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So I went to see 50 Shades of Grey.

I was in several minds about it, but in the end the mind that went "it's a charity fundraiser and you'll catch up with people you haven't seen in quite a long time, plus there's champagne!" won. Also Dean got home early enough for me to be able to get there, which was a major factor.

Thoughts. I'd read a lot of criticism of the books, if not the actual books themselves, so I had an idea of what to expect. What was interesting to me was that my impression of both Ana and Christian was better from the film than from the movies - I wonder how much of that had to do with them being played by humans, who were able to give a lot more subtext than was apparently present in the novels. Ana came across as less dumb (possibly due to the lack of an interior monologue), although also as a very naive and young 21 year old.

Christian... was more complex. The behaviour was a lot more creepy onscreen, at least to me, than it apparently was for a lot of people in the books. Part of it is because the film has condensed a huge number of pages into about 3 hours, so you get a lot of warning flags in a very short space of time. Googling her and turning up where she works? OK, I could kind of get behind that as being sort of romantic in a "trying to engineer a way to ask you out" way, but the whole thing with cable ties, rope etc was just... well, Ana summed it up as "serial killer" which yeah, maybe you should listen to that interior voice there. I suppose you could chalk it up to a very, very bad attempt at flirting, but... yeah. No. Creepy. But not anywhere near as creepy as turning up in her apartment, yelling at her for making plans several times without consulting him despite the fact they were not in fact actually dating, punching out her friend, questioning her about every male he knew about that was part of Ana's life, selling her car (and seriously, is that even legal?) and generally tracking her down.

By the time we got to him taking her for a drive to a remote location (and that was pretty early on actually) I was seriously wondering what had happened to his previous 14 subs and whether this was in fact an entirely different genre from the one I'd been expecting.

The sex was pretty much as expected, although I have to admit there were quite a few women in our audience (who possibly had more than one glass of champagne) who were reasonably vocal about wanting to see more of Jamie Dornan's body - given the rating was MA that was never going to happen.

The BDSM side - yeah I could see why they were upset about it. Christian was a terrible Dom (I failed to believe he'd had previous subs actually, although I could quite easily believe he'd accidentally - or not - killed 14 women previously.) The big finale I was sitting there wondering whether anyone allegedly so experienced would be stupid enough to take someone so obviously inexperienced, with absolutely no idea of what her limits were - she actually said that at one point FFS - quite that far down the track. Even though she'd asked for it she had absolutely no idea of what she was actually asking - and I tend to think that any reasonable Dom wouldn't take her there without quite a lot of build up first. At the very least reminding her of her safewords right before you start might be a good idea.

The main thing for me though was - if Christian is that much into something, if it's a lifestyle for him then he kind of needs to make being interested in it part of his dating criteria. If it's something that is not turning your potential partner on, then seriously it's probably a dealbreaker. Actually strike that, it is a dealbreaker if you're that deep into it. Ana quite evidently wasn't happy with it - which is the point where Christian should have broken up with her. (Then again how would EL James have gotten three novels and a crapload of money out of it... hm. It's like that musical theatre thing where you work out what the earliest point the storyline could have been stopped at was. My favourite is "Dorothy! There's a storm, get in the cellar!")

There were some funny moments in there though. For some reason (again, possibly the champagne) the panty sniffing moment cracked me and my friend up completely. I also amused myself wondering how much Christian's staff gossiped about him behind his back - you know that at the very least his cleaner knows exactly what's in the room and what goes on, and as a result everyone else does too. Discretion and non-disclosure contracts only go so far when gossip is concerned. The dinner conversation around the contract - oh geez the bloody contract that went on and on and on and then he just went "forget it, I'll just act as if you've signed it anyway" - was actually quite entertaining, which probably came down to the acting more than anything else. There was some weird casting - I'm not sure if Ana's friend Kate was supposed to be a mature age student but she looked significantly older than Ana.

By far the funniest moment came at the end, when the women who'd read the book went "that's NOT HOW IT ENDS!!" (and the rest of us went "really? Is this another Hobbit kind of franchise thing where they spin one book off into an endless series?") From going back and re-reading one of the more page-by-page takedowns, no, it's not but it wasn't far off it. Close enough. Heh.

Will I go and see the other two inevitable movies? Don't know actually. If it's not a fundraiser then probably not to be honest. Neither Ana or Christian were interesting enough for me to care what happened next - for a romantic and erotic film (well promoted as such) it featured two really quite boring people. Maybe the interior monologues helped with that or something. I came out of the movie hungry (it was 10pm and I hadn't eaten - and the gift packs unaccountably did not contain chocolate, dammit) and tired more than anything else - and by 5 minutes after it finished we'd all started chatting about something else. Food, mostly.

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