“Beneath all the sadomasochistic pornography in Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s an old-fashioned love story trying to wriggle free” writes Allison Pearson in The Telegraph last week. This sounded perfect since I had planned my Valentines Day of fun to end in watching the late viewing of 50 Shades at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill.
Even if I were to find the sado-maso porn side of the film too much, I knew my boyfriend would appreciate it. And in any case, Alison talks of a love story and everyone loves a love story. Alison was wrong. So very wrong. In fact, Alison ruined my Valentines evening.
A lot of effort had gone into getting prized tickets to the Valentine’s showing of 50 Shades. The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill is enormously popular and the tickets sold out in minutes on release day. I was so excited.
I hadn’t read the book, which sold over 100 million copies last year making it somewhat of a biblical text followed by experimental teenagers and bored mothers, but I trusted the publishers who said the film was good. The book seemed to put a smile on a lot of people’s faces. Surely the film would do the same?
FALSE. Until Saturday night, I had never, ever wanted to walk out of a film in protest. Protest at how shockingly bad the story line was, at the laughable acting and the complete vacuum of on-screen chemistry. I was bored out of my mind, fighting to stay awake. I wasn’t expecting the acting & chemistry to be as monumental as it is in The Notebook, but I expected the two leads to at least look like they fancied, or even liked each other. Even at the height of their on-screen romance, they gave each other the sort of look you might give your husband across the table in your final divorce meeting: I don’t know you any more, I am bored of being in the same room as you, I want to leave. Filming this catastrophe must have been more of a chore than watching it.
The monotonous, expressionless acting by Dakota & Jamie is of similar standard to a primary school nativity play. Of course, they’ll blame the script.
At the very least I expected them to be outrageously good looking, however Jamie looks like a 35-year-old school boy and Dakota is just vanilla. Neither had any sex appeal whatsoever. We needed some Scarlett Johansen on Javier Bardem action!
I questioned myself throughout the film. Had I had too much fun at dinner? (we’d had a brilliant dinner at the brand new West 36 in the early evening), or had I too much wine and set this up for disaster? Upon reflection – the bottom line is that 50 Shades is as abominable flop.
Thankfully the cinema had Wi-Fi and other peoples reactions online were very similar: “my real favourite scene was when I saw the credits come up at the end”. “I was surprised by the last scene which I think promoted violence. The whole film does, actually.”
I can but plead with you not to waste your time and hard earned money on watching this film in the cinema, or downloading it.
My personal highlights were the wafts of hot nachos coming from my neighbours, someone tripping up on their way to the bar, my G&T (Thank GOD), and the Holy Cow moisturizer in the loo.