By Niall McArdle
Is it fair to slag off a film based on its trailer, even one as daft-looking as this?
Yes. Yes it is.
The film of the literary mommy-porn phenomenon opens in cinemas next Valentine’s Day, and stars Jamie Dornan as billionaire s&m enthusiast and Christian Grey, and Dakota Johnson as the mousey and ironically named Anastasia Steele.
What a shame they didn’t cast Dakota Fanning instead: then I could have written the following:
Dakota Fanning in I Am S&M
The studio is expecting big things from the film, so expect to be bombarded by ads in the next few months. The trailer features an exclusive version of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce (or Bouncy as she’s known over at The Verbal Spew Review). Being one half of the world’s most powerful and savvy media couple, the canny Bouncy just doesn’t lend her name and voice to duds, so perhaps she knows something that the rest of us don’t. That, or she can spot a good bandwagon at fifty paces.
It looks as if the film has a lot of meaningful looks, a lot of chrome and glass, sweaty sex, and a troubled billionaire. Well, really, they have problems too, you know, especially rich blokes like Christian who “had a rough start in life” and who runs around like Rocky when he’s not clutching the piano like Richard Clayderman or poncing around his flat half-dressed. His hobbies include hang-gliding and a bit of the old slap and tickle.
The film has a lot to live up to. Fans of the book will be eager to see if the film can come up with the cinematic equivalent of lubricious prose such as this:
Sitting beside me, he gently pulls my sweatpants down. Up and down like a whores’ drawers, my subconscious remarks bitterly. In my head, I tell her where to go. Christian squirts baby oil into his hand and then rubs my behind with careful tenderness—from makeup remover to soothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.
Or this piece of tumescence:
Suddenly, he sits up and tugs my panties off and throws them on the floor. Pulling off his boxer briefs, his erection springs free. Holy cow! … He kneels up and pulls a condom onto his considerable length. Oh no … Will it? How?
Or this nod to Greek mythology:
You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus flying too close to the sun.
Will the film duplicate the success of the book? Or will a release date of February 2015 be too late? The culture is currently in the clutches of True Detective and Fargo. The literary zeitgeist is dominated by books such as Gone Girl and The Goldfinch. Christian and Anastasia seem so very 2012.
Oh, and one more thing. In the trailer Dornan says his tastes are “very singular”: isn’t that grammatically incorrect?