Yeah, I know. Fifty Shades of Grey, you either love it, or you are a guy. Okay, so maybe that’s a little too harsh, but it seems to be the consensus. Normally, we try to stay away from books and movie reviews of this caliber, but I found myself…much like the characters in the movie, unable to resist. Fifty Shades of Grey is a very, very, dirty film based on an even dirtier book. The books was a “worldwide phenomenon” and the movie will definitely (ahem) dominate the box office. Further than that, the reaches of something this huge will stretch beyond the films, the books and the tie in merchandise, and we have some ideas on how the film can be translated into theme park caliber attractions.
First of all, the review. We aim to be PG-13 on the site, and we try to stay that way with this review.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Dakota Johnson as Anastasia, and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Universal released the film through their “Focus Features” label, the one they normally reserve for more art house titles.
I saw the film on a Friday night, with a theater packed full of hot and bothered women who had read the book, and my wife…who I guess you can also put into that category as well. I tried to read the book, but couldn’t get past the narrative of the first chapter. It just wasn’t for me.
Let’s get this right out there. The film is for fans of the book. Plain and simple. If you have never read the books, and aren’t into meledrama filled with softcore porn, you’re going to be so lost. The entire movie plays out like an inside joke. I felt like I was missing so much. The acting was just weird, and the scenes transitioned from light to dark with such contrast that I seriously felt I needed my sunglasses. When the final scene played out, and the credits rolled, I turned to my wife and asked “that’s it?”.
“Yeah, that’s how the book ends.”
It just ends. It strings you along with no rhythm or reason, and then just drops you flat, with no resolution to the conflict. That’s apparently going to be saved for the next film, of which Universal is already working on.
After discussing the film and book differences, and my frustration with the film for being so full of holes, and feeling like it wasn’t meant for anyone but fans of the book, my wife simply sighed and said “you just need to read the books, and you’ll get it.”
NO! NO I DON’T! Imagine if Harry Potter had only put things in it that those who read the books could understand! Or the Hunger Games! Or how about any other movie that was based on a book? They would fail miserably! The only reason this one won’t fail is because of the rabid (and horny) fan base.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with liking the books or the films. It’s just that they aren’t for everyone, and I happen to fall into that category that they aren’t for. Yes, the lifestyle that the book and film depicts is grossly misinterpreted here. Yes, this is pure fantasy for those who have never entered that lifestyle, and yes…The names, the style and some of the story feels like a generic retelling of Twilight, or any other Lifetime movie.
Personally, from a movie lovers standpoint…the film isn’t good. At all. The story, and the acting are just awful. The music, with a score by Danny Elfman, is amazing…and for me is the only saving grace. So why did I go? For the love of my wife…as any hopeless romantic will tell you, and even Meatloaf…I would do anything for love…and apparently I’ll also do that.
But let’s move on…we’re not done yet.
Let’s talk theme park attractions. Don’t roll your eyes at me…you know what Mr. Grey would do?
There is no way in hell that this would work out as your standard theme park attraction. Then again, there’s no way in hell that I would have thought that Alien or Terminator would have any place in a theme park attraction either, but they work so well at Disney and Universal (respectfully) that anything is possible.
Theme park lovers and writers scoffed at the idea of a Hunger Games theme park, but guess what…it’s happening.
So, why not Fifty Shades of Grey? Because it revolves around sex, and very naughty lifestyles! That’s why!
However, I could see where a traveling exhibition, an adults only traveling exhibition, could work. Props, cars and clothes from the film could definitely draw in the crowds who loved the film and the books. Give fans a photo op in the Red Room, where they can kneel at the door.
You’re rolling your eyes, and saying how disgusting that sounds, but you KNOW it would work! Take note Universal.
If you wanted to push the envelope a little more, and correct some of the film and books mistakes, you could even have a demonstration of the BDSM lifestyle that the both tries to represent. Risky? Yes, but with the fanbase, and the right planning, a touring exhibition that leads up to the release of the next film would be not only huge for the exhibition, but also for the next film. It could shake up interest, and even help the film with those who were not fans of the books or the first film.
The studio could even offer classes on how to play the various “roles” that the film represents.
No matter what your opinion on the film or books are, they are here to stay, indefinitely.