Posts Tagged gone with the wind

Book to Movie: Fifty Shades of Grey

Some things are embarrassing to admit.


Reading Fifty Shades of Grey was, for me. I bought it at one point because everyone else was reading it. A while after I got it, a friend of mine began raving about the whole trilogy and ‘how awesome’ it was. She couldn’t stop talking. She wasn’t the most literary person I know, but I have to admit it did pique my interest. I picked it up in secret and began reading it. I also wanted to read it before it became a movie. However, the fact that it was a spinoff of Twilight fan fiction didn’t help matters. I’m not 12, and Bella and Edward don’t fascinate it me as much.

It was quite a quick read. It was summer, and the baby used to sleep a lot more during those days (sigh). There’s a picture of me with a glass of frappe in hand, lying on the couch in our garden in my nightdress, reading the book. I enjoyed it that much.

I thought it was a great fairy tale. A modern Beauty and the Beast, maybe. Poor, not especially beautiful college graduate meets a multimillionaire. Even though she doesn’t do anything fascinating, he falls for her. All she does it be herself. She isn’t impressed with his many riches and perks, but just his pretty face, his major hotness and his very mysterious air. However, there’s a catch. He’s into kinky stuff. Very kinky stuff. He’s not looking for a girlfriend. Oh no. He’s looking for someone who will succumb to his every desire and sign a weird contract. He only wants a sex partner (shock).

There are tons of little things you can say about each and every thing Grey does. Lots of criticisms about the believability of this plot line. But that’s not what this reads like. It’s actually quite sweet at times. I especially love all the bits leading up to their first kiss. The photo shoot. The coffee shop. The elevator scene. I know everyone will remember the elevator scene. It might be the best bit in the book. I loved that he kept dazzling her parents and they just couldn’t see he was actually pretty messed up inside.

I have a confession to make. I actually cried once while reading this book. It was the bit after she goes home after they do kinky stuff and feels guilty about enjoying herself. I felt so sorry for her. What are the chances of a girl like that finding a sadist (was the the technically correct word? I don’t even know. I don’t really care)? I actually had tears in my eyes. I also felt really bad about the ending, but knew it wouldn’t be the end of them. I was right. Duh.

Of course, there are things that bugged me, and I’m sure it bugged a lot of people. The mention of how rich Grey is on every freaking page. Okay, we get it. He’s so rich he has a helicopter. He’s so rich he earns, what, 100.000 dollars a minute (I think?). He’s so rich he has this huge apartment. He’s so rich he’ll buy the company you work for just so your boss will have to answer to him. He’s so rich he’ll dazzle you with beautiful clothes that cost your yearly wage (and he’s so smart he’ll know your size just by looking at you). Also, not only he’s so rich but he’s also very handsome. The waitresses actually stammer when they see him. He’s so handsome he actually did it with an old lady when he was a teenager (yuck).

While we’re on that subject, the Mrs. Robinson bit also didn’t sit well with me. It actually made a lot of sense, he explains it, says that she helped him through a rough time. He says she saved him from himself. She hurt him during sex (or whatever they do when they are together) so he wouldn’t hurt himself. But Anastasia just doesn’t get it. She talks about it consistently through the book, and also the second book.  She’s quite thick at times.

The overuse of ‘Laters, babe’? I know I’m not alone in this. The first one was funny alright, but not the subsequent fifty times (funny, I just said fifty). Also the way he keeps ‘You have to eat, Ana.’ Gawd. I cringed every time I read it. He force-feeds her through the whole book. Just let her be, man. Not everyone can read so much and maintain a gorgeous body like you can.

Oh, the sex scenes. People kept saying it was trash because they had unconventional sex. I wasn’t a major fan, but I didn’t think it was worthy of skipping. They were tastefully done for what it is. I don’t even remember them anymore. However, I agree that they are way too much. Way too often. Every 10 pages there’s explicit content. It gets tiring after a while. If you took out the sex scenes, the book would be 150 pages. I can say the same thing about the flirting. They flirt all the time. The energy kids have nowadays.

I gave the book 4 stars. Because I think it deserved it for what it was- a Twilight fan fiction twist off. I wouldn’t read it again, and I wouldn’t buy it and gift it to friends and family, but it was quite enjoyable. So I was ecstatic when the trailer came out. The trailer looked good. Anastasia looked perfect for the role, and Grey looked alright. I do think I’d prefer Ryan Gosling. I read somewhere that Charlie Hunnam was cast and actually started filming, but had to quit due to scheduling conflicts. That’s quite a bummer. I’ve really liked him in Nicholas Nickleby (I just Googled him, and he has to lose the beard, like, today). But Jamie Dornan looked alright. He was in some TV series I wanted a couple of episodes of, Once Upon a Time, and I kind of remember him.


I couldn’t go see it right away. My 16-year-old cousin did. There were tales of groups of middle-aged women going to see it in the afternoons. The whole theater sighing at key moments. Actual clapping when we see Grey for the first time. At the same time, there was all this talk about it being a horrible movie. It actually got 4.1 stars from IMDB, 1.2 stars lower than Are You Here, the worst movie I’ve seen in 2015 (or this millennium). So I saw it with quite low expectations.

I can see why people dislike it. The main reason, in my opinion, is that the trailer is amazing. You go into it thinking they have done an amazing job transferring the greatness (really, that’s the best word I can come up with?) of the book to the movie. But it doesn’t really work. All the things that bugged me about the book, like the way Grey is rich or the girl is way too naive etc, are multiplied in the movie. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and all the scenes I remember are from the trailer. And that’s saying something with all the sex scenes that are supposed to be ‘shocking’. However, I don’t think it’s as bad as people crack it up to be. I believe the reason people really dislike it is because the perfect Grey and Anastasia they have pictured in their heads are not the ones they see on the screen. That might be said about a lot of book to movie adaptations, like Harry Potter. But in a story that has so much to do with chemistry, the casting becomes very important. I read somewhere that Clark Gable didn’t want to star as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind because he said people loved Rhett Butler and he might not meet expectations. In that case, Clark Gable was amazing as Rhett Butler (I’m cheating, I haven’t read the book, but the movie was great). I think Jamie Dornan can say that same thing. Grey was such an unbelievable character that you just don’t buy it when you see him in the flesh.

I don’t really rate movies, but I guess I’d give it something like 5 stars.

I have a footnote to make here. I have read the second book a while later, Fifty Shades Darker. I know second books in trilogies are supposed to be weak, but this was weaker than weak. Also, I heard it’s being made into a movie. I guess the producers got what they wanted, even if it wasn’t many stars in IMDB.


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