I read the book and so I wanted to see the film. Not desperately, I just didn't want to feel left out. Also, it was a good excuse to take my best friend to The Odyssey as she hadn't been before.
For any of you reading this who know diddly about 50 Shades of Grey (though that would only be possible if you've been blindfolded, brainwashed and left in a cell for the last 4 years with a butt plug in each ear - which ironically goes some way to explaining the plot), it’s a love story between a college graduate (Anastasia) who steps in for her sick flatmate (a journalist) and interviews the extremely successful and wealthy young businessman (Christian Grey). Grey instantly falls for Anastasia and pursues her. She falls in love with him quickly but finds his BDSM tendencies and past love life hard to handle. She is a virgin.
My other half was a little ‘dubious’ shall we say about me seeing it and he wondered how many other husbands and boyfriends were feeling the same about their ladies going off to see a ‘soft porn film’ (his words not mine) without them.
On the assumption that I reckon there are more men having a sneaky peek at porn than the ladies, my reply was, “what’s good for the gander".
It became quite clear that we weren't here to see brilliant acting or a Swedish porn offering. If Mills and Boon were to produce a film – this is what I imagine it being like. We didn't get to see Mr. Grey’s todger (flaccid or erect) though we did see Anastasia’s pubic hair and boobs. A little imbalanced, don’t you think? And by that, I mean we should have got to see more of his body not that her boobs were wonky. They weren't. They were lovely, as was her bottom. His was ok.
So, after the interview scene, which is terrible (I could have acted it better), the film speeds up. Grey is on a mission to make Anastasia his. I forget some of the finer detail, but no matter - you’ll get the gist!
He turns up at the DIY store where she works and asks for some cable ties, tape and rope. This shopping list, together with his lacklustre, dead behind the eyes gaze, should have sent, I would hope, any other woman with an ounce of common sense, running for the hills, but not her.
One night she’s at a club, she doesn't tell him which club by the way (though I don’t think she told him where she worked either come to think of it!) and they are texting each other.
They then speak on the phone and Grey can tell that Anastasia is drunk. Before you know it, he’s somehow tracked her down (freak) and handily arrives just in time to stop her male friend taking advantage of her. She then throws up and faints and he decides he will take her back to his hotel rather than try to get her home (freak).
Though credit where due, he sleeps in a different room and does not touch her (phew) but they enjoy a snog in the morning even though her breath probably stank of puke from the night before (eww).
She then goes to get dressed but he’s already sent her clothes to the dry cleaners (kind of OK but still a bit neat-freak) and sent his driver out to get her a new (not very nice) outfit.
Anyway, blah, blah, blah - they start seeing more of each other and sometimes she stays over…
Anastasia drives a lovely old VW Beetle. In his *wisdom*, he sells that and surprises her with a new BMW (or something of the like). This is not the sort of surprise that would float my boat. “Hi honey, I've just sold your beautiful classic car and replaced it with some generic, boring, shiny, new red thing” (freak).
Oh and when he can’t sleep, he gets up and plays the piano - how utterly inconsiderate and selfish to wake Anastasia up just because he can’t get back to sleep. Why he couldn't just read a book or detangle his whips in his play room or something I don’t know (freak).
She’s confused, she’s falling for him but she’s unsure as he’s a bit different (no sh*t!) and so she decides that she will go and spend a few days with her mum to get her head straight. He learns of her imminent trip whilst they are at a family dinner at his parents. He is fuming that she hasn't mentioned it to him prior to now (freak).
Anyway, she catches a flight and off she goes for some much needed family time. She’s sipping on a cocktail with her mum one sunny afternoon and guess who shows up?! Yep, you've guessed it. I would have, at this point, very loudly and in no uncertain terms told him to take his sodding contract, car, whips and chains and to f*ck off. But no, she thinks it’s romantic (freak).
Towards the end, he finally takes her to his ‘play room’ for some hard-core action. You have to assume it’s hard-core as it doesn't come across as that really. Yes, he chains her up and she is reminded of her safe word but I can’t give you any more detail than that. Not because I don’t want to spoil it for you but I honestly don’t think there was much more to it. I’m not sure she was that impressed either.
Finally, beyond the walls of the play room, positioned across that damn piano, she lets him demonstrate what her punishment would be if she doesn't follow his rules. He whips her - hard. And he makes her count each stroke as he does so. This is the deal breaker for her and she leaves him. Or does she?
Throughout the film, there is a severe lack of laughter, banter and (mutual) spontaneity between the couple. The film is totally unsexy. He is totally unsexy. It did absolutely nothing for me. Not even a twinge.
I think I would be more turned on by watching him prepare me a bacon sandwich. Though, to be honest, he would probably be control-freaky and anal (snigger) about that too. It would be on brown bread not white with some kind of low fat turkey rasher rather than my usual favourite fatty streaky and instead of butter he would use some sallow looking cholesterol-reducing spread. And I can almost guarantee he wouldn't let me have ketchup. God no, too sugary, too messy!
So, for all the worried other halves out there, you can rest easy and not doubt your sexual performance or level of adventure because actually, much like his name, Mr. Grey is a bit ‘meh’. For all his whips, chains and cash, he’s dull, controlling, predictable and let’s not forget, an A1 FREAK! Gentlemen, send your ladies to the cinema with wild abandon and they will come running back to you with arms and legs open wide.
So, did 50 Shades lead to me and my fella having some fun? Hell yeah! He makes a crackin' bacon sarnie! And the ketchup went everywhere - he got a right old spanking for that I can tell you!