It’s a tale as old as time. Dark, tormented and scandalously rich boy (because no one is really a prince anymore in this economy except those born into the monarchy) meets an unassuming girl who is her own version of being a damsel in distress.
By now, the lead characters don’t need an introduction. The millions of books (in e-book and printed format), the hoarding of grey silk ties and wave of sold out sex toys precedes them. (READ: DIY stores ready for kinky 'Fifty Shades' customers)
Anastasia Steele, young virginal college co-ed, meets Christian Grey, a billionaire whose “piercing eyes” and rugged looks are softened and polished by his chivalrous insistence at addressing Anastasia as “Ms. Steele.”
Throw in some one-liners meant to tease and titillate, proceed with some f*cking with sex toys, alternate with some hapless romantic drama and you’ve pretty much summed up the movie. (READ: What critics are saying about 'Fifty Shades of Grey')
That’s the movie on fast forward. This is not the kind of movie where you want to feel like you are being rushed to reach your – ahem – climax.
So let’s play back some of the best and worst parts of the movie and reactions from the audience.
Note: If you haven't seen the movie and want to be completely surprised, read no further.
‘Mr. Grey will see you now'
The impatience in the movie theater was palpable. The requisite movie trailers, announcements – even the national anthem – were taking too long.
The opening scene was met with the collective sharp intake of breath by the hundreds of women whose eyes were locked on the screen. The same women let out a simultaneous sigh at the first appearance of Christian Grey looming over his kingdom from his high rise office building that also bears his name.
“Oh. My. God. He is so hot,” one girl swooned.
The exhalations were followed by the giddy giggles that were let out at lines like: “I don’t do romance. I f*ck. I f*ck hard.” The male equivalent of playing hard to get is apparently a turn on, when put in those terms.
And of course, the scrutiny and appreciation of the sex scenes.
One viewer, said quite eloquently in the vernacular, “Oh, if that were me tied up there, the bed would have been broken by now.” Without pretext or context, that comment can be taken at face value.
The sex scenes would have been more exciting if there were no black blobs hovering over pleasure points. Even with the R-18 rating and the detailed warning about the movie “containing abberational sexual acts,” there was hope that the fantasy the book inspired could be played out on screen for a quick lesson in BDSM. (READ: 'Fifty Shades of Gray' gets R-18 rating in the Philippines)
There was at least a handful of viewers who were curious about what butt plugs looked like who were sorely disappointed.
Notably, there were no audible reactions to the other scenes like Christian braiding Anastasia’s hair or his overly controlling gestures that were passed off as being caring and loving. Seriously, a car as a grad gift? Oddly, there were no snickers when Anastasia whipped out her flip phone to text Christian. That was just so…analog.
The highlight of the movie – at least for this viewer: the safe sex lessons that were discreetly embedded in between the sexually charged banter and witty teasing comebacks.
One scene had Christian putting on a condom and two scenes about using oral contraception. Condoms and the pill were also covered in the book with much more detail and one has got to rejoice that the rubbers and pills made it to the final cut.
Lastly, let’s not forget the thing that underpins the movie, the contract which is just a fancy sign-on-the-dotted-line version of getting and expressing mutual consent before any fornication takes place.
Still, some came out of the movie less than…satisfied.
“There was too much talking,” one girl lamented when the screen faded to black.
That was the drag that brought down the movie and made it seem longer than the book. At least with the book, you could skip the dialogue and jump to the steamy parts. (READ: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' stars on the 'task' of filming steamy scenes)
Viewers were spared from excessive reference to dancing inner goddesses but many an inner romantic cringed at the dialogue made up of barked commands: “Eat.” “Stay.” “Kneel.” “No.”
And there was all that lip biting.
Fifty Shades of Grey started out having all the prerequisites of being a cross between a fairytale and fan fiction but ended with a feeble attempt at cockblocking the viewer.
Nonetheless, you should still make a beeline for the movie. At the very least, you can be schooled some important life lessons: don’t let a hot date turn into a due date. No glove, no love.
A timely reminder this red hot Valentine’s Day weekend. – Rappler.com
Ana P. Santos writes about sex and gender issues. Seriously. She is also a regular contributor for Rappler apart from her DASH of SAS column, which is a spin off of her website, SexAndSensibilities.com (SAS). Follow her on Twitter at @iamAnaSantos.