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I shall be tearing apart Fifty Shades of Grey, tying up its loose ends and plugging its plot holes to see if it hits home or is a pain in the ass. So read on only if you’ve already seen Fifty Shades of Grey, or don’t plan to.
In the spirit of total disclosure, I already detest this film and haven’t yet begun to watch it.
[Fair warning, I make a great deal of “Fifty Shades of Gay” jokes but as I’m a gay man, I plead “privilege” (like people of colour using the “N” word). You will also notice the term is not used in a derogatory, inflammatory way. My intention is to entertain, not to offend.]
0:04:52 A young woman (Dakota Johnson) with an emotional age of twelve replaces her ailing flatmate (Eloise Mumford as Kate, a journalism student) to interview a business mogul. He is also sick, just in a different way.
0:06:26 During the interview…
Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan): The key to my success has been in identifying talented individuals and harnessing their efforts. Miss Steele: So you’re a control freak?
Since when does “identifying talented individuals and harnessing their efforts” equate to being a control freak?
0:07:20 Well, if you want something stiff, you’ll have to settle for the acting.
0:07:59 Oh dear lord, her name is Anastasia Steele!? Brilliant! I was afraid this film wouldn’t be laughably bad.
Grey: Tell me, was it Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen or Thomas Hardy who first made you fall in love with literature?
It sure as bloody hell wasn’t E. L. James.
0:09:26 Because he sees she’s emotionally retarded, Grey tells Anastasia they have a special education program at his firm. And if your want something firm from the film, you’ll have to settle for his company.
Anastasia [to Christian]: I don’t think I’d fit in here.
What about the other way around?
0:13:28 A vaguely ethnic looking chap (Victor Rasuk as José), who is apparently close to Anastasia, holds her car door open for her. As this film’s premise is that women only love men who treat them like shite, I think it’s safe to welcome José to the friend zone. Not to mention the vaguely racist undertones that a young woman prefers a rich white man to a middle class Hispanic artist.
0:14:14 Anastasia’s mother (Jennifer Ehle as Carla) can’t attend Anastasia’s graduation ceremony because her hypochondriac husband (Anastasia’s stepfather) hurt his foot. At least now we see where Anastasia gets her tendency to let men mistreat her.
0:16:04 Christian goes to buy his rape kit from the DIY shop where Ana works and this gets her excited. She’s bound to please.
Anastasia: Okay, rope, tape, cable ties… You’re the complete serial killer.
Christian: Not today.
[Note: This is a reference to Jamie Dornan’s role in the telly series The Fall, in which he plays…a serial killer.]
Christian: You seem nervous.
Anastasia: I find you intimidating.
Christian: You should.
Anastasia: [Laughing] Not any more I don’t. Is what a normal person would have said next.
0:20:27 While they’re having a coffee together, Christian realizes Anastasia is emotionally retarded, so cannot take advantage of her. For the moment. Anastasia runs off to cry to her teddy bear and write in her diary.
0:24:39 José makes his move on Ana outside a bar, but she’s too drunk to explain he’s too ethnic and poor for her.
0:25:02 Just as he tries to kiss her, Christian arrives too rescue her because she drunk dialled him from the lady’s toilets, and he hated the idea of her drunk without him. Ana responds by vomiting. I’ll soon follow suit.
0:28:04 How many nipples does he have, the sow?
0:28:08 Christian reprimands Anastasia for getting too drunk.
If you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.
Are you taking notes, boys? This is apparently what you need to say to bag a female.
Christian: I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular. You wouldn’t understand.
Anastasia: Enlighten me, then.
Not a bright idea, dim wit.
Christian: I’m not going to touch you. Not until I have your written consent. Anastasia: What?
To be fair to the script, all of my best dates have involved this sentence.
0:32:44 Ana doesn’t tell Kate about Christian’s unusual behaviour and statements. The cycle of abuse has already begun. For us it began 35 minutes ago.
0:34:29 Christian flies Ana in his helicopter from Portland to Seattle. He just wants to get her high before he makes his move.
0:37:48 Ana signs a non-disclosure form.
Anastasia: Are you going to make love to me now? Christian: Two things. First, I don’t make love. I fuck. Hard.
This is the second thing.
Anastasia: You’d punish me, like you’d use this stuff on me?
Anastasia: What would I get out of this?
I’m beginning to understand this film exists on a whole other level. The film-makers are the sadists and they are abusing us for their pleasure! And we’re paying them to do it.
0:41:28 Oh dear god! She’s a virgin? WTF!? She’s 22 years old, not religious and still a virgin? This might be because her parents kept her in the home due to her emotional retardation. But now she’ll agree to have her first sexual experience with a sadist? I’ve heard the first time hurts for women but this is ridiculous.
0:42:32 Let’s see how long I can keep it up, and by ‘it’ I of course mean ‘watching this film’.
0:43:18 He takes her virginity with apathy so that she’ll hate normal sex and want something more exciting.
0:46:02 Al K Hall nudity alert: Dakota Johnson’s bare buttocks. Reminds me how I feel watching this film. Like an ass.
A view of her bare bosoms when the couple take a bath together, but there’s no need – this film really isn’t that dirty.
0:47:52 With a great deal of female nudity, Christian initiates Ana into bondage by binding her wrists together with a tie and then telling her not to move when he kisses her. Judging from his passionless embrace, this shouldn’t be too hard (like those those of us unfortunate souls watching).
0:50:34 Christian’s mother stops by for a surprise visit.
Anastasia: I liked your mom.
Christian: She was excited. She’s never seen me with a woman before.
Now I understand why he abuses women! He’s a homosexual but cannot come out of the closet because it would damage his empire, so he finds girls too weak to fight him and he takes out his frustrations on them. Ha! #FiftyShadesOfGay
0:53:21 Christian tells Ana he was introduced into S&M through one of his mother’s friends. He was submissive to her for six years, from the time he was 15. #HisIQ
0:57:52 The terms of the contract…
0:59:18 Ana researches submissive on the Internet. Here’s a side by side comparison of our search results (Ana’s page is on the left). Her internet is vastly different from mine.
1:00:21 When she texts him her rejection of the contract (“it was nice knowing you”), he breaks into her flat and throws her on the bed and has sex with her. Funny, when I do this with someone who rejects me, the police usually become involved.
1:05:28 Contract negotiations
Anastasia: Page 3, section 15-20: The submissive shall submit to any sexual activity demanded by the dominant and shall do so without hesitation or argument…
[She laughs. He sneers. She shuts up.]
Turn to page 5, appendix 3: Soft Limits.
Christian: With you.
Anastasia: Find anal fisting.
Christian: I’m all ears.
Anastasia: Strike it out. Strike out vaginal fisting, too.
Christian: Are you sure? Anastasia. Yep. Same page. “Is the use of sex toys acceptable to the submissive?” Vibrators, OK. Dildos, fine. Genital clamps? Absolutely not.
Christian: Consider them gone.
Anastasia: What are butt plugs?
She’s not only a virgin but she’s also not heard of the Internet.
1:07:55 Christian offers a date night a week, like a ‘normal’ couple. In a nutshell, this is just another business meeting where one party will end up getting screwed.
1:15:45 Christian spanks her after she rolls her eyes at him. He spanks her so hard she laughs. I think I’ve overestimated the power of bondage.
1:17:41 After Christian leaves, her mum calls and so Anastasia begins weeping. WTF!? Perhaps it’s for her future.
1:19:50 Dear god, with a version of “I’m on fire” that’s even more insipid than the original, they exchange mouth bumps with all of the passion of clams fucking.
1:20:24 Al K Hall nudity alert: Bondage scene in the red room. What did one submissive say to the other?
I can’t come right now, I’m a little tied up.
Christian: You’re mine. All mine, understand?
Anastasia: Christian, you are so confusing.
WTF!? Where were you the first fifty times, up to and including a contract negotiation, when he told you how he was going to abuse you?
1:31:21 Christian tells Ana, who’s asleep, about his traumatic past with a crack addict birth mother who mistreated him. Ana isn’t the only one sleeping through this speech.
1:33:19 Ana visits her mother in Georgia and lies awake in bed listening to her mum in the other room laughing with husband #4. Ana becomes sad, wishing she could have the same connection, but she can! She just has to wait until her fourth husband.
1:35:41 Christian surprises her with a stealth visit because she wouldn’t pick up the phone when he called the night before. He’s like a broken hearted spy. #JamesBondage
1:37:31 Christian takes Ana on a surprise morning ride in a glider. Like a metaphor for this film, the plane has no power and makes me a little sick.
1:41:45 Al K Hall nudity alert: He has bondage sex with her to release his frustrations over difficult business dealings. He has a plug and she’s the outlet.
Anastasia: I need you to show me what you want to do to me. Punish me. Show me how bad it can be. I want you to show me the worst.
Girlfriend, he has been for one hour, forty-six minutes and sixteen seconds.
1:47:29 Al K Hall nudity alert: This bondage scene is more of a pain.
1:49:21 She becomes angry and spits at him to leave her alone. Apparently she was lying when she asked him to show her his worst. And frankly speaking, six half-arsed lashes with a belt? I’ve seen worse in the comments section of YouTube.
1:53:05 The next morning, she leaves him. Credit where it’s due, I did not expect the female lead to be as strong willed as she is. This doesn’t make the film any better, just less predictable. Fifty Shades of Grey is like those people on the bus who wear knickers on their heads and talk to their chutney: interesting, but not worth my time.
- WTF!?’s: 5 painful ones
- When to Follow: When you’re a teenage boy and want to see Dakota Johnson’s milk sacks (and if that’s the case, you’re welcome for the nudity alerts). Or if you want to see bondage and you don’t like bondage.
- Where’s This Found: To be fair, I have a brain and taste, so I’m not the target audience for this film. Nine 1/2 Weeks did it first and better in many ways. In fact, FSoG film is a very clever extended metaphor in suffering because we are submissive to the director’s dominance while she forces us to withstand gruelling pain for over two hours. Out of a possible 10, I have 3 F’s to give
- What To Feedback:
Left Over WTF (Way Too Funny) Photos
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What to Follow Up
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