Fifty Shades More Snoozefest Than Sexy

Critics rip apart Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2015 10:40 AM CST

The wait is over for EL James fans who've pined three long years for Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele to get it on on the big screen. But audiences are giving Fifty Shades of Grey just a 57% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics are even less impressed:

  • Courtney Shea spots a glaring issue right off the bat: There's "definitely not enough" sex. Writing for the Globe and Mail, she says "theater-goers must sit through scene after scene of snoozy phallic imagery" before the "strangely sterile" sex. "Nobody sweats or pants or experiences onscreen ecstasy, which is presumably how a movie about violent sex manages to avoid an NC-17 rating, but the result feels like 50 shades of beige."
  • Steven Rea is on the same page. "Isn't the stuff of bondage and discipline, sexual role play, silky blindfolds, and whips and floggers supposed to be, well, exciting?" he writes at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead it feels "lethargic," he writes, and the cast is partly to blame. While Dakota Johnson as Ana "is easily this movie's most pleasant surprise," her co-star Jamie Dornan as Christian is "boring" and "one-note."

  • "The movie version of Fifty Shades is better than the book," writes Joe Williams at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's still awful, but when a filmmaker starts with stupid source material, he's handcuffed," he quips. "The likably coy Johnson has no chemistry" with Dornan, whom he actually calls "a casting disaster." Overall, "this is soft-core commercialism without a trace of real-world relevance."
  • Meredith Goldstein at the Boston Globe wasn't quite so turned off. EL James' book "was stripped of its worst parts and turned into a surprisingly warm screenplay," she writes. Johnson "saves the day," manages to transform the book "into an unexpected romantic comedy," and makes Anastasia Steele "seem like someone worth knowing." Meanwhile, Dornan gives "constant constipation face."
If you don't care about the critics and you loved the movie, we have good news for you. (More Fifty Shades of Grey stories.)

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