Ever since the casting for Fifty Shades of Grey, I’ve been eager to see the movie. Jamie Dornan was brilliant in The Fall, one of the creepiest series I’ve ever seen and well worth a Netflix binge. No doubt, he could bring Christian Grey to life, though I’d been set on Charlie Hunnam for the role. Dakota Johnson, whose memorable short stint in The Social Network, seemed a perfect choice as Anastasia Steele. I’d Youtubbed her a little as research and found her charming and natural (double kudos if it’s all a performance). As for the story itself, I’m Switzerland and won’t even try to explore all the issues this book provokes in people (it makes me tired). I wasn’t offended by what I read, but it’s not my thing either. I like that a book–rather than a reality show–has created such a phenomenon and I support most women who laugh all the way to the bank.
But back to the movie. The sad fact is that I haven’t stepped out much since last June. Call it mild agoraphobia or just a Garbo phase, but I’ve kept my outings to essential only. I put off seeing Fifty Shades until the last minute (before we’d discuss it at work). I felt grateful that E.L. James wrote a story that would get me out of the apartment. Either because he was bored, curious, loving a free ticket, or just supporting me, Sam tagged along. We entered a mostly empty theater (it was early). Two creepy guys sat in the back. Two girls in the middle. Sam and I gave each other a look and found a place on the side. Because he liked Maid in Manhattan, I thought he could sit through this. Then again, he’d seen the J.Lo flick during our honeymoon phase*. Now, he won’t even consider watching anything with Jennifer Lopez, Hugh Grant, or Julia Roberts in it. Yes to Sandra Bullock and double-yes to Melissa McCarthy.
Sadly, we only lasted an hour in the theater. Dakota Johnson was adorable. She brought so much to the role. In my opinion as a celebriholic and movie junkie, Jamie Dornan was a better serial killer in The Fall and his talents were wasted in this movie. I still thought he was good, just not fall-down-in-a-faint good. It was beautiful to watch, and even though the pacing dragged for me, I could have lasted admiring the Seattle vistas, the helicopter, the glamorous decor, and Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice. Our movie drug of choice has been too many Channing Tatum movies where things go boom and each moment contains serious biceps flexing. Channing Tatum is Sam’s Julia Roberts so we’ve watched every Jump Street and sabotage of the White House flick.
As Ana saw Christian play the piano, I glanced over at Sam whose eyes were glazing over. This was his look when he saw a Kardashian, a Duran Duran concert or Sex and the City, the “please get me out of here” look or “at least give me a glass of bourbon.” No matter how provocative Christian was, no matter how many contracts he wanted Miss Steele to sign, my husband would rather be flogged to death than sit through another hour. I wasn’t so into it that I needed to stay. Given we spent 30$, I thought he’d want to get his money’s worth, at least see some blindfolding and whipping. When I suggested we leave, he brightened, as if I’d given him a pizza. We left.
I’ll wait a little longer to see Fifty Shades in full, or at least, the last hour.
*Though the honeymoon phase is over, we are still nauseating in our lovey-doveyness.