I was triggered by parts of the book. I tried to read the actual books but was triggered a couple of times to the point of having a panic attack, so I had to stop.
          It wasn’t just Christian’s behavior that was triggering and upsetting, but Ana’s thoughts rationalizing his abusive behavior. Many of them felt like they were word-for-freaking-word what I was thinking when I was in an abusive relationship. I got out of it roughly 12 years ago (though he continued to stalk and threaten me for about a year afterward, so maybe I should say it’s been 11 years?), but it still affects me. To this day there are sex acts that give me panic attacks if I’m even reminded of the way he raped me. The guilt because of this is immense. My husband and I have been together for about 11 years, and he is a very caring, wonderful man. I am very safe with him. But still, if he does something, even on accident, that trips that memory-of-abuse-and-rape wire in my brain, I sometimes have a panic attack and at the very least I have to stop for a while and settle down. I know I’m safe with my husband, but the abuse I suffered causes an animalistic flight-or-flight instinct despite all logic.

          See, and that’s another thing: I didn’t even realize my ex had raped me until a few years after I had left him. I’m guessing that a lot of the 50 Shades fans don’t see the abuse or rape in these books because so, so, so many people (mostly very fortunate people that have never experienced abuse at the hands of a partner) think relationship abuse is a man blackening a woman’s eye because she burnt the toast. It’s finger-mark bruises on her forearms or even around her neck that she tries desperately to hide. And rape is a vicious stranger coming out of a dark alley to grab a woman, slam her on the ground in the shadows and pull her skirt up. But those of us that have been there know that both abuse and rape are very often more insidious and subtle than that. It’s often him telling you what you want -despite your assertions that he’s mistaken- often and forcefully enough that you begin to doubt yourself or simply agree so he will let up. It’s you not saying or doing anything in protest when he wants sex a certain way (or just wants sex period) that you don’t want, or wants you to do something that you don’t want to do (including cutting off ties to friends and family). And the reason you don’t protest or assert yourself is because it wouldn’t do a damn bit of good anyway. He always gets what he wants one way or another. He makes sure of it. And eventually you start rationalizing why you should acquiesce despite not wanting to, or you might even rationalize why you *should* want to do it. That’s rape too. That’s abuse. And that’s exactly what Christian does to Ana, and it’s exactly what Ana does and thinks.

          The way EL James was able to so accurately get in to an abused woman’s head, rationalize the way an abused woman rationalizes, dismiss and forgive the way an abused woman does (and she apparently managed to do it on ACCIDENT!) troubles me deeply. Very, very deeply. And now these books are wildly popular and women of all ages, including teenage (or younger) girls, are being told to hold these books up as the model of the perfect, passionate relationship that we should all want. It’s promoted, literally, as a how-to book.
          So now all these girls and women are being told that Christian’s behavior isn’t just normal, but romantic. They are being told that rationalizing the abuse/”romance” Ana suffers in the way that she does is normal and healthy. This is a how-to manual. It’s teaching women and girls how to be a victim. And when young, impressionable girls and women read this and take it to heart, it has the potential to turn them in to victims just waiting for an abuser. We are serving up an entire generation of young women on a platter for any control-happy abuser to take his pick.
          It is deeply, deeply troubling.

          To the supporters of 50 Shades:
          These books are so dangerous that many of us feel it our duty as modern, sex-positive, feminist women to speak out against these books. To warn women of the dangers and incredibly troubling themes and tropes behind the cover. I think it’s fair to say that those of us that have been in an abusive relationship like the one between Christian and Ana, wouldn’t wish that experience on ANY woman, so the more we speak out against it and try to educate, the higher the chance that we’re protecting some woman out there from that fate. And if we can save just one, it will be worth it to discuss these books and educate women every chance we get.
          When you’re dealing with such difficult, and often personal, topics though, you often need to vent and let off steam. Many of the comments here are exactly that. We vent and yell and snark because we are so upset, worried and troubled by the popularity of these books.

          And trust me, the last thing most of the women here, especially Jenny Trout, are doing, is ripping apart a book we know nothing about. I dare say a great many of us know these books backwards and forwards, including those that haven’t actually read the books in their entirety. When we say Christian is an abuser, many, many of us know full well what we’re talking about.

          February 25, 2015
          |Reply
          • anon
            anon

            Annie thank you for sharing this. That must be very difficult for you to live with. But in your sharing you WILL help someone out there.

            February 26, 2015
      • Cecelia Lewis
        Cecelia Lewis

        I like the fact that thee man is being dominant then the woman, women have been a sex symbol for so long and expect to be the the arousol dominant, Ana gets it all, turns me

        February 21, 2015
        |Reply
      • C.L. Parsons
        C.L. Parsons

        Amen to your comment. I think both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan played their parts beautifully. Maybe it was because I have read all three books and understand why Christian is somewhat dysfunctional in this first movie. This first movie is laying the groundwork for the sequels. Also, Ana’s character is some what typical for a recent college graduate who is still a virgin but not naïve. She is looking forward to entering the workforce in her area of expertise – literature.

        February 21, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          Many of us have read the books. All of the books. I spent two years combing through them chapter by chapter. It is not lack of knowledge that makes us say he is an abusive sociopath.

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
      • Tammy
        Tammy

        Thank you for saying that. I can’t stand when Christians down something based on there per septic without proof. I went to see the movie with the intent to discover the horrible message it supposedly sends to Christian women about relationships. What I found was a girl that was trying to step out of herself and be in his world to try to understand him and his pain. I felt the opposite of all the hype that. It was a messed up relationship between them both of theM wanting the other to change and the other is not able to comply fully leaving them apart. I thought it was a good start and having not read the books I am now to see more of the story.

        February 22, 2015
        |Reply
        • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
          Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

          Tammy, I don’t think any “Christians” are the ones here at Jenny’s putting this stupid, badly-written, practically illiterate, previously fan-fiction of Twilight, boring book down. I suggest you read Jenny’s blog because her blog and her EROTIC FICTION that she SELLS ON AMAZON will be like a big old 2 x 4 hitting you in the face with a clue.

          February 23, 2015
          |Reply
      • Andrea Smith
        Andrea Smith

        Hello Amanda,

        Thanks for your reply, I simply love Christian and Ana and I have read the trilogy and the movie was fantastic. I agree that if people did not read the books how can they comment, they need to get a life, this is fantasy.

        February 22, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          You need to go read this post a minute: http://jennytrout.com/?p=8740

          It will address your concerns re: whether people have read the books/need to get over it/it is fantasy.

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
      • Flo
        Flo

        Uh, excuse me honey, but the bus for idiots is about to leave, go get on it. If anyone is jumping to conclusions here, it’s you. Most of those who have been critiquing HAVE read the books. YOU are the one who now looks ridiculous!

        February 25, 2015
        |Reply
        • Leigh
          Leigh

          Read this http://jennytrout.com/?p=8740

          You have to understand, most of us have read the books, or, if we couldn’t stomach them, at least read Jenny’s recaps in which SHE BREAKS DOWN EACH CHAPTER.

          February 26, 2015
          |Reply
      • Alix
        Alix

        Ummm – You’re assuming none of us have read the books. Wrong. Read all three. Yes – Christian had a rough EARLY childhood, and was victimized as a teen. But he also had a (supposedly) loving adopted family and years of psychiatric help….and he’s STILL a douche.
        Oh – and BTW – there are plenty of people criticizing the books who DO have firsthand knowledge of actual relationships like the “romance” in 50.
        Sorry – the books and the characterizations are indefensible.

        February 25, 2015
        |Reply
        • Apparently they aren’t indefensible if you can make a comment and leave forever. 🙂

          March 5, 2015
          |Reply
      • Cutlass Guy
        Cutlass Guy

        Having read Jenny Trout’s full chapter-by-chapter breakdown of all three FSOG books I can only surmise that to an abuse survivor, the FSOG stories are as offensive and improbable as if Holocaust survivors read romantic comedies of Josef Mengele being asked to send the people that arrived at Auschwitz in cattle cars back to their homes in first class cabins–and Mengele does.

        EL James is clueless to the damage she’s doing. And a control freak. SHE is C. Grey in real life. She has NO idea what a subconscious really is, and hers shows on every page of these books.

        I am watching an abuse situation in my next door neighbor. Over the last 15 years he has met women, taken their money (enough to build his house), and when things went bad, blamed them and threatened to kill them if they so much as took one two-by-four out of the house. Eventually the mother of his son left with nothing but her life (never got divorced, never retrieved a dime of equity in the house she and her Mom paid for). My wife and I got on his shit list for collecting photons in a public place with an iPhone and it’s been hell. When the new girlfriend showed up about a year ago my wife thought it was ‘different’ because he was sweetness and light to her. I said, “no, give it time. Eventually he’ll turn on her.” Sure enough, last Thursday night my wife and I heard screaming coming out of the house from him that sounded like bloody murder. So it has started; he’s turned on her (and no doubt blamed her for all of it) The guy clearly has anger issues.

        The ONLY reason that Chedward changes in the FSOG stories is because the AUTHOR wants him to, not because the CHARACTER wants to. Beginning writers do this all the time.

        Really, these stories are offensive.

        April 20, 2015
        |Reply
    • ArgentLA
      ArgentLA

      Here’s a thing to consider when it comes to Dorman’s performance: In Hollywood, if you have a popular movie selling a lot of tickets, your agent’s phone will immediately start ringing with offers for very similar parts in similar movies. Acting being, well, a job, you end up taking at least some of these parts and then you are stuck with that persona for most of your career. (See also Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes.) So, a part like this one can be a serious double-edged sword: It can make your career while simultaneously ensuring that you hate most of it.

      I have no idea if that thought informed Dorman’s performance, but if it did, I find it hard to blame him.

      February 21, 2015
      |Reply
      • Shay
        Shay

        You assume a lot about his career. Lol, that’s just dumb.

        February 21, 2015
        |Reply
        • Robyn Robotron
          Robyn Robotron

          ArgentLA brought up a great point about typecasting, it’s hardly dumb. It also had nothing to do with Dorman’s career, but with something that’s happened to many actors over the years (Michael Cera is a perfect example). It’s not absurd to think that the guy might be throwing the match, so to speak, so he doesn’t get typecast.

          Full Disclosure: I haven’t seen the guy in anything except the commercials for FSoG, so I have no idea as to his skills.

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
          • Shay
            Shay

            He is very successful at playing a serial killer named Paul Spector, in The Fall. That series is a far cry from 50 Shades.

            February 22, 2015
          • Leigh
            Leigh

            He’s panty dropping eyecandy in the first part of the first season of Once Upon a Time. (Spoilers) his death is actually really moving.

            February 26, 2015
        • ArgentLA
          ArgentLA

          I’m not assuming anything, and I said so. I’m just saying this is a thing that happens and that it’s often a double-edged sword for actors. As I said, I don’t know Dorman, I know nothing about him other than a couple of things he’s done, and I have no idea if that’s on his mind, but it would be an entirely reasonable thing for any actor to be concerned about. (A job is a job, but would you want to be typecast as Christian Grey the rest of your career?)

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
    • Jon
      Jon

      I must confess to finding Dornan baffling. In interviews reported in the UK he appears to have set himself up to defend BDSM to those who are suspicious of it yet at the same time he reportedly said that he was ‘ expecting a show’ when he attended a sex-dungeon as ‘research’. Despite being a feminist he SEEMS to be unaware of the feminist critiques of 50 Shades (I don’t expect him to agree with them necessarily but I would expect him to acknowledge they exist).

      I wonder if, as Sam Taylor-Johnson is an artist before being a film director, the publicity is a bigger part of the project than it is with other films and therefore if what we are SUPPOSED to be seeing is a continued performance. Maybe this performance fell as flat as it is widely thought the one in the film did. Maybe.

      February 21, 2015
      |Reply
  7. Jenny, I love your outfit! I need one of those t-shirts.

    I saw the movie as well and agree with a lot of what you said here (I wrote my own review on my blog, expressing a lot of the same thoughts you have here, in case anyone wants further elaboration https://theunicorner.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/fifty-shades-of-run-gurl-run-a-movie-review/). I really don’t understand all the claims that all the abusive creepy stuff was completely gone. I agree that it’s less egregious in the books b/c we don’t hear Ana’s interior monologue, but the stalking and grade-A creeping are still there. Like I said in my review, if I hadn’t known better, I’d have thought we were heading for a grown-up version of Fear if Mark Wahlberg’s character were played by a block of wood.

    I agree that Dakota Johnson did most of the heavy lifting in terms of performance, and her Ana is likeable enough to make me want to root for her despite her insistence on going back to that tool Christian. If only the story ends where this film does, and Dakota’s Ana goes on to find a guy who isn’t terrible.

    Also, does anyone here watch Stalker? The back story of Maggie Q’s character and her stalker ex sounds so much like Christian/Ana minus the “bdsm” parts, I was legit wondering if the writers were trolling, lol.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  8. Gateau
    Gateau

    “I’ve been on connecting flights that were more painful than any of the BDSM in this movie.” This is very, very fine.

    I’ve just spent the last two days in a fever dream of reading all the recaps, and this is the perfect topper.

    I do think that even though an execrable property, Jamie Dorman doesn’t really have a good excuse. If you’re going to phone it in, don’t take the gig. It was obvious what the character was going to have to be. If you can’t find a way to bring something to it (sincere or send-up) then don’t take the paycheck if you’re a professional actor.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  9. Monica
    Monica

    I had a movie pass, and out of curiosity I decided to see it (and I know total waste of a movie pass). And man was this movie dull, awkward, dumb, unsexy, and just unpleasant. And yes Miss Johnson was actually likable and cute (and I think she’ll be able to survive this whole thing) but it wasn’t enough. The only thing that was fun about this movie was the drunk 40 year old women behind me, hilariously quoting the book. And yeah Jaime Dornan was pretty bad in the role, but I don’t blame him for not committing, that character is just well awful, and with the pain in the ass that is EL James bitching, they probably had to play the character as straight as they could without it be fun or cute like Johnson’s Ana. And a day after I saw this movie, I got a cold. So yeah this movie, literally, made me sick… T-T

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  10. Rebecca
    Rebecca

    I just want to say, I’ve stumbled across your recaps and I’ve been reading them non-stop the past three days. Today I totally lost it giggling during a professional development meeting. God, I’m a worse employee than Ana. You rock, though. Thanks for everything you write!

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  11. Petra Newman
    Petra Newman

    First off – the shirt! Master Stroke! I am bowing down before its excellence. I aggree with everything you said here about the movie and it’s stars. I thought Dakota Johnson acted her ass off (no pun intended) and given the choppy nature of the material as it veered from James’ version to Taylor-Johnson’s, that in itself was a massive achievement. Dornan and his 50 Shades of ‘American…no it’s Irish…now it’s the Swedish Chef from the Muppets’ accent seemed clearly out of his depth to me. I tried very hard to watch this with fresh eyes and used my SO as a measure when I didn’t think I could. When asked about Dornan and his Red Room, my SO replied “I’ve seen men look more turned on at the sight of a fried Breakfast in our local cafe than he managed tying that poor girl up”.

    This needs me rather neatly onto the abusive issues in the film. Like you I was glad to see that Taylor-Johnson stripped away some of the appaling misnomers that made Ana so ridiculous in the book. Twice I noted Ana say “my computer is broken” rather than the idiotic “I don’t have one” of the book. Remedying smaller issues like this added to the overall greater sense of agency Jen discribed and the film was better for it. For me though, one of the things that the movie inadvertently did was reveal just how intensely Christian stalks Ana. One of the things the endless inner monologue does in the book is fudge up the timeline of their relationship. There was no such distraction in the movie and it becomes really clear that Christian goes from 0 to 60 in his pursuit of Ana in an incredibly short time frame. Again to turn to my SO “if someone came on that strong
    that quick surely your first call would be to the cops?”
    The scene with Ana getting beaten was extremely difficult to watch. Dornan didn’t help matters for me as his attempt to suggest Christian’s pleasure/release in the punishment came off a little “leprechaun spies his pot of gold” rather than a man gaining pleasure. (As a side note to this was it only me or were all the sex scenes competing in some “World’s Quietest Sex” competition? I get when they are at Ana’s apartment he’s telling her to be quiet because Kate is supposed to be there or could come back etc but every scene seemed to me to have the volume set to off. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve always thought that part of making what is essentially simulated sex convincing was in the sounds of pleasure people made – the lack in this context just heightened the sense that this was pretend rather than passion). The audience in the theatre I attended, sat in a noticeably stunned silence and filed out incredibly quickly. As we were leaving my SO turned to me and said “who on earth is going to leave that movie, after that scene and go “ohh I’m so horny”? Maybe it’s just me but watching another guy stalking, freaking out, and then making a woman cry and not in a good way, really doesn’t turn me on”. Having not read the books, or followed the press (beyond what’s been unavoidable) for this movie, his response was unvarnished by the baggage I bought to it so I thought his reaction was really interesting and spoke to the impact that the timeline of the movie has in showing the nature of, and imbalance with, Ana and Christian’s relationship. The one positive my SO did point out? That it’s been a while since he’s seen pubic hair on screen and he thought that was a plus!

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  12. Jen
    Jen

    I hope they do give her total control of the sequels, and I hope they’re complete shitstorms. She must be a complete nightmare to deal with, if I was the producers I’d just be handing her the rope and letting her hang herself. Like at the end of Singin in the Rain where they raise the curtain to show that Lina Lamont is lip syncing.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  13. Jennifer Ehle is in this? That’s depressing.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  14. Honey
    Honey

    I have been waiting for this! Thank you, Jenny, for your sacrifice for us.

    And that shirt? That. Fucking. Shirt. A-MA-ZING.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  15. ella
    ella

    I LOVE the shirt!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  16. MrGBH
    MrGBH

    Every time I watch a love seen, Rob Schneider will pop up in my head and scream “You can do it!”

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  17. Rosa H
    Rosa H

    I want a shirt like that so bad!! It’s beautiful!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  18. Flo
    Flo

    Jenny, you should make those shirts available for purchase on CafePress!

    Props to the guy who shouted “Thank God” at the end.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      They are available for purchase on Zazzle, actually! I added the link below the pic.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
  19. Katelyn
    Katelyn

    I don’t think I’m brave enough to see this, but if I do, I’m wearing that shirt!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  20. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon

    Hee hee I love that you wore that shirt!
    It’s a shame about Jamie Dornan – he is absolutely excellent in The Fall, he manages to make a really horrible serial killer quite a sympathetic character, and that can’t be easy, but with Christian Grey it sounds like he just couldn’t be bothered. Which is a bit bad when he took payment for it. He has said something like ‘If nothing else I will always have The Fall’ which sounds like he gave up on the idea of being any good in this. I suppose since Dakota Johnson doesn’t have a really great performance behind her in something else she felt more like she had to do her best? Maybe that’s also one reason they didn’t get along…
    I heard Sam Taylor-Johnson may have decided not to do the sequel, so if they have EL James writing the script and whatever director they manage to persuade to do it (they probably need to find either one who needs the work or an alcoholic they can get drunk enough to sign the contract), I’m thinking the next one will truly be a large piece of poo.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  21. Delta Juliet
    Delta Juliet

    Just here to say I love your whole outfit, but especially that shirt. Priceless.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  22. Tracy
    Tracy

    Please tell me they’re not making a sequel.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • Tammy
      Tammy

      All I’m going to say is look at the box office numbers and you’ll have your answer. *sigh*

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
  23. Artemis
    Artemis

    Jenny, I love your whole outfit! And I may eventually have to treat myself to the shirt…

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  24. Candy Apple
    Candy Apple

    The best that can be said about Jamie Dornan is that he showed up to the set and stood in the correct lighting.

    I read an article where Jamie Dornan said he had to come home every day after shooting and take a shower before he felt he could touch his wife and child, he was that disgusted with what he had to do in the film.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • Candy Apple
      Candy Apple

      By the way, I didn’t see the film; I donated money to a charity today instead.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Sheila
      Sheila

      A lot of the BDSM community was offended by those comments. Which is understandable in that it seemed like he couldn’t see the difference between what Grey does and what good, normal, real life doms do. But on the other hand, can we all be relieved he isn’t Method or that art isn’t imitating life? He’s not good in this role because he doesn’t have it in him to be that guy.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
      • Rhiannon
        Rhiannon

        But he seems to have it in him to play a serial killer…;)

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
      • Roslyn
        Roslyn

        Actually I think he does have it in him to be that guy, but I think maybe the fact he never attended any formal acting school is stopping him from being able to do it in this movie. I gather from what he’s said in interviews that the idea of treating a woman like that in real life is totally repugnant to him, and he lacks the formal training that would enable him to get past that barrier and put his mind in whatever place it needed to be to act it. That’s my theory, anyway. Which doesn’t explain why he was able to be such a convincing serial killer of women in “The Fall” though. Maybe because this was being touted as a romance? Maybe he was doing as he was directed? I don’t know. Colour me confused.

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • Sheila
          Sheila

          Hmm. Maybe that was it, that he could have done a great job playing Grey as a bad guy, but here he is, handed a script with a character who is clearly a creep, being told that he has to play him as a hero. And he’s not experienced enough to pull it off.

          February 20, 2015
          |Reply
    • Judi L
      Judi L

      Was Jamie Donan disgusted enough not to sign on for the sequels?

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Incorrect. That quote was about AFTER visiting the sex-dungeon for research.

      February 22, 2015
      |Reply
  25. dally
    dally

    Here’s how I look at these books/movie-it’s plain and simple twilight fanfic taken to the next level. But bc E.L. James is such a clueless, shifty writer, she took it too far and made it an abusive relationship. In the books, the authors (James & Meyer) try their hardest to convince us that it’s all so romantic and destined. in the movies, they use music. It’s a sell. It’s all about the money and getting ppl to see it and buy into it.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  26. An important point about Christian not stopping just because Ana didn’t use her safeword. I was recently co-topping my submissive at a play party, and she got so overwhelmed by the pain that she literally forgot that she had the option to safeword. Fortunately, I am not a moron, and when I saw that she had clearly had enough I stopped the scene. Especially when dealing with an inexperienced sub, being able to read your sub’s energy is more important than waiting for a safe word.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • Roslyn
      Roslyn

      You make a good point about what responsible Dom would do, but – and I am speaking as someone who has no experience whatsoever with D/s relationships – I don’t view that belting scene as a “scene”, and I have a feeling that we aren’t meant to see it as a scene.

      Ana had invited him to give her his worst to see if she could take it, and he told her what he was going to do and she lay there and took it. She had to. He said he was going to hit her six times and he did. And he had to. She had to take it; if she didn’t take it she wouldn’t have completed the experiment. It was a pivotal scene in the movie. She couldn’t tell him to stop, and – the way I see it – he had to keep going to give her his best, or worst, so she would know. Which probably adds fuel to the argument it was bad Dom behaviour. And confusing for the viewer. But, heck, the whole thing is bewildering.

      And another thing I believe: Ana couldn’t “safeword” because she was not a sub. That’s what this scene proved. She never was and now knows she never will be. Which is a reason why I am going to do something quite out of character and say that I am glad James won the argument about what were to be Ana’s last words in the film. Taylor-Johnson wanted Ana to say “Red”, and James insisted on “Stop”. The point of the scene was for Ana to find out once and for all whether she could be his sub. She realised she couldn’t, so she wouldn’t use a sub word. (Yes I know that is inconsistent with her using it in the third book, but I explain that away as changed circumstances.)

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
      • Amanda Wilson
        Amanda Wilson

        Fair point well made, Roslyn. (Haha!)

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • Roslyn
          Roslyn

          *groan* “Fair point” is something I used to say a lot; now I stop myself and say something else.

          February 21, 2015
          |Reply
      • JS
        JS

        Ana had “to take it” just because it was an experiment. Christian “had to” hit her 6 times with a belt for the experiment. Ana “couldn’t tell him to stop” because if she did the experiment wouldn’t be complete. Ana “couldn’t safeword because she’s not a sub”.

        Roslyn,
        Do you realise how those comments appear to promote abuse? I’m guessing that wasn’t your intent.

        If one partner during sex play is crying that person doesn’t have to continue to”take it” for any reason. Ana could have used the safeword and should have done so. Her sexual inexperience, inability to properly communicate with her sex partner, and her partners irresponsibility caused Ana to get hurt. The experiment was to find out if Ana could handle the type of pain Christian wants to inflict on her. The experiment would have been complete even if she safeworded after the first blow. A safeword isn’t solely used by D/s relationships. Any couple involved in sexplay acts that can cause harm (even if it’s just regular spanking) must be able to communicate and be responsible enough to have a safeword in case one of them needs to stop. Christian, a sexually experienced man,who already knew Ana lacked communication skills and didn’t enjoy a spanking, acted in an irresponsible and selfish manner while engaging in a whipping act with the intent of doing harm to a very sexually nieve confused young woman for his pleasure (not hers). A responsible Dom/partner would have checked in with her in between lashes to see how she was doing during the experiment. Your partner’s safety should be priority during sexual acts where pain is being inflicted. Which brings us to the argument that: Christian is a terrible Dom/partner, who didn’t put Ana’s safety first. While reading the first book I came to the conclusion that Neither Christian or Ana should be involved in BDSM.

        I’ve never responded to a post on here before but i felt a need to respond to yours to make you aware of how the comments in your post came across. I mean no disrespect to you, we are all entitled to our opinions, but abuse is a sensitive subject.

        February 22, 2015
        |Reply
        • Roslyn
          Roslyn

          I’m very sorry if you thought my comments promote abuse. That certainly wasn’t my intention. What I was trying to do, and obviously not succeeding in doing, was point out that I didn’t read that scene as being a “scene”. It wasn’t sex play. It wasn’t about BDSM. It had nothing to do with consensual Dom/sub relationships. Ana wasn’t a sub, and she was never going to be a sub. She was a confused, infatuated, woman trying to find out if she was strong enough to tolerate the abuse the man she thought she loved wanted to dish out to her. If she could tolerate his worst, she would give the contract a go because she really liked those orgasms.

          She couldn’t safeword because it wasn’t sex play. It was a punishment beating, one that she’d invited, for all the wrong reasons. The whole scene was totally fucked up. it was terribly confusing for the parties and everyone who read it, and I’m sure it was confusing for the scriptwriter and director and the poor bastards who had to act it. The scene highlights the insidious acceptance of abuse pervading our culture.

          I’ve just checked the books and it definitely was NOT sex play. I won’t quote it; everyone can read it, if they have the stomach for it. I just did and I feel ill. But she definitely wanted him to show her how bad it can get, because she was worried that when he punishes her he’s going to hurt her. He admits, “I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything that you couldn’t take.” What’s her response to that? “Fuck!” She asks why. Hand through hair and shrugging on his part follows, then “I just need it”. More talk. Then her thoughts: “This is a man in need. His fear is naked and obvious, but he’s lost…somewhere in his darkness. His eyes are wide and bleak and tortured. I can soothe him, join him briefly in the darkness and bring him into the light.”
          “Show me,” she whispers.
          “Show you?”
          “Show me how much it can hurt.”
          “What?”
          “Punish me. I want to know how bad it can get.”
          He steps back, completely confused.
          “You would try?”
          “Yes. I said I would.” But I have an ulterior motive. If I do this for him, maybe he will let me touch him.
          “Ana, you’re so confusing.”
          “I’m confused, too. I’m trying to work this out. And you and I will know, once and for all, if I can do this. If I can handle this, then maybe you -” My words fail me, and his eyes widen again….
          (Steely resolve and other musings. He grabs her and leads her up to the playroom. )
          “I’ll show you how bad it can be, and you can make your own mind up.” He pauses by the door. “Are you ready for this?” She nodded and muses, “my mind made up, and I’m vaguely lightheaded, faint as all the blood leaves my face.”
          He grabs the belt and leads her to the leather bench, murmurs (yes, murmurs) at her to bend over. She gives herself a pep talk and thinks about her bathrobe. He tells her they’re there because she said yes, and she ran from him. “I am going to hit you six times, and you will count with me”. Her inner response? “Why the hell doesn’t he just get on with it? He always makes such a meal of punishing me. I roll my eyes, knowing full well he can’t see me. Then he tells her he’s doing it so she remembers not to run from him. And she thinks, “And the irony is not lost on me. I was running to avoid this, If he’d opened his arms, I’d run to him, not away from him.” More from him about eye-rolling. Then it starts.

          It hurts. A lot. The belt cuts into her flesh. She doesn’t want to cry. It angers her that she’s crying. After 5 she thinks, “One more, I can do one more”. When it’s over, she tells him not to touch her, then says, “This is what you really like? Me, like this?” Then says, “Well, you are one fucked-up son of a bitch”. He’s shocked. He calls her name. “Don’t you dare ‘Ana’ me! You need to sort your shit out, Grey!” She leaves the room and we get her thoughts, including, “What was I thinking? Why did I let him do that to me? I wanted the dark, to explore how bad it could be – but it’s too dark for me. I cannot do this. Yet, this is what he does; this is how he gets his kicks.” Etc.

          She initiated it. She invited it. She had to go through with it to find out if she could cope with it. It wasn’t about sex, it wasn’t about BDSM, it was about whether the poor fool girl could stand his physical abuse until she could save him from the wretched condition that made him want to do it. And, yes, it’s totally fucked up.

          So, no way was it sex play. It was a crazy, fucked-up mess. The scene was the culmination of a book which described an abusive relationship which purported to be about BDSM. I, too, thought at the end that neither of them should be involved in BDSM. Well, I never thought Ana should be because she clearly didn’t want to be; she didn’t enjoy being hit or being told what to do. She only did it because she wanted to save him from his darkness with her love! James wrote a fucked up story. And it’s all about abuse.

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
          • Bob
            Bob

            Let me restate what JS already said. Because Ana is a person she could withdraw her consent to the act at any time. Safewording is about withdrawing consent where words such as “Ow” or crying which would normally serve the same purpose are not good indications. It is not exclusive to “sex play”.

            “She couldn’t safeword because it wasn’t sex play. It was a punishment beating, one that she’d invited, for all the wrong reasons.” Ana is an adult and as such if she wanted to withdraw her consent halfway through being beaten she gets that right. It is her body and it does not matter what she agreed to before the activity began. If she wanted to stop it she can. Whether it’s a “sex scene”, “punishment beating”, or simply a picnic in the park the activity should stop when she no longer wishes to participate. I’m upset that these books promote the idea that there’s ever a time when you can’t use the safeword or withdraw your consent to an activity that’s causing you pain.

            This is also why the contract that Christian wanted her to sign is legally unenforceable. You have the right to withdraw your consent. A responsible partner/Dom would check in periodically to make sure that their partner was still on board with the activity even if they haven’t used a safeword.

            February 24, 2015
          • Roslyn
            Roslyn

            Bob,

            This comment is here because the format is such that I can’t reply to your post under it.

            The reason I say Ana “couldn’t” safeword is because what happened was a test she had set herself and she was determined to complete it. The test involved allowing him to hit her with a belt six times. A person has as much right to agree to endure something they don’t want and aren’t enjoying as they have the right to withdraw their consent and make the experience stop. She didn’t want to stop it, that’s why she “couldn’t”. She “couldn’t” because to do so would be letting herself down.

            She had set the challenge to herself so she would know whether or not she was prepared to tolerate what he wanted to do to her. She was testing her own limits. She didn’t want to safeword, she just wanted it over. If she had decided at any time that she didn’t want to continue, she had the right to stop it and could have done so, but she didn’t want to. It was a test of will and strength she had set herself, for herself, and by safewording or saying “stop”, she would have been letting herself down. She knew the number of hits she would have to endure to complete the test, and she was determined to take them all.

            February 24, 2015
          • S.Kit
            S.Kit

            [putting this here because threading is awkward]

            @ JS + Bob

            I know it’s a year later, but I felt the need to give Rosyln some positive feedback because I’ve been “misunderstood” in similar online convos where passions run high. To the point the “friendly fire flack” has made me avoid online engagements on certain forums.

            IMHO is is very clear Rosyln is NOT defending the story, but EXPLAINING the in-story perspective of the characters as she understands them. Not defending, just offering an explanation and insight…which may or may not be correct.

            Further more, she put quite a bit of thought into her comment and the only reason I can imagine someone misinterpreting it as an excuse/endorsement of abuse is because they did not read it carefully–skimmed it — before replying. This is doubly aggravating when the reply is has the tone of a prissy lecture, like the start of JP’s comment.

            Forcing someone to over-explain because the reader couldn’t stop a moment to reread the comment is rude netiquette. It is all too common on otherwise progressive websites and drives people with unique insights away if it happens too often.

            As a general rule, if one finds themselves composing a scolding rebuttal to a comment they think is a breach of values, reread the comment at least a couple of times before hitting ‘send’ to reply to ensure one actually understood what is being replied to.

            And frankly, I have never felt the need to start a comment with a ‘prissy lecture’, even if I was responding to something offensive, so I don’t know where that habit comes from. It is, almost without exception, condescending, rude and unproductive, IRL or online.

            @ Rosyln

            I thought your insight that Ana wasn’t actually a sub, though she’s assumed to be, an interesting one. Though perhaps this is giving James more credit than she deserves. As I understand it the author does not know WTF she’s doing re: BDSM/kink culture, so it’s unlikely there is a meta aspect to Ana character, at least not an intentional one.

            January 24, 2016
          • Roslyn
            Roslyn

            @ S.Kit Thank you!

            Thank you for taking the time to read what I said, and for reading it carefully enough to work out what I was actually saying – or trying to say, anyway, since I obviously didn’t make myself as clear as I wished.

            And thank you particularly for taking the trouble to post your comment.

            That exchange has been troubling me ever since it took place, because I am very strongly committed to the view that the 50 Shades books tell the story of an abusive relationship, and promote abuse and rape culture, and there is no way I would defend the story.

            January 24, 2016
  27. Heather
    Heather

    Ugh I’m seriously in two minds about seeing this film now! On the one hand I’d rather eat my own face than give any money to E.L. James. But on the other hand I have a massive ladyboner for the actor playing daddy Steele and my friends invited me to go next week. Worth it?

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  28. Amanda Wilson
    Amanda Wilson

    Just curious for those of you who claim to hate the books, the movie, the characters, the lines from the story, etc…why you bother spending a fair amount of time commenting/tearing down a book and movie many of us love. You describe Christian’s character in great detail which is surprising since none of you saw or liked the movie nor read the books. If you had read the trilogy then you’d be able to better understand why his character is the way he is and that he doesn’t want to be that way, esp. after he meets Ana! I guess I just don’t get the point of taking the time to go online just to rip apart a story, movie and characters many, many of us love!! How can you fairly critique/criticize something you have no firsthand knowledge of??? It only makes you look ridiculous when you do!!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • Trudy
      Trudy

      Just curious as to why you bother posting this comment twice to a site that is clearly meant for criticising 50SoG? If you don’t like it, then go elsewhere and leave us our space. We have just as much right to voice our opinions as you do. And the rest of your points have already been answered on your previous comment.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
      • Amanda Wilson
        Amanda Wilson

        Are you referring to me, Trudy? If so, it was an error doing it twice. I tried to delete it as a comment but apparently her site doesn’t have that expanded ability as other sites do. As for why I’m commenting? Well, you said it yourself already. Because I have just as much right to state my opinion as you all do. Are you trying to say I don’t? Kind of hypocritical don’t you think? Or maybe just not here on this site? Because if that’s the case then I refer back to my statement of hypocrisy. Either way, you still spent the time reading my opinion, huh? So, thanks!!

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • Trudy
          Trudy

          I’m not saying you can’t have your opinion, just that if you don’t like hearing criticism of the books/movies, which we have every right to express, then maybe you are in the wrong place! Try a forum for those who enjoyed the 50SoG…

          February 20, 2015
          |Reply
        • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
          Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

          Perhaps then, Amanda, you should caress your helicopter woobie to comfort yourself for having glimpsed a site where people who are literate appreciate the badly-written fanfic Twihard twaddle that is 50 Shades for exactly how valuable it is.

          February 23, 2015
          |Reply
      • alix
        alix

        Trudy – – I think it’s called “trolling.”

        February 25, 2015
        |Reply
      • Amanda Wilson
        Amanda Wilson

        No, it’s a site without the ability to delete comments/posts.

        February 20, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          I guess it’s so shitty you should probably leave and never come back, huh?

          February 20, 2015
          |Reply
    • Ghost of Gene Rayburn
      Ghost of Gene Rayburn

      Thanks for the input, Erika.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Tammy
      Tammy

      “why you bother spending a fair amount of time commenting/tearing down a book and movie many of us love.”

      It is so that we may collect your bittersweet tears you shed out of frustration from the fact that some people hate the things you like, bottle them, and then chill them in the deep and frigid wells of your despair. We call it “Contrary Opinion,” and you can find it on the shelves of most BevMo’s in your area.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne

      “Subjectivity is the only possible approach to reviewing. What is a review but an opinion? Those who call for you to be objective are revealing that they have not given the matter a moment’s serious thought. Most times, those calling for objectivity are essentially saying they wish you had written a review that reflected their subjective opinion.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
      Now, if only EL(erratic lunatic) James and her fans (Amanda) could see the wisdom in those words, and stop using the LAME argument of telling us to read them. Bfwiw, Amanda, I have read them, and I hated them!

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
  29. Ghost of Gene Rayburn
    Ghost of Gene Rayburn

    Thank you for taking one for the team, Jenny! And the shirt is perfection. I applaud your ability to sit through the whole thing, because I sure wouldn’t be able to.

    After hearing about his performance, the nicest thing I can think to say is that maybe he lost a bet. A really, really big bet. So disappointing from a guy who is pitch perfect on The Fall.

    And EL James wants to write the script? Sure, why not. Let her direct as well. In fact, give her full creative control. Such a brilliant and gifted artist should not have to compromise her vision. Let her take her place among such luminaries as Uwe Boll and Tommy Wiseau!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  30. Amanda Wilson
    Amanda Wilson

    another thing that is obvious is that the majority of those commenting have never read the books. If you had you’d know that the way Jamie Dornan portrayed Christian was pretty spot on. His character comes across one dimensional, shallow, egotistical, etc. because that’s how his character is written in the book. However, once you continue reading you realize that the way he acts is just that, an act. It’s supposed to be this impenetrable veneer that no one gets past. Even Christian doesn’t think there is anymore to him because of everything that happened to him as a young child and teenager. No one said these books would win a Pulitzer….however, there are millions of fans (including myself) out there who love the story, characters and movie! I do agree it got a little distracting a few times when Jamie Dornan’s accent slipped through but he was good enough in character as Christian that it was easy enough to overlook. I do like Dakota Joihnson’s take on Ana though i wasn’t sure I would. She is definitively a much stronger, more assertive character than the Anastasia of the books. (The drunk dialing Christian scene was sheer greatness!!) My only complaint with the movie was certain parts I felt were just skimmed over when they should have been explained a little more thoroughly or in more detail. Overall though, I feel the movie was done really well but I definitely think there is room for improvement in the upcoming FS Darker and FS Freed. For those dogging E. L. James about arguing with Sam Taylor Johnson (director) about the script changes simply don’t get that she is trying to keep the movie as true to the books as possible FOR THE TRUE FANS. They don’t want major deviations from the original story, even for the sake of the movie. The watered down sex was an issue for James because she knows that it is a crucial part of the book as it establishes the building trust Ana has for Christian and the building respect Christian has for Ana. We’ll see what the next to movies show and how they are written. Rumor has it that Sam Taylor Johnson is out as director so we will have to wait and see what happens!! Until then….later, baby!!!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • Amanda Wilson
      Amanda Wilson

      I apologize for the typos in the above post but there is no ability to edit, at least not one I can find. I loathe typos but it’s my fault for not proof reading. So I apologize for them now.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
      • Michelle
        Michelle

        Amanda,
        Jenny Trout wrote a great blog post directed toward fans of the books, about a week ago, that I recommend you read. It goes over some of your concerns and gives responses.
        Also, I realize it is difficult to hear people criticize something you care about, so kudos to asking the folks here questions. I hope you’ll stick around for the answers! Fifty Shades of Abuse is another website that offers some in-depth analysis, from BDSM experts, psychology experts, abuse survivors, and literature experts. This provides a great variety of critiques on the trilogy. Also, if you’re interested, you should read all of Jenny’s recaps here. They’re hilarious and filled with great .gifs. Many of the people who comment here have read the books or lived through them (BDSM practitioners or abuse survivors–but those are two totally separate groups of people!)
        Finally, like another woman suggested, if you like this genre, get Jenny’s The Boss from Amazon. Right now, I think it’s free! Try it, see if you like it. Most people think it’s better than 50 shades.
        Good luck and thanks for being willing to dialogue!

        February 21, 2015
        |Reply
        • Jessica
          Jessica

          This is the best comment I have seen in response to Amanda and I commend you for not berating her like others have done. So thanks Michelle, and Amanda I really do hope you have an open mind and read Jenny’s Boss series – at least to get another perspective of the genre and understand where the people who are criticising the books you love are coming from. And if that fails then we can at least all agree to diagree.

          February 22, 2015
          |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Can someone please come pick up their crying child?

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Judi L
      Judi L

      I read the first book, only after seeing the movie trailer, the movie being depicted as a love story. I started the second , but could not get past the first chapter, Thank god for Jenny Trout and her recaps !!! My hope is E. L. James decides she is brilliant enough to write AND direct the sequels, and we can watch it all crash and burn. My daughter and her friends wrote better fan fiction in the 6th grade. I get the feeling E.L. James did not have a very happy adolescence, maybe she wasn’t considered one of the cool kids, and couldn’t get the popular, hot guys, and is trying to relive her younger days through these books. Pathetic. What ever happened to an older generation of women empowering the younger generation? This kind of crap is helping set the women’s rights movement backward instead of forward.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • anon
      anon

      Most of us can say we’ve read the books. If not then almost all of us can say we have read Jenny’s recaps of the books. Which is something I’m going to assume you haven’t done or you would understand what is going on a bit more. A lot of people found this blog because we read the books and hated them so much we had to search out like minded people.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Please, just stop. Now. Althought at least we are in agreement on the whole “it won’t win a pulitzer” thing.
      Do yourself a favour Amanda, and go download some of Jenny’s books (like The Boss released under her nom de plume of Abagail Barnette – they are actually well written with rounded out characters and some really hot raunchy scenes).
      Then read some stuff by other authors in the genre. THEN come back and say if FSOG is still a great series.

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Anne
      Anne

      Amanda, not everything you read in the book translate well on film. Can you imagine the tampon scene making it into film? Or Ana’s inner goddess?? The fans who want everything they read in the book to make it into screen are deluding themselves into thinking it will improve the movie. Instead of two hours we’d get four hours! Do you think people would want to sit through 4 hours of cheesy dialogues and lackluster sex scenes?

      February 20, 2015
      |Reply
    • Roslyn
      Roslyn

      I think Amanda might actually be on to something here, about Dornan’s one-dimensional, wooden, performance. It could well be that it was intentional. I’m not yet convinced, but I am willing to accept it as a possibility. It was early days in their relationship and he was only showing her his practised, super-cool, CEO/Dom mask. This idea might grow on me. I need a reason because in “The Fall” he demonstrated that he can give a nuanced performance and play a multi-faceted character very skilfully.

      February 21, 2015
      |Reply
      • Annette
        Annette

        Shouldn’t we all be grateful that it’s a movie that isn’t a remake/threemake,prequel,old idea,from the news (sick of seeing films of news issues that have been in our daily lives already for weeks) etc,etc.
        I do feel that without Ana’s inner voice it looses some of the impact,but I still think the next 2 books are better,but if the films span another 2 to 3 years,their box office #s won’t be as good. They need to get them done asap.

        February 21, 2015
        |Reply
        • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
          Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

          But it is. It’s a remake of “Twilight.” The sequel will have a “50” in its title, but will be “New Moon,” and the third will also have a “50” in the title but actually be “Breaking Dawn.”

          February 23, 2015
          |Reply
    • Mandi Rei Serra
      Mandi Rei Serra

      I’m just going to say that a] you are not a critical reader AND b] language arts probably isn’t your strong suit.

      The sort of sentiment regarding a man who chooses to beat women who bear a physical resemblance to his mother before “fucking (them) hard” as being romantic and sweet begs all sorts of questions about one’s reading comprehension skills or lack thereof.

      Rape culture and domestic violence are rife within our society, and people have been groomed to accept it. Unless one’s been on the receiving end of a shitty relationship, there’s a good chance they won’t recognize common abusive behaviors, which enables them to flourish. Calling them out helps address it. And since art is an extension of civilization, what does it say when the art being celebrated as something to aspire to is about rape? Of capitulation from being worn down, and being nothing more than an empty vessel? Seriously, character Ana Steele is just that; a placeholder for the reader and spunk bucket for Grey.

      An author has a responsibility toward their creations. EL James failed big time with her lack of research and reading comprehension. If women fantasize about being tied up and spanked, power to them. But when a work depicts that scene, yet the protagonist is recoiling in fear and painting the scene in words opposite of “pleasure” and “consent,” it stopped being a fantasy and became abuse marketed as a way to spice up one’s sex life. And the worst part is, for those who have lived such horrors, it’s being shouted down as being perfectly acceptable to endure.

      That’s fucked up if you ask me.

      February 21, 2015
      |Reply
      • Cat
        Cat

        “If women fantasize about being tied up and spanked, power to them. But when a work depicts that scene, yet the protagonist is recoiling in fear and painting the scene in words opposite of “pleasure” and “consent,” it stopped being a fantasy and became abuse marketed as a way to spice up one’s sex life.”

        I wish more people realized this. I love kinky smut, but I couldn’t enjoy 50 Shades at all because of the abusive dynamic. Power games and bondage is only fun to me if both people are into it and if the submissive person gets the final word. I was initially excited for 50 Shades of Grey because there weren’t any mainstream books that illustrated my fantasies. I was wrong.

        February 22, 2015
        |Reply
    • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
      Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

      Gosh, I’m sure the absence of the Tampon scene was the only thing keeping this masterpiece from an Oscar for best motion picture.

      February 23, 2015
      |Reply
    • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
      Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

      Oh, yes, the reviewer for the New Yorker wished Sarah Silverman could have been the voice of the “Inner Goddess.” Hmm, and Melissa McCarthy as the glasses-wearing counterpoint in Ana’s wee head? That would have raised this thing to Ingmar Bergman heights, surely.

      February 23, 2015
      |Reply
  31. Jen
    Jen

    I saw it and found it absolutely cringeworthy but hilarious at the same time. There was absolutely no chemistry between between the stars. Johnson did the best that she could and did a wonderful job at showing how creepy and stalkerish Christian could be while making Ana seem much more tolerable compared to the books. I absolutely love Doran and think he also did a great job at portraying how creepy and inappropriately Christians actions were. The look on his face as he delivered his lines was that of someone who was extremely uncomfortable like “do I really have to say this shit”. He’s a great actor and he did a great job at making Christian seem like the weirdo, lurking control freak he is. Sadly, not everyone in the theatre got the message by the amount of “awwing” and cooing over his boundary pushing actions such as tracking her at the club or selling her car and buying her a new one. Sex scenes were decent, some aspects were really good mostly because we didn’t have to listen to Ana narrating it in the least possible erotic way. Overall, the movie was alright, certainly not worth the money though. Directors and screenwriters did the best that they could with the awfulness that was the book.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  32. anon
    anon

    I’m going to have to buy your shirt Jenny! It’s just perfect! And thank you for suffering through all of that shit for us! I refuse to give James any money (borrowed the books from the library) so this too will be a dvd borrowed from the library. My librarian and I laugh about these books still! She keeps teasing me about reading them and throwing them across the room a few times!

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  33. I also noted in my review that Jamie was remote, and I wonder if it was intentional also. Dakota was so much more vibrant as Ana, but then again she was there from the beginning, while Jamie only had 4 weeks to plan for his role after Charlie dropped out. I would have liked to see how Dakota and Charlie played off of one another because I hear they worked well together.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  34. […] I’m getting various search hits with people asking why 50 Shades is abusive, so I thought I would try and summarise the main points in one place. Please bear in mind these points come from the books not the film. If you want a view on the film, I recommend Jenny Trout’s review. […]

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  35. imc
    imc

    I think there’s no way the line “I’m fifty shades of fucked up” could have been cut from the movie since… you know… it’s the title and all. As much as anyone involved might have died inside at writing, speaking and shooting it, it couldn’t have been avoided.

    Then again, I have the greatest sympathy for everyone who had to go through the ordeal of making this movie, but the truth is that (unlike Ana) no one was coerced into it. All of the people involved might be totally indifferent to the product and its content, glad about the chance of making so much money, and have clever publicists who circulate gossip about them hating the characters and storyline so that they don’t alienate all those that criticize them.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  36. Tracy
    Tracy

    I am following everything on Jenny’s blog, and I’ve got to say, I am continuously surprised that this movie even got made, even though I tell myself Hollywood has also made a movie of a line of toys (Transformers) board game (Battleship) and old cartoons no one even cares about anymore (Mr. Peabody) I think childrens’ breakfast cereals will be next.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  37. FYI, Enty lawyer who runs Crazy Days and Nights, an industry gossip blog for Hollywood, who is usually right 99% of the time had this to say about the Darker movie:

    Jamie Dornan has out clause for 50 Shades sequel if production does not start by certain date. EL James will delay it beyond that date. No script. No writer. No director. No start date. They wanted sequel V’Day 2016. Shooting won’t start until at least then.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  38. So I confess to watching the movie from a less than legal source and there were a few times that it cut away. I forget what happened in the first book, but wasn’t there some sort of plot? Was it supposed to end with her walking out after the whipping and then that being the end?

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  39. Rita
    Rita

    Let me start by saying, Vanilla all the way, I do not understand the need or desires of BDSM, Dom’s or Sub’s, however each to his own. I never read the books as they were being released. I read them in after all three had been out in print. Didn’t know anything about them when they were the main topic of conversations. I read them about a year ago. I like many, read the first book, and thought Christan Grey was an arrogant ass, I feel there has been enough explaination of all the Un-redeemable qualities of the character that I can leave it at that. I did not like the character at all. I liked Anastasia Steele’s character and sympathized with her character. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read anymore of the series. I started the second book thinking if it wasn’t much better than the first, I would just toss it. Into the second book, I started to warm up to Grey, and the realization that the books were about more than the BDSM life that defined them. Christians growth and healing almost made him a human. By the end of the third book, I was wishing that Christian and Ana’s story would carry on in a forth book, but so far there hasn’t been one. For me, Christian had gone from a character that I absolutely did not like to kinda liking him and having empathy for the character. I have no intention of seeing the movie, as the actor chosen to play Christian has never suited the part for me, and with him as Christian the movie would never be able to live up to the books.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
    • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
      Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

      So what did you think of the scene where Ana told him she was pregnant? What were the characteristics of his “growth” there?

      February 23, 2015
      |Reply
      • Roslyn
        Roslyn

        Or when he flew back from New York prematurely because Ana had “defied” him and gone out for a drink with Kate, and then punished her with orgasm denial which she had never agreed to – that’s never agreed to orgasm denial or punishment of any kind – and upset her so much she had to use her safe-word to make him stop. The fact that by “defying” him she was not home when Jack Hyde arrived and therefore avoided possibly being kidnapped, or worse, by Jack Hyde, seemed irrelevant to him.

        February 23, 2015
        |Reply
  40. Felix
    Felix

    Hi! I am from Singapore. I actually wanted this movie to work. Really wanted to enjoy a good Sexy Romance movie. But the Christian Grey character just killed the film for me.

    Love Dakota Johnson and the Soundtrack though. Dakota really deserves to be in a far better film that this. She has really expressive eyes (like Eva Green, Naomi Watts) that bring out the emotions of the Ana character.

    The Hang Gliding Scene was well done. Loved the Music that went behind it.

    Wonder if Jenny or the rest of you felt the same way.

    Here it is. The Song.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  41. Wait, Rita Ora is in this? And was one of the better parts? Wow. When on camera as herself, she has some of the weirdest body language I’ve ever observed. I once saw her confuse the fuck out of Noel Fielding, who is A) one of the friendliest, touchiest, feeliest human beings I have ever seen, and B) also one of the most astute and respectful about dealing with his inclination to basically drape himself all over anyone he even remotely likes. Either the character she plays is supposed to be a huge mess of awkwardness and mixed signals, or she’s a much better actress than I thought she’d be.

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
  42. Sandy
    Sandy

    TOMATOMETER

    25%
    Average Rating: 4.2/10
    Reviews Counted: 198
    Fresh: 49
    Rotten: 149
    Critics Consensus: While creatively better endowed than its print counterpart, Fifty Shades of Grey is a less than satisfying experience on the screen.

    AUDIENCE SCORE

    49%
    liked it
    Average Rating: 3/5
    User Ratings: 50,535

    And yet, people are still paying to see it…

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
    • Roslyn
      Roslyn

      It’s a mystery to me, especially considering that because of the miracles of modern technology one can fairly easily see it without having to pay a penny of their money to James.

      Some people seem to even be paying to see it more than once! They might be the same people who read the books more than once because they enjoyed them rather than to hunt out parts they wanted to quote in comments on blogs like Jenny’s. 😀

      I am curious to know how long people will continue to flock to see it. I am wondering whether once the avid fans have had their fill the numbers will suddenly drop, since people whose movie-going behaviour is influenced by reviews will decide to spend their money elsewhere. But maybe the avid fans will never have their fill and the damn thing will be clogging up our cinemas for the next twelve months.

      February 22, 2015
      |Reply
      • Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
        Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

        Hell, “Twilight” and the other 2 are on tv every minute of the day, so you can watch the originals for free.

        February 23, 2015
        |Reply
  43. Sara
    Sara

    Love the recaps and the review, but I just have one burning question: is Taylor in the movie?

    February 22, 2015
    |Reply
  44. Lyn
    Lyn

    I usually don’t leave comments but I feel I had to here. I own all three books and have seen the movie three times. My fiancé (and Dom) has seen it only once, (yes with me on Valentine’s Day). It provoked an interesting conversation around the nature of consent which occasionally still pops up from time to time, usually after I’ve seen the movie again.

    Christian in the book is a creepy, stalkerish asshole, but Dornan somehow managed to make him likeable and even human, even though creepy stalkerish elements remain. The funny thing is that I would never want a guy like Christian in real life, yet I love Dornan’s portrayal of him. It’s as if there’s something sweet trying to break out from under the cool, control-freak exterior in the film version. Even when he tracks her to the bar, the way Dornan plays it makes it seem like Christian is genuinely concerned for her despite the fact that he acted like a creepy stalker. He also certainly has the intense stare and physical looks for the role. Mind you, I’ve seen “The Fall” and he’s wonderful there. I guess FSoG didn’t give him the sort of script that would allow him to show what he’s really capable of.

    Also while the consent lines might have been blurred, he did stop when she told him no at the end. So abruptly, in fact, that it looked like he ran into a brick wall. Yes there were creepy moments, the whole undressing her while she’s unconscious is not really appropriate, neither is him flying all the way to Georgia to interrupt her visit with her mother. Or tracking her cellphone, or turning up in her apartment uninvited. Nor the whole “If you were mine…” line the morning after the bar scene – that was coming on far too strong for the beginning. However, while she never did sign his contract, he did obtain verbal consent from her several times, and he also gave her several chances to back out entirely, none of which she took until the end when she couldn’t take it and ran. He could be forgiven for thinking that she did consent, and there were times in the film when she did so, enthusiastically even.

    Ana, on the other hand, is much more human, and humorous in the movie. I particularly liked the negotiation scene where she gets him all hot and bothered and then leaves him hanging. Dakota Johnson did really well I thought. She brought a sense of life to Ana that was missing from the book, while cutting out the whole sickening “inner goddess” junk. She was more a match for Christian in the movie I think, with the way she teases him at times. Good on her.

    I thought the sex scenes were tastefully done, would have liked to see more of Jamie Dornan but then again, I’m female so of course I’d say that. The BDSM was quite tame, I would have liked to see more, and they could have done more, I thought, without shocking people too much. There were some scenes that I’m glad they cut (the one that shall not be named), but they could have put in a few more.

    I’ll leave it here and say that while the books were dreadfully written (I write Harry Potter fanfic and would be ashamed if I wrote something as terrible as FSoG), the director and scriptwriter did the best they could with what they had. Especially since from what I hear the author had an unprecedented level of control over the film. If she writes the sequels then I truly despair for them. I liked the Fifty Shades film, however, please, get a professional screenwriter for the sequels. Please. There’s no need to subject the poor actors to any more of a clunky script than necessary.

    Oh and the car! I loved the car! Unfortunately I can’t get one for myself, finances and all that. Where’s your friendly kinky stalker billionaire when you need him?

    February 23, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I was surprised at how much better the movie was than the books. Particularly Dakota Johnson. I couldn’t believe how much I liked Ana. That said, I didn’t think the movie was particularly enjoyable, but I did enjoy her.

      February 23, 2015
      |Reply
  45. Felix
    Felix

    Feel the same way, Lyn. I might watch it a third time this weekend as well.

    Let’s pray that the Studios are smart to realize that the Author should never be anywhere near a Script. I despair for the sequels if that happens.

    I don’t usually care for Romance films. But the Fifty Shades films attacted me for some reason (Not the BDSM!). I care about Movie Ana and i am eager to find out what will happen to her and Christian in the sequels.

    Amazing on how well the film is doing worldwide Over $410 Million worldwide in its first 10 Days alone. Truly impressive considering it cost only $40 million.

    February 23, 2015
    |Reply
  46. Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
    Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

    My greatest hope is that James writes the script, directs, and stars as Christian for the inevitable “sequel.”

    February 23, 2015
    |Reply
  47. Abbs
    Abbs

    Loved the review (and the shirt) and reading all the comments. The absolute only appeal of this movie for me would be Dornan because he is so fucking fantastic in The Fall, but even he may not be enough to get me to see this debacle. I really hope for his sake he doesn’t have to do any sequels.

    February 24, 2015
    |Reply
    • Roslyn
      Roslyn

      I wouldn’t have wanted to see the film at all if it weren’t for Jamie, and I won’t be seeing any sequels if he’s not in them. If you want to have a feast of Jamie in a role in which it is safe to like him and root for him, I recommend getting your hands on “Flying Home”. He plays a bit of a bastard but comes good in the end and you know he will because it’s that sort of story. You get to see him looking gorgeous in a suit and in casual clothes, and having a little dance, but his character isn’t an abusive prick.

      February 25, 2015
      |Reply
  48. […] and abuse?). Jenny Trout took another one for the team and went to see the movie and wrote up this hilarious review of the slightly less terrible adaptation (“I’ve been on connecting flights that were more […]

    February 24, 2015
    |Reply
  49. Flo
    Flo

    Oh, and for those who think that it’s just the people here who have issues with all of this, you really need to go read the reviews at IMDB. We are not alone…there are some really interesting reviews on this from both men and women. E L James is probably peeing her pants about now if she’s read these.

    February 25, 2015
    |Reply
    • Roslyn
      Roslyn

      It’s been reported that she doesn’t read any reviews. She just sucks up the adulation from her fans and doesn’t even make herself aware of the opinions of those who don’t worship her. Her bank balance would be so huge now that she probably thinks she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I have to say if I were in that position I’d probably feel the same. It has been an incredibly successful phenomenon for her!

      It is my fervent hope that if “Darker” gets made, she wins the right to write the screenplay and it’s a total clusterfuck. 3:)

      February 25, 2015
      |Reply
      • I share your hope.

        “If it’s about abuse, why are there so many women here? Don’t get me started… it’s not, OK?” That’s what EL said at the London premiere in front of a crowd of adoring fans. I *will* write an answer to her question at some point.

        February 27, 2015
        |Reply
  50. Thanks for the extensive review Jenny! And as everybody I liked Your t-shirt but I didn’t like the movie at all. The only thing bearable enough to make me stay at the cinema is Dakota’s performance. I think she has a bright future and can be forgived (at least for now) for gaining more popularity and attention with such a rubbish movie.

    March 22, 2015
    |Reply
  51. Pearl
    Pearl

    Thank you for your review. I watched the film about 6 months ago, then read the wretched book, & then read your delightful recaps. The book bored me : the main character, though not a victim in my opinion, was a solipsistic, silly girl, always blaming her room-mate for practically everything. Grey had all the emotional depth of card-board. I shall not read the sequel books.

    Curiously, though, I liked the film, though purely in a golden-turkey way. The cast were great & the screen-writer ( s ) & director should be complimented for distilling from the book what little plot there was. I care about the film’s characters ; I don’t care a whit for the book’s characters. ( Anyway, it’s obvious that the 2 characters will reunite &, frankly, those 2 deserve each other. ) If the screen-writer ( s ) & director have been ejected by that book-scribbler, then I might take a pass on any sequel films.

    October 1, 2015
    |Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *