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Fifty Shades of Grey Film – Is it Worth the Hype?

Updated on December 1, 2016
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Tawnya is a freelance writer who loves spending time in the outdoors. She's competed in the Dirty Girl Run and other obstacle courses.

Fifty Shades of Grey is Expected to be a Blockbuster Hit

Women everywhere will be flocking to the theaters on Valentine’s Day 2015 to see the film debut of Fifty Shades of Grey! The film is based on the sexually charged trilogy written by E.L. James and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Like others, I will be leaving my daughter with my husband and heading to the theater next week to see the R-rated film, but I’m wondering if it’s worth the hype?

Fifty Shades of Grey is the Fastest Selling R-Rated Title in History

If you are questioning whether there really is a lot of hype about the movie, consider this; Fandango has stated that pre-sales for Fifty Shades of Grey is the fastest selling R-rated title in history. That’s an amazing accomplishment for any film. What even amazes me more is that the most pre-sales, according to Fandango, to the flick have occurred in Mississippi. Mississippi is one of the most religious and conservative states in the country, which leads me to wonder if the people buying these tickets have seen the movie? Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t reviewed the movie yet, but according to their site, 90% of their audience want to see the movie. Even though I have reservations about a film adaptation of the movie, I admit I want to see it too.

Can Sam Taylor-Johnson Deliver a Film that Will Satisfy?

When I was determining whether I wanted to bother with the movie, I’m a firm believer that the books are always better than the movie, I took a look at who directed the erotic drama. Sam Taylor-Johnson, also known as Sam Taylor-Woods, is the director of this film. I didn’t recognize the name, so I went on to explore her credits. Much to my surprise, I found that she hadn’t directed many titles that I recognize. Her directing credits include:

  • Misfit (1996)
  • Destricted (2006)
  • Love You More (2008)
  • Nowhere Boy (2009)

With a rather brief resume, I wonder if Taylor-Johnson has the chutzpa to pull off a film that lovers of the “mommy porn” series expect?

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele

The Anastasia Steele that E.L. James created made the book what it was. Not only was the young literature student was naïve and brilliant, but she was equally intellectually matched to the dark and handsome Mr. Grey. When I heard Dakota Johnson was cast as Anastasia Steel, I must admit I frowned a bit. I only know who Dakota Johnson is because she is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths. I remember seeing her in the 2012 comedy 21 Jump Street too, but she wouldn’t have been my pick for Fifty Shades of Grey. If I was in charge of casting, I would have much rather seen any of the following actresses as Anastasia Steele rather than Dakota Johnson:

  • Lucy Hale
  • Emma Stone
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Nina Dobrev
  • Emma Watson

Since I'm a firm believer that the series was a hit because of Anastasia, if Dakota Johnson doesn't deliver what readers of the trilogy expect, the film doesn't have a chance.

Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson Fan Art

Charlie Hunnam Would Have Been a Better Christian Grey

In E.L. James’ trilogy, Christian Grey is a tormented, intimidating, control freak with a penchant for S&M enthusiasm. When casting for Mr. Grey was first announced, I was stunned that my favorite, fictional motorcycle gang president, Charlie Hunnam was taking the lead. I love Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) as much as I love Christian Grey so it was like riding a unicorn down a rainbow for me. Sadly, Hunnam pulled out of the movie before I actually got to take my serendipitous ride. According to Hunnam, he pulled out of the movie because of scheduling conflicts. However, rumors point to a conflict with the creative team. After hearing that the steely, grey-eyed Hunnam was pulling out of the movie, I worried that the movie was doomed. We all know Hunnam doesn’t have a problem being naked or intense in front of the camera, so I wonder if he predicted the movie was going to be a flop. When Hunnam exited the film, Jamie Dornan was cast in his place.

Fifty Shades of Grey - Official Trailer

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey

For me, Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey is all wrong. My love of everything Charlie Hunnam may bias my displeasure with the casting, but there are other things at play as well. For one…who and the heck is Jamie Dornan? He has the dreamy model, metrosexual look that you would expect Mr. Grey to have in real-life, but as far as I know that’s all he has going for him. After checking out his bio, I noticed that he too has only a few credits, including a stint as The Hunstman/Sheriff on Once Upon a Time, under his belt.

Can Fifty Shades of Grey Translate Well With an R-Rating?

When I read the trilogy, I was happy to have my Kindle, so I could read my filthy, mommy porn without judgment. That’s right, I’ll admit it, Fifty Shades of Grey, the book, is deliciously filthy. In fact, there were toys and tools in that book that I had to google because I had no idea what they meant or what they were used for. The mystery, raciness, and seductiveness of the book was part of the attraction of the series. The Red Room, ben wa balls, whips, and so much more…how will that translate on film, especially with an R-rating? The rating for this film is based on strong sexual conduct, including content and dialogue, unusual behavior, and graphic nudity, so I expect we will get to see some of what we are wanting to see, but I question whether it will be enough to truly satisfy viewers? In my experience, think Edward and Bella, the sensuality of characters in books is usually always better than it is on screen.

Fifty Shades of Grey Poll

Will you see Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie?

See results

Fifty Shades Darker - Set to Hit Theaters in February 2017

Whether you have read all the books or even seen the first movie, you may be interested in knowing the 2nd movie in the trilogy is set to hit theaters in February 2017.

Comments About Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Didn't read the book. Haven't seen the movie. However I have read just about everything written about this much-talked about, overly-anticipated film. Knowing me, I probably won't see it until it's available on line or HBO.....

      The main characters are certainly unknown to me, except for what I've learned since this movie. I'm actually glad these 2 actors were chosen, even if there were far better choices. Considering the massive millions that will be made, I like to see somewhat unknowns get a career boost like this.

      You did a nice job on this review and I thank you!..UP+++

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I just saw the movie. It's better than I expected it to be! I thought it was tastefully done.

    • Michele Rubatino profile image

      Michele Kaasen Rubatino 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I will not be spending the money to view the film, but encourage those with an interest in fiction to enjoy! My only concern is if it passes the bechdal test, so I will be reading the reviews.

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      Not my style of movie so I won't be seeing it. I prefer a good comedy, biography, or documentary but prefer my sex in the bedroom rather than the theater. I have also heard rumors that there is some degradation in the film and I do not want to support that type of behavior. Personal morals I guess.

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