It seems that the release of the much anticipated ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ has caused quite a stir in Hollywood. Receiving mixed reviews from critics, the novel itself started out as Twilight fan fiction written by the British Author E.L James who quickly shot to fame in 2011. The public were overworked and hungry during the 2011 UK recession, but their hunger for food quickly escalated into something else (coughs.) It seems that the something was ‘Fifty Shades.’

The cast
When it was announced that a film was going to be made, and Dakota Johnson would play the role of Ana Steele, people were sceptical. Others feared that her acting might resemble Kristen Stewart’s abysmal performance in the Twilight trilogy. The question is, was she truly terrible? The answer is no. Considering how irritating the character of Anastasia Steele is in the novel, the film gave her a more likeable side. Dakota Johnson was well suited to playing the clumsy student turned submissive. Gone are the cringe worthy utterances of ‘oh crap’ and the constant reference to her inner Goddess as she portrayed the character with an edge of vulnerability. Casting Christian Grey was more difficult, when thousands of brooding middle aged women already had fixated ideas of what he should look like. Blonde, first choice Charlie Hunnam didn’t stand a chance when he was initially cast. Some claimed that he looked wrong for the part, and he wasn’t attractive enough and he backed out of the contract just one month after the initial casting was announced. Social media went into uproar when a replacement had to be found and there was talk of casting the likes of Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds. It seems that the public already had a firm favourite. Over 100,000 people signed a petition to cast the then 36-year-old Texas born White Collar star, Matt Bomer as Mr Grey. He had everything; a chiselled Grecian profile and piercing blue eyes. As a gay actor, he probably wasn’t even considered for the part. Even in this day and age, it seems that it’s still not acceptable to be openly gay and ‘out’ in Hollywood. (Even if you are beautiful and talented. His time will come.)
In November 2013, Northern Irish model and actor Jamie Dornan (best known for his role in the BBC TV series ‘The Fall’) was named as Charlie Hunnam’s replacement.

So how did the film work out?
It was surprising to see some familiar faces in the form of 1995, Pride and Prejudice’s Jennifer Ehle, who played the role of Ana’s Mum. Despite the stir of Rita Ora being cast as Christan Grey’s adoptive sister Mia, her screen time was clipped to the minimum.
The film did have a few ‘laugh out loud moments’during the main characters’ first encounter, as Mr Grey is seen stocking up on masking tape, rope and cable ties in the DIY shop where Ana works. “You’re the complete serial killer.” She states. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
The cinematography was pretty (even beautiful) in places, as Sam Taylor-Johnson’s attention to detail was clear when filming scenery (not BDSM, *awkward cough.*) However, the desperately lacking plot let the entire film down. The books were heavily focused on the BDSM relationship between the two main characters, but of course the sex scenes were tamed and subtly done for the cinema screen. Instead, we were left with Jamie Dornan’s jerky and slightly wooden acting and average body, while Dakota Johnson managed to hold the fort during the entire film. Sometimes it felt like a spark wasn’t there between the two leads, but I suppose Christian Grey ‘doesn’t do relationships’ anyway. He’d rather play in his ‘red room of pain.’ (Shudders.)
-Was it a bad film? No it wasn’t, but was it over hyped? The simple answer is yes. It was Fifty Shades Of Overrated.
Mr Grey wont see me now. 

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


31 thoughts on “Fifty Shades Of Overrated

  1. I agree with your review but I have to admit that if I hadn’t read the books, I would have thought the movie was awful. Knowing the motivations and backstories of the characters helped even out some of the wooden acting, especially on Jamie’s part.

    1. I’m kind of the opposite. The books are shocking, and I think the film is okay as a stand alone project. (Can I call it that?)
      Hmm, Jamie Dornan really was a let down. Who would you have cast as C.G?

      1. I was in the Matt Bomer camp or perhaps Ian Somerhalder; I was also surprised with the Jamie Dornan choice. I liked Dakota Johnson in the role, though. It will be interesting to see how the sequels progress.

  2. I haven’t seen it and truthfully I don’t think I will. I have a couple of friends that read the book and gave me a rundown on it and frankly I’m just not interested in it. Thanks for sharing your review here.

  3. I haven’t seen the film yet but I heard basically the same thing. Not an entirely terrible movie but another ‘flash in the pan’ kinda thing. I’ll probably check it out eventually but not gonna waste $10 on it 🙂 Thanks for the honest review!!

    1. Hey Ashley.
      There’s no point wasting money. You’d be better waiting until it comes out on Netflix etc. I don’t like to be a sheep, but I was intrigued!

  4. Hey,

    I think some of the funny moments (contract negotiation, e.g.) were meant to be funny, while others were not supposed to be (the constant, intense stare of Dornan, Dornan showing up so fast at the bar where Johnson was drunk). But love in its many forms have many funny moments : )

    I agree, the movie is overrated, but I still like it. And I watched it for free!

    — M

  5. Thanks for this review, but I have zero interest in seeing a film (or even reading a book) that glorifies such behavior.

  6. When a couple of co workers told me about the book, emphasizing what they felt was bad writing, I decided the book wasn’t worth my time – and I have had no desire (no pun intended) to see the movie, either. I enjoyed your review – it showed me I made (for me) the right decision.

    1. Hello Alana, it’s lovely to hear from you.
      The writing really is awful. It’s basically plagiarised Twilight with added sex. Considering how bad the books are, the film was okay. I just wouldn’t have cast Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.

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