No preamble. Here is my review.
I need to set the stage for you before I dig into my review of the movie.
I am a lover of the Fifty Shades of Grey books. I read them once beginning in 2011. If memory serves, the first two books were out then (before all the hype) and the third was released in early 2012. If my memory is correct. (My review of the first book. http://www.mybookboyfriend.net/2012/01/best-book-ever-fifty-shades-of-grey-by.html) I’m not a re-reader, so I read them once. And 600 books later, I don’t remember them exactly. So did the movie change some things? Yes a few things I remember, but I wouldn’t be able to point out every change.
Second important thing to know about me is I’m not a lover of romance movies. I don’t go see romance movies on purpose in the theatre. I’ve watched some at home on cable. And Twilight, I thought that was a vampire movie much like Underworld based on the trailers when I went to go see it. Imagine my surprise. However, no matter your thoughts on Robert Pattinson and Kristen Steward, they pulled that movie off. I laughed when Rob entered the cafeteria, but I was spellbound after that movie was over. Why am I telling you this?
Glad you asked. I’m not a re-reader and I’m also not one to watch movies more than once on purpose either. There are a few movies I would watch on purpose more than once. And not Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter much as I liked them. But Stars Wars the original (episode IV) is one. And Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club are another two. And Twilight. That was the only movie I saw more than once in theatres. And only the first movie in that series, not the rest. The soundtrack, I think also helped make that movie magic.
Why did I tell you all that? Because I wouldn’t see Fifty again in the theaters unless my friends convinced me too. It doesn’t make a bad movie. I loved Lord of the Rings trilogy and I wouldn’t have seen that more than once in the theatres.
Was it good? I think they did an excellent job of catching the spirit of the movie on screen. And there was chemistry between Jamie and Dakota, but it wasn’t magically. I didn’t fall in love after watching the movie. I will say I was previously a Dakota hater, but she did a phenomenal job. Jamie did what I expected. That’s not to say that Dakota’s acting job was better. It’s just she had a long way to go to get my respect and she did, so it feels like she did great. She felt like Ana. She did Ana justice. And Jamie’s wife, I can see why she wouldn’t want to see the movie. My god. I’m not sure he if he was an actor or model at the time when they married. However, having been on a movie set before and the number of takes; I can’t imagine my husband doing this movie and not causing relationship problems.
And I should speak to the haters. This book nor the movie abdicates violence against women. If anything especially the movie, they did a good job of going against violence. Nothing happens to Ana that she doesn’t consent too. Even the worst of it. And Christian makes sure to explain to her that she can leave or say No to anything at anytime. So haters, stop.
I’ve also been an advocate about the books being more than sex. That sex is a necessary plot element to the story and Ana & Christian’s relationship evolution and not sex just to make it erotica. However, I thought in the movie, sex took over. For all those that wanted a NC-17, I felt like there was enough nudity and other stuff for it to be a NC-17 rating in my opinion. And I think the sex may have stolen the movie and dragged it in spots. I thought there were other things that happened in the books that could have been put on screen to keep the movie moving and interesting.
With that said, I did like the movie and I will be there on opening night for each subsequent movie. However, I can’t say the movie was phenomenal. It was a better book to movie adaptation than say the Host by Stephanie Meyers. That was a great book and a horrible movie. Fifty was good, just not great.
If you’ve read the books, you should see the movie. If you’ve seen the movie, I would encourage you to read the books so you can really see the magic that is there.
Overall, I think justice was served as far as the movie goes. I just wish it would have knocked my socks off.
This is me, signing off. Great job Dakota and Jamie for pulling off one of my favorite books. Thanks E.L. James for writing it.