The Quick Fix: Lukewarm, lifeless and limp
The Bottom Line: Fifty Shades of Oy Vey… Thrusting it’s way in to theaters with all the sexiness of a TV Land rerun of Three’s Company (Chrissy Snow excluded, of course), Fifty Shades of Grey dares to dangle its poorly written, intrigue-free, lazily plotted jewels in the face of many a moviegoer this weekend. Granted, household washing machines may receive a brief yet well deserved respite for two-short hours, but in terms of entertainment – this much-hyped, sub-soap opera soaked melodrama just ain’t where it’s at… The opening scenes are shockingly efficient in creating a light air of mystery and cuddly awkwardness as the cold, confident and charisma-free Christian Grey attempts to penetrate the clumsy naiveté of Anastasia Steele (a somewhat solid turn from Dakota Johnson) – but that only lasts for about 11 minutes. The remainder of the movie (149 minutes) is a poorly managed mish-mash of deathly hollow dialogue, dour relationship building, and dreadfully dull sex scenes. That’s right, the main event – the reason people are even in the theater in the first place – is devoid of a creatively naughty imagination. It’s all lukewarm, lifeless and limp. My wife, a reader of the first two books (three total; with movie sequels to follow) until she couldn’t stand the sixth-grade level writing, shrugged her shoulders at the end of the movie – she then got about as in depth as the blandness would allow by stating ‘it is what it is’ and gave it a C-. It’s hard for me to get behind this stale, soft core sleep-inducer because it’s not even laughably bad… It just lays there. In the event things become too hard to handle, a safe word is required for the submissive member of a masochistic relationship – in retrospect, it would have been nice for filmgoers to receive that word as well…because in the end, we’re the ones who are actually getting the shaft.
Starring: James Dornan and Dakota Johnson
Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Rated: R (for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language)
Running time: 111 minutes
Story: E.L. James' kinky best-seller gets the big screen treatment with this Universal Pictures/Focus Features co-production. The steamy tale details a masochistic relationship between a college student and a businessman, whose desires for extreme intimacy pen from secrets in his past.
Official site: www.fiftyshadesmovie.com