Plot: Anna (Dakota Johnson) is a virginal introvert who shops at thrift stores and has no social skills, while Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is a billionaire, high functioning incel who confuses desperation with domination. After the two meet at some kind of odd interview, Christian becomes obsessed with Anna and stalks her, showing up at her work uninvited and is exasperated when he learns that she has friends. Soon he purchases her affection and while she insists that her life involve things other than his fragile ego, he is quite convinced otherwise. Christian informs her that he doesn’t make love, but is a rather aggressive beast and he never sleeps in the same bed with women, then makes soft, gentle love to her and falls asleep at her side. He then demands a sex life filled with his every desire served, but collapses under Anna’s dominance and agrees that she can just do whatever she wants. He dials up his stalker antics, she resists but then gets horny, so she gives in. The woman who molested him as a child also shows up, which threatens to put a divide in their vanilla sexual bliss.
Entertainment Value: This movie is based on the book of the same name, which was in turned based on Twilight fan fiction. Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey was based on Twilight fan fiction and it is always evident that it was, as it reads like fan fiction, a sexual fantasy penned by someone who has never actually had sex. The narrative is rooted in the world of dominance and submission, but Christian comes off as neither dominant or a sadist, but a frustrated, desperate man. The movie tries to explain that away by saying he was molested and used as a submissive, so perhaps that is supposed to soften his obvious resentment of women, but it is a big reach. There’s not an ounce of true dominance in Christian however, he is like someone who Googled kink and is trying to live up to what he found. But once you ignore the sexual content and realize this is a “I can change him” narrative, it makes more sense. This is just a run of the mill romantic drama, that happens to involve some misused sexual/relationship dynamics that make the entire movie seem lame and awkward. The performances are passable, but Dornan shows no range whatsoever and Johnson is a capable brat, but the narrative is scared to go into that part of her role. Fifty Shades of Grey is a comedy of errors, but it is worth a look, if just to see how off base the sexual content is and how little the writers knew about the subject matter.
This one was marketed on sex, but in the end, there isn’t much kink to be found and what is here, is rather tame. So if you expect a wild, boundary pushing kind of sexual adventure, you will be very disappointed here. A light spank is considered rough sex, while a few swats with a flogger leads to a complete breakdown for both parties, so this is not dark, mysterious kink. Even those with conservative appetites will find this to be overly safe and tame. Johnson is fully nude several times, with breasts aplenty and some bare ass as well. The full frontal is rare and when it is used, for some reason digital pubic hair was added. So yes, you get to see Johnson naked, but the sex scenes are brief and offer minimal kink, never explicit or graphic in nature. No blood. A spank terrifies these people, so they certainly never explore more intense, aggressive practices. The dialogue here is so artificial, I couldn’t help but love it, especially how it explores the sub/dom relationship lingo with an oblivious approach. Christian is a cringe level dude, with no ability to read his woman, while Anna is a brat who complains that she doesn’t get what she wants, even though she always does. The banter between the two is hilarious, as it is again like conversations about sex written by people who’ve never had sex, it is quite an alien experience to witness. The movie’s obvious lack of research provides some cringe, awkward moments, but aside from the stilted sexual content and relationship issues, this one plays it too safe to rack up insanity points. But the lack of common sense, social skills, and sexual knowledge is tremendous, without question.
Overall Insanity: 3/10