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    Will the reviews give Fifty Shades a happy ending?

    There are some movies that you can’t wait to see. Then there are movies where you can’t wait just to see the reviews. Fifty Shades of Grey might be the rare film that is both. Every twist and turn leading up to the cinematic adaptation of E L James’ erotic best-seller has made headlines, from the casting of the film’s romantic leads to the music in the trailer to the graphic nature of the sex scenes. You don’t have to have read the book to know why people care about a mousy 22-year-old virgin who falls for a model-handsome billionaire who harbors a taste for kink.  

    Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) stars as Anastasia Steele, the writer from the college newspaper who makes an impression while interviewing uber-wealthy Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) at his skyscraper office. But this meet-cute is destined to penetrate our deepest desires, for Christian is a man of singular tastes who would like to introduce Anastasia to a world of pain and pleasure. Oh, my.

    The film, written by Kelly Marcel and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, has a low-bar to clear in one sense: few English majors are using James’ novel for their literary thesis. The movie’s real challenge will be recreating the book’s sexual tension and chemistry without descending into camp. ”Fifty Shades of Greyis considerably better written than the book,” writes EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum. “The production is also oddly sedate—the most polite aspirational romance between a screwed-up prince and girlish princess ever to include loving close-ups of dominance-and-submission sex toys.”

    Movie reviews:  “The movie version appears to be aimed at a younger consumer crowd than the readers (albeit a crowd qualified for R-rated entertainment). In any event, the result is confounding, leaving both those coming to the Fifty Shades phenomenon for the first time as well as those who have read the book to wonder, for different reasons, Where’s the beef? … Also—and this is a turnoff—every time a sex scene comes on, some lady starts singing a big, whooshy Sex Scene song. Hello, Beyoncé, Ellie Goulding, Sia, Jessie Ware, Skylar Grey.” 

     “The eagerly awaited/dreaded film adaptation of the best-selling BDSM romance Fifty Shades of Grey is nowhere near as laughable as you might have feared (or perversely hoped for): It’s elegantly made, and Dakota Johnson is so good at navigating the heroine’s emotional zigs and zags that you want to buy into the whole cobwebbed premise.”

    Picture credit: glamour magazine

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