HUB Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Story posted April 23, 2015 in News, CommRadio by Sofia Westin

It was really only a matter of time before a sex-filled movie graced the screens in a college town (and you can even watch it for free…*sigh*).

Meet Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), a twenty-something virgin who feels she has no worth at all. On a chance occurrence, she has to interview the speaker for her upcoming college graduation, the handsome billionaire (I mean, who wouldn’t want to have someone like him as a guest speaker…hmmm) Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) who is all suave and confident, AKA the opposite of Anastasia. She enters into a contract with Christian (because he’s controlling), to become the submissive to his dominant in this BDSM romance. As the whip keeps striking, Ana learns there are so many facets (or shades) to the plagued Christian.

This is basically the sex fantasy of Twilight, as the author of the books (yes, they were books first) wrote her trilogy as fan fiction online before publishing. Online she called it “Master of the Universe”…If you know the Twilight story, and liked it, then you will probably see the many parallels and enjoy it, too.

Though the first trailer is attributed to being the most watched trailer of 2014, the hype ended when the critical reviews came in after its Valentine’s Day release this year. Sure, some loved it, but most reviews were in the mixed or negative category. IMDb users rated it at 4.2, with user reviews all over the place. Over at RottenTomatoes, 44 percent of audiences liked it, and all critics and top critics rated it as rotten, with 25 and 31, respectively. MetaCritic gave it a score of 46, with people on both sides of the fence. So this may just be your cup of tea.

On the Penn State Scale...
1—when Penn State loses a game,
2—an 8 a.m class (which are awful),
3—a canceled 8 a.m class,
4—free books for a year,
and 5—free Creamery for a year

Though this is considered a romance, I knew that if I was going to watch it, it would have to be with friends so we could all LOL at it. I was not disappointed. It was so difficult to take the movie seriously as a love story that was supposed to be all hot and sexy because it wasn’t. At least, not for college students. Despite its comedic elements, it still ranks very low at 1.5.

The acting very much reminded me of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, who played the lead characters of Edward and Bella in Twilight. The acting was weird, unnatural, not very good, and Johnson and Dornan lacked chemistry outside the bedroom. Yes, these characters do interact outside Christian’s Red Room of Pain (?!) for most of the movie, as is more discussed below.

Scenes move way too quickly, which may be why the actors had little time to act since they moved from one emotion to another in an instant. The filmmakers had a lot to cover in 2 hours, the book being 514 pages, so it felt rushed. Obviously much was cut for time, especially sex scenes because a book can go on for pages (or a whole chapter) about one experience with thoughts and insight, while a movie has to show it in a few minutes, or even seconds. From my five-chapter encounter with the book (because curiosity), I could tell things were changed for the film.

Overall, the movie is a joke with lots of awkward funny scenes (except for the end, but we kinda saw that coming) and is not the modern telling of the next big love story. If it is, we’re all doomed. Just kidding, but try not to have too high expectations even though Beyoncé made a remix of one of her songs for the movie.

I will admit though that despite its low rating, I did have a small inkling of a desire to know what will happen in the next film. Oops.

The movie is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, bad language and unusual behavior (that’s not a joke). It contains 14 minutes and 17 seconds of sex scenes, according to IMDb (no, I didn’t time it myself), so that is about 12 percent of the movie (that I did calculate, just for you).

Mr. Grey will see you now.

Sofia Westin is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and economics. To contact her, email sgw5090@psu.edu.