“Fifty Shades” of enjoyable mediocrity

By: Addison Smith | Opinions Editor

Sometimes, you have to be willing to make fun of yourself to get through life, and Fifty Shades of Grey seemed to take this notion to heart in production. In what seems like a satire of the book before it, the movie turned out surprisingly charming, albeit not the best film of the year by any means.

And seeing it opening night with a crowd of college girls sprinkled with middle-aged women, who spent more time laughing at the sex scenes, was a quality time as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with Fifty’s ridiculous plot, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) begin a romance that doesn’t seem to make sense. He’s a billionaire company owner. She’s a mousy college senior searching for a job in publishing.

However, even romance is a loose term. Grey tells Steele explicitly throughout the movie that he is not one for romance. Steele, however, seems to think that underneath Grey’s hard exterior is a caring person who really does want a girlfriend, specifically, herself.

Sure, this all sounds like a typical romantic comedy starring John Krasinski or Zooey Deschanel, but Fifty Shades of Grey is darker than that. Christian Grey is into the BDSM scene, and for him his “girlfriends” (in the loosest sense of the word) are his submissives, answering to his beck and call sexually and in their “relationships.”

In this image released by Universal Pictures and Focus Features, Dakota Johnson, left, and Jamie Dornan appear in a scene from the film, "Fifty Shades of Grey."  (AP Photo/Universal Pictures and Focus Features)
In this image released by Universal Pictures and Focus Features, Dakota Johnson, left, and Jamie Dornan appear in a scene from the film, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures and Focus Features)

However, Steele is a virgin, mousy girl, who isn’t ready to throw herself into a submissive role. She argues with Grey, hoping that they can have a cookie cutter relationship, but Grey fights back.

Overall, the film seemed to understand the plot is hard to grapple with seriously. Those creating it seemed to understand that yes, Fifty Shades of Grey started as an Edward Cullen fan fiction, thus not making it the greatest literary piece in the world. However, those making it did understand why people read the book; it’s fun and easy to digest quickly. It’s the book that you bring in your beach bag to read at the pool, not the book you analyze for an English course.

While some are protesting the film claiming it promotes domestic abuse, others are looking at the film/book as an escape from reality. With that understanding, the movie seemed to turn towards becoming a romantic comedy. Steele fights back with Grey with her words, creating a witty banter reminiscent of Pam and Jim on The Office. While the book focused on sexual intercourse, the movie focused on Anastasia Steele’s and Christian Grey’s chemistry. Something about the other is alluring to them, and the movie plays into that with jokes, side glances and moments that left the audience in fits of giggles.

Fifty Shades of Grey understands that it might not be the best movie in the world, but it is fun to watch. Girls will leave vying for a Christian Grey of their own when they see how he treats Steele outside of the bedroom. It’s not meant to win awards, it’s meant for those going to see it to enjoy.

Overall, it did its job, but wasn’t something to rave about. Score: 6/10