50 Shades of Grey - Whips, Nips, and the Drizzling Shits

I wasn’t planning on writing a review for this shit. Fifty Shades of Grey is two (!) hours and nine (!) minutes long. Dozens of scathing deconstructions already exist, both for the books and the movie. Some of those reviews were written by people with far better knowledge on BDSM and romantic relationships than I. I was just going to get reeeeally high, watch the movie, laugh a lot, and go to bed. It was supposed to be easy. Fun. A lighthearted romp with a movie that grossed 167 million God-Bless-America dollars and received a steady 25% on RottenTomatoes. The leading pair were known to have no chemistry, and supposedly the book author had a total stranglehold on production. It was incidentally nominated for an actual, honest-to-god Academy Award. This should have been great! I love pig slop that’s easy to point and laugh at- that’s why I’m here. Plus, I’d already read the books. And by ‘read the books,’ I mean ‘floated in a pool listening to the audiobook.’ Really, who has time to read actual books nowadays? Not this mess of a human being, that’s for sure.

So here I am, taking deep breaths and readying my brain for the onslaught. These next couple hours surely won’t be intellectually stimulating, but they might at least be pleasantly bad. And hey! I hear people get naked!

This movie opens on several wide, sweeping shots of Seattle and and its most confusingly desirable billionaire bachelor Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. Who is he? No, I’m asking. I don’t know who he is. The heroine is named Anastasia Steele, because this story was once fan fiction. She is played by Dakota Johnson, who is the daughter of famous people.

Ana (fuck typing her full name) is an English Lit major who dresses in frumpy English Lit clothes and lives a boring English Lit life. She’s dead behind the eyes with a personality to match, and she’s only just putting her unbrushed hair up in a ponytail. She finishes with a mirror stare and lip bite that is…supposed to be sexy? Is that what you’re doing, Dakota? Is it sexy? Is it confused? Afraid? Are you safe? Blink once if you’re not safe. There are people who can help you, Dakota.

Ana’s roommate, Kate, is too sick to interview the enigmatic, mysterious, rich billionaire Christian Grey for their school’s graduation newspaper, because people care about hard-hitting material. Ana is doing the interview in Kate's stead, because Ana’s a pushover who has nothing better to do. Kate thanks her by asking, “You’re wearing that?” Fuck you very much, lady. Your roommate is doing you an immense favor and you’re criticizing her for looking like a sad librarian? Rude.

As soon as Ana puts the car in drive, the light leaves Dakota Johnson’s eyes and she is once again dead inside. I begin to fear I shall join her by the end of the movie. She drives from Portland to Seattle, a round trip of over 300 miles, in order to interview this personification of benevolent capitalism. Yeah, apparently he sometimes helps poor people in between jet-setting across the western seaboard and being a moody little shit. That means he’s one of the good bourgeoisie, and we definitely should spare his life in the coming social class uprising.

She arrives at a nondescript grey skyscraper set against an even greyer sky. Everything around her is grey. Do you get it? It’s a metaphor for… oh never mind. She rides a sleek, silent elevator to the proper floor. A handful of blonde sexbot assistants shuffle her to Christian’s office- and she somehow falls face-first over the threshold. I think his assistant tripped her. That’s the only explanation for why someone would eat total shit like that. Then again, I’m watching this cow pile, so I guess there’s more than one explanation.

Me, falling into hell

Christian Grey comes to her aid, lifts her to her feet, and their eyes meet. And they... just look at each other. The camera is desperately flicking between them, trying to generate any spark at all between the two leads of a romantic drama that cost Universal Studios 40 goddamn million US dollars to make. Their eye colors are oddly overblown, and Christian stares at Ana like he’s mentally slicing her into cuts that’ll fit on his grill. Ana looks.. Afraid? Confused? Constipated? Help me out here, Dakota. Analysis: not sexy.

She interviews him, sort of, while chewing her lip off her own face and affecting a general feeling of, “oh my god I’m SO AWKWARD!” I can imagine the author, E.L. James, sitting next to the director and screaming for Dakota to act more awkward, because how else will the audience know who they’re supposed to relate to? E.L. James is probably the type who jokes about how she’s the only woman she knows who “can fall up the stairs, ha ha ha!”

Ana asks Christian if he’s gay, and then acts like she’s surprised that fell out of her mouth. He seems confused as to what “gay” is, and at this point I realize that he has some kind of accent. Or does he? It’s slight, but I think his tongue is drunk. Christian pries into Ana’s life and she is nearly brought to tears over what she plans to do after college. Suddenly the interview is over, and she’s racing to the elevator like she’s escaping a really bad fart. Christian sees her off, and they share an awkward moment as the doors open. Christian says Ana’s name as sexily as he thinks he can manage. She parrots his name and the doors slam shut between them. She bursts out of the lobby and turns her face toward the raining sky, and I can see Dakota thinking “thank fuck that’s over.” I sigh in frustration because this is their first scene and I don’t believe a goddamn second of it, and there’s two hours left God help me.

Ana returns home to find that Christian has sent interview responses to Kate via email, totally removing Ana’s need to drive for six fucking hours in the first place. Then Kate says Christian is hot, and Ana responds, “if you’re attracted to that sort…of human,” with a little noncommittal hand waggle, and I know her secret now: Ana is definitely a robot. And then Ana decides that she is “terminating this conversation.” Exactly what a robot would say! She chews on her lip again, and I begin to worry that her skin suit won’t hold up at this rate.

Ana’s working her little retail job at an even littler hardware store when her mom calls to cancel her trip for Ana’s graduation, because her husband broke his foot and I guess there’s no such thing as casts, crutches, or Vicodin in this universe. It’s only college graduation, mom, GOD! Ana rounds the corner and Christian is there, scaring the shit out of her. At least, she attempts to have the shit scared out of her. She’s trying really hard to be human, okay? It’s tough.

He asks for cable ties, masking tape, and “rope.” This movie spends time watching her unravel, cut, and wrap the rope, because God damn if they weren’t going to use every cent of that $40 mil. Christian finds this act “impressive.” And he calls her a “girl scout.” I was laughing; now I’m just yelling.

Ana tells him that with these items, he’s “a complete serial killer.” And his reply is “Not today.” I’m gonna tell you right now: if somebody makes a joking-not-joking joke about you looking like a serial killer, there is no world where the correct response to that is “Not today.” But I would imagine anyone who isn’t Christian’s species would understand that.

Yes, today. Absolutely today.

In the next scene, Christian is awkwardly getting his picture taken by Ana’s male bestie who is in love with her, because men and women can’t be friends. Then Christian and Ana are together at a coffee joint, she calls him a control freak, he calls her a romantic, and every second he speaks is a second I twist myself in knots trying to figure out what his voice is doing. Is it French? British? Is he about to break into Quebecois? Am I supposed to be this confused?

Christian decides the date is over. He walks her out of the shop, then yanks her away from an oncoming bicyclist. They have a moment where he pets her face and she leans into it, and they both try really hard to like each other. And then he tells her that he’s not right for her, while petting her face like she’s a cocker spaniel. Ana bails hard from the situation, and Christian looks confused again. I cannot make this clearer. He tells her that they won’t be going steady, and he doesn’t understand why that makes her upset. I can’t wait for them to have sex, you guys.

Ana's at the dance club, celebrating with her besties Kate and Jose. They graduated college! Who cares! She calls Christian, drunk, from the ladies’ pee-pee line. Don’t drunk-dial rich guys from the ladies’ pee-pee line. She says things like “‘spensive,” “kind jester,” and “hit the hail on the ned.” Christian is offended that she’s drunk, and she pantomimes the entire movie in response. “Go away, Ana. Go away. Come here! Go away.” Spoilers: that’s it. That’s the whole fucking movie. Can we gooooh no there’s still an hour and 45 minutes left.

If only it was that easy.

Christian calls her back and demands to come get her. He has no idea where she is. Keep that in mind: he doesn’t know which Portland night club she’s at. Then she gets hit on by Jose and he uses the pretense of the chilly air to attempt to kiss her.

Christian intervenes out of nowhere and shoves Jose away. How did Christian find her? That’s a good question. Ana thanks him by barfing on his shoes. Awesome. Rebel against the ruling class, Ana. Scuff up his loafers with your margarita and five shots of Cuervo. Analysis: sexy to somebody.

Christian’s brother Elliot distracts Kate, and Christian collects Ana to go back to his hotel room, not to her apartment, a building he totally has an address for. To those who might think this is acceptable to do to a drunk person you literally met yesterday: it isn’t.

Ana kind of makes up for it, though. She talks right into his face after barfing on his shoes, lazily announces “I think I’m gonna faint,” and then faints. The end. Everybody go h-

Oh never mind. Now we’re in the Portland Heathman hotel. Christian is staying there, becaaauuuse…? Ana’s in a bed that isn’t hers, and she’s not wearing her original clothing. There’s pills and juice on the bedside table, with “eat me” and “drink me” signs next to them. Get it, you guys? Ana sure does, because she’s an English Lit major! She gets the reference and doesn’t think that it’s at all creepy or a bad idea to imbibe these items! Christian admits he undressed her and slept next to her, but “necrophilia’s not his thing.” Totally normal and regular human male speech, and not a martian facsimile.

Throughout this whole conversation, Ana is just chowing down on some toast. I mean, really going to town on it, delivering lines through the crumbs. It looks like really good toast too, all golden brown and crunchy. And then Christian threatens her with spanking and eats her toast. Fuck this guy. Seriously. Also, he has an ugly torso. I said it, Dornan. Your weeks in the gym were useless.

Ruling class stealing from the mouth of the poor.

Christian admits to being “incapable of leaving her alone.” Wow, this sounds like a personal problem and definitely not Ana’s responsibility, and yet here she is in this rich man’s bed, getting touched on the face. To be fair, she is really into the face touching. I guess that means we don't have to report this fucking stalker!

While touching her face, Christian drops a bombshell: he won’t even kiss her without her signing a contract first. Okay. Contracts are totally foreplay for rich businessmen, I’m sure. But it takes about ten seconds to say “fuck the paperwork,” (this is actually a line from the source material that made E.L. James a for-real millionaire) and they make out in the elevator.

He pins her hands over her head and shoves his tongue in her mouth. It’s... I don’t know, it’s a kiss that happens. But oh no, they are rudely interrupted by a bunch of businessmen entering the elevator! Awkward! Get a room, you two! Ha ha ha please don’t.

They arrive at Ana’s apartment to find Elliot balls deep in Kate on the couch - but don’t worry guys, he’s a gentlemen. He puts on pants before he introduces himself to Ana and shakes her hand, even though he was wearing her roommate like a glove earlier in the morning, and I highly doubt he's washed his hands. This is gross as hell. Am I a prude for not wanting to shake a guy’s hand if I know he just got done white-knuckling my bestie? Is that really so wrong? Analysis: are you fucking kidding me?

Sanitize that shit, man!

Elliot, who has long, greasy hair and a goatee and looks so fucking sleazy, macks hard on Kate and delivers his signature line: “Laters, baby.” Before I can finish cringing, Christian unloads the same line on Ana. I fear my teeth are going to crack from the pressure.

After a long day of work (so long in fact that we don’t see a second of it), Ana gets picked up by Taylor, Christian’s driver. Taylor takes her to Christian’s helicopter. He plans to take her for a fly-around, because who can resist giving a handy while trapped in a helicopter with a man you just met? Really, they have known each other a grand total of three days. Ana doesn’t seem to mind, because she has no concept of self-preservation. Christian buckles her into a five point harness, which the movie takes time to show us. Including the moment wherein he yanks on the belt to tighten it, and Ana jumps like he dropped a spider down her pants. And then he says, “No escaping now,” and my skin tries to crawl right off my body.

We finally arrive at Christian’s penthouse suite, and it feels like an airport. Sleek, clean, white, with lots of recessed lighting and opera playing faintly in the background. Welcome to the frequent flyers club, Ana.

They sit down at an elegant dining table and Christian pours Ana a glass of expensive white wine and asks her to sign an NDA before they can have sex. Oh my God, why? Why would... Okay calm down. I can do this. There’s only… an hour and a half left. I might die. I haven’t even made a will. Oh Jesus, spare my wretched life.

Ana signs it and asks, with all the excitement of a dead frog, “Are you gonna make love to me now?” Christian says, “I don’t make love. I fuck. Hard.” Dear reader, this exchange makes me physically uncomfortable. This is a line lifted directly from the book, and it’s so cringe-inducing that Dakota Johnson tries really hard not to laugh. She almost succeeds.


This is also when Christian takes Ana to his “play room,” and hearing BDSM buzzwords in a mainstream movie has me gagging. Heh heh. Get it? My life is pain.

He opens the door, and the camera pans smoothly across a room full of BDSM paraphernalia. Finally, the good stuff! This room has velvet red walls and more recessed lighting. The furniture is red patent leather. The toys look cheap. I guess they spent too much on helicopter rides and acting lessons.

I have to hear Jamie Dornan blankly state, “It’s called a flogger.” I have to watch Dakota Johnson try to look even a little bit concerned about the stuff that's supposed to terrify her. I can’t give up and stop watching yet; I’m a third of the way through. If this was part of a BDSM scene, I’d have tagged out by now. Watching this feels like finding out that Santa isn't real. It’s the cinematic equivalent of having hot wax poured on you - and not the good kind, like you want.

Ana asks him point-blank, “You’re a sadist?” Because she had to step into the room and touch all the toys to come to this conclusion. Christian well-actually’s her and says he’s a “Dominant.” He explains that he wants her to submit to him, because it pleases him. He’ll reward her when she’s good and punish her when she’s bad. And he says this with a smirk on his face. Ana asks what she gets out of this, and he answers, “Me.” Sure, that's enough to hang on to a guy who wants to beat her even though she is totally not down to be beaten. These two have no reason to want each other. And yet, here we are.

Christian has a fuck contract ready to go. It’s “fairly detailed,” but we don’t get to learn how detailed, because -gasp!- in true romance novel fashion, it’s revealed that Ana is a virgin! Really! She’s in her mid-20s, is surrounded by men salivating over her (for reasons I can’t discern), and has never put a P in her V. It’s a huge deal. To Christian, anyway. He actually looks offended that this lady he didn't know last week hasn't had sex with a man yet. “You’re still a virgin? I’ve just shown you…!” Yes, Christian. You just showed a full-grown adult your “play room.” You hypocrite. He asks, “Where have you been?” And I… I legitimately don’t know what he’s asking. There’s no inflection in his voice to guide me.

“Where is the bus?”

Christian finally admits that Ana’s dopey lip biting excites him sexually. They’re kissing, and Christian states he’s going to “rectify the situation.” Ana replies, “I’m a situation?” That's not the right response, Ana. None of this is. Don’t try to bang a guy who wants your name on a piece of paper so that he can hit you on purpose - especially if you don’t want it.

Ugh. Here we are, dear reader. This is it. They're going to have sex, and I am genuinely not excited. I don’t think I have ever been less interested in a sex scene in my life. They had to cut a few sex scenes for time - to the point where the prospective audience was worried it wouldn’t be sexy enough. Jamie refused to hang brain on-screen. I doubt the entertainment value. I really don’t want to do this.

Christian pulls Ana’s pants down and totally makes out with her pubic bone. Underwear on, of course. He undoes her bra. She has breasts. Everything is silhouettes. The lighting department tried really hard to make her butt not look flat.

Ana writhes about as Christian touches her pelvis with his face. She looks like she’ll orgasm from it. Her panting is dubbed over the scene and it’s distractingly loud. Jamie Dornan’s butt is pale and he has a farmer’s tan. He looks so uninterested in Dakota Johnson that I’m expecting him to stare straight at the camera, shrug, and say, “It’s a living!” Because it is, Jamie. You’re making mad bank off this series. At least pretend to want to fuck your co-star.

He puts a condom on. I mean, we assume he puts a condom on because everything is being shot from the collarbones up. It’s just a shot of him moving his arms around off-screen. So I guess they’re gonna have sex now. Yep. There they go. Having sex. Sort of, anyway - unless Christian’s penis is 12 inches long, he’s missing her vagina by about 7. The camera pans up their bodies on an overhead shot, and over a painting of waves crashing. I get it, movie. They had sex. Analysis: Ugh, there’s going to be more of this, isn’t there.

Ana wakes up alone in bed. She remembers what happened, and looks so guilty. I hate how this movie makes me feel. Ana is supposed to enjoy the time she spends with Christian, and instead she always looks like she regrets the previous five minutes. In a way I suppose that’s true. Neither Dakota, nor Jamie enjoyed making this movie. They had to dance circles around this fact in post-production interviews. That makes me laugh, and then I remember that this movie made $167 million in the United States.

So anyway, we get a wide shot of Christian’s raised living room where he’s playing his grand piano (where do you put your grand piano?). Ana traipses in from off-screen, draped in the bed’s top sheet. The sheet falls away as she awkwardly straddles him and plops onto his lap. She’s naked! That slut! They loudly make out (seriously, the sound mixing is awful) and Christian hoists her up and walks her back to the bedroom while violins dramatically swell. And then...that’s it. That’s the scene. Analysis: ...I’m sorry, did something happen?

Now it’s morning and Ana’s making breakfast. It’s always good to see a woman who knows her place: doing a bad job acting in a worse movie. Christian comes in and catches her wiggling her butt. It’s not sexy. It’s weird. Ana turns around, and - gah! - Christian surprises her yet again. They have a short conversation while they eat pancakes. What’s it about? I just watched it and I don’t know. I can really feel that these people are absolute strangers who happen to be hooking up.

For fuck’s sake, let her drink the goddamn tea!

Then they bathe together and oh my God this is so fucking boring. I can see her titties and I wish she would put them away. After, Christian takes a grey necktie and and ties her wrists together, then lays her out on the bed. He commands her to keep them over her head, and of course she doesn’t, because why bother following directions from someone who clearly has control issues? ...God damn it, okay, he’s breathing down her chest and she may be literally getting off on it. He says, “say yes … to being mine,” and then his mom calls out for him from inside his apartment, because no one in his family has any concept of boundaries. Regardless, I’m really fucking glad I didn’t have to watch these two rub their hips together. Analysis: blue balls are better than this shit.

Christian’s mother is attempting the airs, and voice, of nouveau riche and I immediately want her to leave. The first ten seconds consist of her trying to wrangle an appropriate accent. I hope it’s because the production staff noticed that Jamie Dornan’s weird mouth noises weren’t going away, so they had to beg Marcia Gay Harden to imitate him. Also, the actress’s name is Marcia Gay Harden. Just get the giggles out of the way now so we can continue with this delusion of grandeur.

Christian’s mother, Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey, has some way-too-long line about how Christian should be referring to her not as “she,” but as “mum.” We, as an audience, are supposed to give a shit. And then Ana enters, and his mother responds with, “Dear God!” Which is about equivalent to my reaction thus far. Dr. Grace looks really glad to learn that her son isn’t gay - even if he’s taken up with a common strumpet.

Dr. Grace is ushered out about as quickly as she appeared, and Ana takes a call from Kate. The call means nothing. It’s literally just an excuse to move Ana to her prospective bedroom. Lazy writing, and it still bothers me, 50 minutes in.

Christian admits that 15 women have stayed in the white, Barbie’s-dream-house room before Ana, and she kind of doesn’t take it well. At least, I think she doesn’t? Her face doesn’t look happy. Or unhappy. It’s 2015 and robots still don’t understand emotion.

This is the first time she calls his dungeon the “Red Room of Pain,” a phrase that sticks around for the whole series and makes her sound terribly immature. Christian admits he doesn’t do “dinner and movies” - no dates - and then tells Ana to keep an open mind about his side of the relationship. Because that’s fair and acceptable behavior for an adult who is a billionaire business owner.

Ana makes a comment about keeping her free will, and I see Dakota scrawling “Help me!” behind her eyelids. She demands to go home, and I agree. I’d really like to go home. But I can’t, because I am home; I’m watching this from the relative comfort of my couch. I let the devil into my home, and I shall never be rid of him.

They enter a small garage full of Audis and a Tesla. Ana asks which car is his, he responds “All of them,” and I hiss at the screen. They take off in an Audi R8 soft-top, and-

Hold up. They’re gonna drive three hours in a supercar? With a cloth top? When they have a fucking Tesla available to them? I don’t think so. Rich people may travel in style, but they also want to travel in comfort. My disbelief has been firmly un-suspended!

Isn't it supposed to be June?

Christian makes an unscheduled stop in some remote area of Washington/Oregon. They walk into the forest, which has a trail but no nearby buildings. Is…is he gonna try to kill her now? Then she’ll be forced to hit him with something. And she’ll run into the forest, while he stalks her with blood dripping menacingly down his face, right?

No, he just casually drops this bomb: he was molested by his mom’s friend when he was 15, and that’s why he’s into BDSM. Yeah. I don’t... Really have a joke here. This is a thing in the book. He entered into a relationship with his mom’s friend when he was 15 wherein he became her submissive, and it lasted for six years. E.L. James thinks statutory rape and child abuse are how people get into BDSM. This movie has officially taken A Turn, and I don’t think we’re going back to light-hearted humping anytime soon.

Christian enters a short monologue about how he felt free when he submitted to the woman who, y’know, abused him as a teenager. Then he changes the subject by admitting he never took any of his previous women in his helicopter, had sex in his own bed, or slept next to anyone, “ever,” before her. But he slept next to her when she was pass-out drunk. Who does that if they never sleep next to anyone ever?

He drops her off at her doorstep and gives her an envelope with “the contract” in it. And then he says, “Laters, baby” again. Nope. Still not buying it, you fucking alien.

Ana enters her apartment and - what’s this?! A man from not-Best-Buy has just finished setting up a new Apple™ computer! Kate just let this dude in. Ana didn’t tell her about a new computer. Kate didn’t even call her to verify. Wow, Kate. Way to look out for your bestie. Ana signs for it, and her face conveys my current feelings about life:

Kate notes that Ana looks “different,” and then bails on her. Brand new iMac™ shows up in the mail unannounced, nobody has any idea about it, Ana clearly didn’t order it, and she’s even more clearly unnerved by its existence. Kate’s gotta go, though! She’s got a date with Christian’s greaseball brother.

Ana sits down at the computer and emails Christian. She also flips through the contract, and we sit through a montage of Ana biting her lip while reading the contract and messaging back and forth with Christian, all while Christian’s decidedly-not-American voice-over reads the contract out loud until fade-out. Oh, and she moves with Kate from Portland to Seattle at some point. It’s important to the plot (I guess), and it’s about as interesting as this sentence.

Perhaps even less interesting.

Except for the part of the contract where Christian lists rules that tightly dictate Ana’s life, including her drinking habits, her birth control (prescribed to her by a doctor “of the Dominant’s choosing”), and her eating privileges. She’s only allowed “a prescribed list of foods,” dictated by Christian. That’s definitely more interesting than this sentence. In a “she’s going to get brutally and methodically murdered” kind of way.

Finally, Ana “finishes” her “research” on the “contract” and tells Christian, “It was nice knowing you” - which is another line in both the book and movie. She means it as a joke both times, and both times it reads like she’s serious, because it’s the fucking Internet and Ana doesn’t know what inflection is.

An indeterminate amount of time passes, Ana does exciting human activities like laundry and practicing human emotions, until Christian appears in her room, holding a bottle of champagne and glasses. “The submissive shall not drink to excess…” You’re not helping, bud.

“‘It was nice knowing me,’ was it?” he asks, trying for “sultry” and landing on “threatening.” and I instantly tense up. Surely now he will kill her.

No. He doesn’t. That would be too easy. He just throws her on the bed and starts, y’know, kissing her and other gross garbage. Apparently, Dakota got whiplash when Jamie Dornan threw her on the bed. That’s not funny. I’m laughing, but that’s not funny.

Anyway, Christian ties Ana down with his stupid grey tie that’s on the cover of the book. Beyonce’s “Haunted” starts playing. Ana is totally gonna die now, right? ...Wishful thinking. He blindfolds her with her shirt, spits wine in her mouth, and trails ice down her chest. There’s a close-up of ice on her nipple. Christian flips her over and gives her butt a little thwack. Then he puts on a condom… and all we see is a slow downward pan on his body. Oh look, some pubic hair. They have sex, and Christian looks like he’s riding a bike. Afterward, Ana whispers, “That was really nice.” Riveting. Analysis: I’m tired and I want to go to bed.

Christian asks, “What are you doing to me?” I don’t know, Christian. You are the main character tasked with upholding a central part of the plot. Your job is to answer that question for me.

Augh. New scene. Ana tells Christian she has “issues with the paperwork.” They are negotiating for sex, on paper. They plan a meet-up, and Ana stresses this is a business meeting. Christian says he’ll be wearing a suit, Ana responds she’ll wear “a burlap sack.” Ha ha. Aaaah ha ha ha. I’m severely depressed and medications aren’t working. Send help.

They meet at Christian’s office for a business meeting about sexy business. The room is tinted red with what is best described as “romantic mood lighting,” for a business meeting. About business. We sit through an actual business meeting about this stupid contract that has no legal significance and is basically perfunctory toilet paper. Ana reads a line of the contract, giggles like an idiot, and just moves on. No reason for her to read it, except to remind us that she is an immature dumbass who shouldn’t be having sex at all, much less with a man who requires paperwork to do it.

She demands he strike out “anal fisting.” And “vaginal fisting.” Wow, Ana is no fun at all. And then she asks, “what are butt plugs?” The scene grinds to a screeching halt as Christian’s sexbot assistants arrive with cheap sushi and wine, and-

No. No, hold on. I can’t let that go. “What are butt plugs?” This chick managed to parse the meaning of “anal fisting” and “butt plugs” confuse her? Exactly how difficult is it to understand the phrase “butt plugs”?

Christian eventually follows this up with “I would like to fuck you into the middle of next week.” Welp, I’m aroused. He says he can tell how turned on she is because of her crossed legs, breathing patterns, and her level of flushed skin.

Truly the face of a horny person.

Shockingly, Ana doesn’t take him up on the boning offer, and she leaves without signing the contract. Outside, they exchange more intellectually stimulating words:

Christian: Why do I get the feeling you’re telling me goodbye?
Ana: Because I’m leaving.


New scene! It’s graduation day. Christian Grey is giving the keynote speech, and Ana is in the general graduate audience because even a 4.0 GPA isn’t enough to net special honors anymore. Some women in front of Ana note how hot Christian is, and Ana leans in and whispers, “I heard he’s gay.” What a mean-spirited asshole.

Christian says general crap about his company working to eradicate hunger, and he drops a total game-changer on the audience: he used to be hungry too. Ana gasps like this is a shocking revelation.

She walks up to receive her diploma, shakes Christian’s hand, and he keeps her on-stage to convince her about the contract.

Uh, guy? Not the time.

What the hell kind of self-centered dickhead has to seize someone’s attention at their own damn graduation while they’re on stage? How in the hell does this guy run a successful business? Absolutely everything has to be about him. I guess if his giant business fails, he can always downgrade to President of the United States.

Back at Ana’s place, they pour champagne into tea cups. Why? Because. They clink cups, Christian says, “So it begins,” and my mouth curls in horror. Christian also threatens to spank her for rolling her eyes at him. Oh, and he bought her a car.

Yeah. He sold her car and bought her a new one. He never told her he would do it. He didn’t discuss it with her. He obviously didn’t get the title from her (unless he broke into her house and stole it which I totally would not put past him). She didn’t want to sell her car; she was perfectly happy with her tin can Beetle. And then Christian sold it, and bought her an Audi. Y’know, like what he owns. Because what he has is better than what she has. This is the top romantic drama of 2015.

Ana starts to visibly head towards the “angry” emotion, but she makes the mistake of Christian perceiving her rolling her eyes at him.

“What face can I make that won’t make him hit me?”

So he grabs her, lays her over his knee, and spanks her because he sold her car and bought her a new one without her goddamn permission, and she’s not overjoyed about it. Spoilers: but for a split second at the end, this never comes up again. Of course, she’s really into the spanking. He says, “Welcome to my world,” and then he leaves.

Ana’s mom calls. She knows about Christian already, and Ana bursts into tears. She schedules an impromptu trip to Savannah to visit her mom, because Ana is very clearly disturbed by her new relationship.

“My first ever boyfriend buys me expensive gifts I don’t want and beats me because he feels like it! I’ve never been happier!”

I actually don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m halfway(!) done with this visual atrocity, and I want to crawl under my couch and not come out for a month.

Wow, okay, now we’re back in the dungeon room. An aggravatingly slow version of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” is playing in the background. Christian instructs Ana to do things; she does them. Her breath is still weirdly loud. He spanks her hand with a riding crop to show her it doesn’t hurt. Pretty sure that shit would hurt, but okay. Christian ties Ana’s arms over her head, takes her panties off, and smells them. Big ol’ whiff. He goes on to smack her on the inner thighs- okay, that definitely hurts way more than just butt spanks. He hits her on her ribs - don’t whack people on their ribs! Especially for sex!

Now they’re at the bed, and Christian ties Ana to it. And then- wait, now she’s strung up from the ceiling again. We’re just...going to have two concurrent sex events? It doesn’t even matter. By now, the preferred audience has probably orgasmed twice.

Oh look, Jamie Dornan’s top dick. Post-production applied extra pubic hair to him. Someone had to stare at his top dick for hours while they overlayed fake dick hairs on it. They went to college and worked overtime for the privilege. The pair have sex in two different scenes at the same time, and I’m assuming there’s at least one orgasm somewhere? I can’t really tell, but Ana faints. Again. Christian just fucks her into unconsciousness, I guess. Analysis: barfing noises.

She awakes in bed, from Christian’s kiss. But when she looks around, he’s gone! Did the kiss really happen? Who the fuck cares? She gets dressed and they dance to Frank Sinatra’s “Witchcraft” in Christian’s huge living room. He spins her away, and she starts hopping around spasmodically.


We’re at Christian’s parents’ house for dinner, and his sister hugs Ana and shouts, “You exist!” I wish she didn’t. They all sit down for dinner, and Christian grabs at Ana’s crotch. At the dinner table. Across from his parents.

I’m so turned on right now.

Ana announces she’s going to visit her mother, and Christian is furious because she didn’t beg him for permission first. Christian’s sister starts speaking French because she lives in France, but we cut away because who cares; we never see her again. Christian drags Ana out for “a tour of the grounds.” Christian’s mom looks at his dad and makes this face:

“They gon’ fuck.”

Christian flings Ana over his shoulder and spanks her, and it is the weakest little ‘thump’ I’ve seen in this whole movie. She still yelps like a frightened dog. He says the phrase “palm-twitchingly mad.” (I have no jokes anymore. This movie has made me joke-poor.) Christian reprimands her for not telling him about the Savannah trip, feverishly commanding, “You’re mine, all mine. You understand?” Guy, I don’t think she’s gonna be off fucking randos while visiting her mother. Ana proclaims, “You are so confusing!” Uhm, is he? He’s made it very clear he wants to control her every whim and wish. He wants to shower her with expensive gifts and she has to be 100% okay with it at all times. He wants to hit her in a sexual way, even though she doesn’t want to be hit in a sexual way. Am I missing anything? No! That’s it! That’s all Christian is!

They have a really dumb fight on a balcony overlooking a huge swimming pool. What even is this Hearst-Castle-looking shit his parents live in? Who uses all this space? Anyway, she’s demanding to know “why it has to be like this.” Does it matter? There’s no secret here. She knows what he’s all about. She demands to know why he wants to change her. He replies that she’s changing him. Lies; his behavior hasn’t changed for shit. He slept in a bed once. Not exactly fundamentally shocking.

Now they’re in her bedroom and Ana is asleep. What happened between scenes? Excellent question. Christian starts in on a long story about how his childhood was garbage and his biological mother was a “crack addict and a prostitute.” He glances at Ana, and yeah she’s still asleep. So. Thanks for speaking directly to the audience like some Shakespeare monologue.

Christian upgrades her flight to Savannah so Ana can sit in first class, because of course he does. We quick-cut to Savannah, and Ana’s step-father chides her mother for serving gazpacho because he is a five-year-old who doesn’t like vegetables. Then while Ana’s in bed, she hears them fucking through her bedroom walls. Okay. She’s inspired to roll over and text Christian, “Wish you were here.” This movie takes steps to imply that Ana is even a little bit aroused from hearing her parents banging next door.

Ana and her mother are out at a hotel (that Ana is not staying in) drinking cosmos for breakfast. What is food? Ana doesn’t know. She receives a text and Christian is in Georgia. He tracked her to the restaurant. Her mother does not think this is creepy. Nobody thinks this is creepy, because this whole movie is an episode of The Twilight Zone. Christian appears, because he is staying in this hotel. Why isn’t this considered creepy?? He usurps the trip that Ana specifically took to be with her mother, and just drops in on their breakfast unannounced. Ana’s mom leaves (and drunkenly stumbles on the way out). Christian slides next to Ana, and takes the drink out of her hand.

Excuse you, asshole.

Once again, I have to clarify this is a new scene. Christian takes Ana out to fly around, at dawn. So now it’s the next day and we can pretty safely assume that he just stole her away from her mother, because his time is literally more valuable than either of theirs. They’re in this weird drone-looking glider, set against an obviously green-screen background. ($40 million.) They do a flip. Ana giggles like an idiot again - though I can’t really blame her. I’m pretty sure I’d be giggling stupidly if I was 3,000 feet off the ground with someone who wants to control every single aspect of my life. What the hell else would I do except laugh like I’m gonna die?

Back on the ground, Christian takes a phone call. He has to go back to Seattle. Important business. What is the important business? ...So he leaves, and Ana leaves too. Seriously, the next scene is of her saying good-bye to her mother. Ana doesn’t exist without him, I guess.

She arrives in Seattle and heads to his place, because jet lag doesn’t exist, and Christian is pacing around his suite talking Business on his phone. He’s using Business words like “unacceptable”- you know, like this fucking movie.

He sees her, they kiss, and yeah you guessed it: it’s Red Room of Pain time. This is my pain. The audience’s personal pain. He’s tied her to the bed and blindfolded her with the tiniest and cheapest blindfold I’ve ever seen. He checks to make sure she knows her safe words, “Red” and “Yellow.” It’s nice that they deigned to include safe words, but they never come up again. He drags a peacock feather and a flogger across her naked tits and belly. She is all about it. There’s some choir music swelling in the background.

And then he hits her with the flogger. He hits her on her stomach. Do not do this. Do not ever, EVER do this.

I actually yelled out loud at this scene. Holy shit. I wonder how many idiot soccer moms suffered internal injuries while trying to recreate this. Oh God, he hits her again. He hits her three times on her soft belly meat.

The scene fades out. We didn’t even get a sex scene out of this mess. Analysis: don’t fucking whip people on the stomach!

Christian plays some shit on the piano. We never actually see Jamie’s hands, so he’s not really playing the piano. Ana asks him why he learned to play the piano. He’s silent, just frowning and playing. She asks, “Why won’t you let me in? We should be talking.” You should, but then everyone would know how shitty you both are- oop, too late for that.

She still hasn’t signed the stupid contract. They’re having an “intense discussion” about why Christian wants to hit her with things. He’s avoiding the question, and she’s whining for an answer. They are both petulant fucking children and I’m making some sort of quiet squealing noise. I don’t even know why Christian is upset or why he won’t give a straight answer. She asks, “Why do you even want to do anything to me at all?” That’s a really fucking good question, Ana.

He “needs to punish her because that’s the way he is.” Because he is “fifty shades of fucked up.” I just… I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.

Ana demands that Christian “show her what he wants to do to her.” She wants him to punish her as hard as he can. He agrees. He agrees. He literally met this girl less than a month before. She was a virgin. She wasn’t aware of BDSM at all. She doesn’t like being hit, and has expressed as much many times. She entered into this relationship unwilling to be consensually beaten. And he agrees to hit her as hard as he can, as it’s the “only way she can understand,” according to her.

Do I have to tell you this is a bad idea? Because oh man this is right up there with flogging someone on the belly. He should say no. She is going to get hurt, physically and emotionally. This will absolutely not end well for anyone involved.

But we need a sequel.

He strips her down, bends her over a table, and hits her with his belt. He makes her count six strikes. She’s crying by three, and he’s making this face:

She truly sounds like she’s dying inside with every hit. This is the most Dakota Johnson has emoted for this whole fucking movie. Truth be told, the hits don’t even sound that harsh. I think the sound department quit in the middle of production.

Unsurprisingly, Ana shoves him away when he tries to comfort her. Christian looks… genuinely confused. Does anybody in this movie have a fucking brain? She commands him not to touch her, or even come near her. He looks like he has an unrepentant boner and there’s nothing he can do about it. The best part is this movie is still not over yet. There’s still almost ten minutes left! Analysis: I feel disgusting, and no bath shall ever cleanse me.

Ana is weeping on her bed like she’s 12. It’s raining. This shot is sort-of through the window, so the raindrops look like tears on her face, because this is Baby’s First Cinematography. She tells Christian that he’ll never do that to her again, and that she’s fallen in love with him. It’s a romance movie, and I’m barely hanging on by a mental thread. Christian gasps and says, “No, Ana, you can’t love me,” and that last thread snaps and I tumble into a hell of my own creation.

Ana returns the laptop that he bought for her. She conveniently had it on hand, just case. She requests her car be returned to her. Christian’s driver already sold it. Wow. She asks for the money instead, and he says he’ll send a check. She turns and walks away, and he sits slack-jawed for a few minutes before getting up to follow her. She says “Stop,” he keeps coming, and she firmly stands her ground and shouts, “No!” Like you’d shout at a dog about to devour your shoes. I’m sure this is supposed to be some defining moment for Ana, but it isn’t. This is the end of the movie. It’s too late for there to be meaningful change. She gets into the elevator, wait stop hold on. The elevator just opens into his living room. It’s open and waiting for her. Does the elevator just sit there, open all the time?

Ugh okay she gets into the elevator and Christian says “Anastasia!” and Ana says “Christian,” and the doors slam shut between them like at the beginning of the movie. Remember the beginning of this movie? Back when colors were a little brighter, and sound was a little clearer? No? I may have suffered a stroke.

The rest of the movie is a shitty clip show of the previous two hours, and it’s all stuff we’ve seen before. Ana is crying on her bed, and Christian is running in the rain. The movie ends with him abruptly leaving his seat during a business meeting. The end. The end? Oh thank God. The End. 

I never, ever want to watch that again. Analysis: I pray I will not die before I have the chance to cleanse my mind of this horror before my eternal soul ascends.


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