Fifty Shades of Grey Looks Decidedly Grey (trailer review)

By Niall McArdle


Jamie Dornan
Jamie Dornan shows off benefits of the Ulster fry-up source: The Guardian

Is it fair to slag off a film based on its trailer, even one as daft-looking as this?

Yes. Yes it is.

50 Shades 5
Dornan fingers his grand piano (giggity!) Source: The Guardian

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.

Jamie Dornan: not a fan of manscaping. Source: eonline
Jamie Dornan: not a fan of manscaping. Source: eonline

What a shame they didn’t cast Dakota Fanning instead: then I could have written the following:

Dakota Fanning in I Am S&M

Dakota Johnson gets a good night's sleep thanks to a sleep-mask she bought off Sky Mall. source: The Guardian
Dakota Johnson gets a good night’s sleep thanks to a sleep-mask she bought off Sky Mall. source: The Guardian

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.

source: Daily Mail

50 Shades of Bouncy: source: Daily Mail

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.

Stuart Heritage at The Guardian mercilessly has a go at the trailer here. Donald Clarke at The Irish Times gets a good dig in as well.

Oh, and one more thing. In the trailer Dornan says his tastes are “very singular”: isn’t that grammatically incorrect?

16 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Grey Looks Decidedly Grey (trailer review)

  1. I confess, I was underwhelmed about the main-stream porn book and so, didn’t bother to read what I already knew would be more akin to reading a middle school girls diary than anything else. Thus, the movie can do little now to entice or intrigue. Great Review 😉 I couldn’t agree more!


  2. My wife thought the book was incredibly sexy, so I must be neglecting her. The film looks like complete tosh. A chance missed for another 9 1/2 weeks perhaps? (Mind you, that was crap too).
    Best to settle for a ‘normal’ porn film. At least they are being honest.
    Cheers Niall.


    1. it does look pretty bad and i imagine will not do well at the box-office, and i do think that the book’s moment in the sun is long gone. Look at the underwhelming response to the Hollywood remake of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’


  3. I read the book because I worked at a bookshop at the time and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. What a mistake! Worst book ever, incredibly poorly written, and a huge waste of time. Some parts were laugh-out-loud hilarious though, so hopefully they include them in the film.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read the book, which sounds like nothing more than a racy Harlequin or Mills & Boon, but probably less well-written. If you worked in a bookshop then you know that romance authors and readers take the genre very seriously, and it is one of the most successful genres in publishing. I suspect that ‘real’ romance enthusiasts hated the book


      1. Oh yes, I do love me some Shitfest! Btw, that was only Twelve Shades of Bouncy, but it’ll do.

        Also… Brown Trout. LOL.


  4. I have a feeling that fans of this will flock to it just as fans of Twilight flocked to those movies….it doesn’t matter how good or bad it may be. (In the case of both, I consider them both bad)


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