Never in me life have I ever been so excited to see a movie – not when they re-released Star Wars, not when The Avengers came out – nothing can compare to the all out excitement I had over this release. Because nearly three years ago when I downloaded Fifty Shades of Grey to my newly purchased Kindle. It was the second book I’d downloaded to this e-reader, an e-reader and a book that would change my life. I’ve been in love with books since I was born, my mother always tells the story that I started reading actual books when I was just four years old – obsessed, I’d make her read to me every night before bed. Going from Charlotte Web to Oliver Twist, when elementary school started I was obsessed with anything and everything The Brother’s Grimm, the Neverending Story, The Hobbit – All books a little dark, and a great adventure.
So when just about everyone I knew, including my mother was reading this series I thought ok, I’ll check it out. I’ve read a little smut in my time – The Story of O, and let’s not forget VC Andrews – probably the first dark romance novels I was introduced to at eleven years old. What I wasn’t prepared for was being so instantly drawn to the story, obsessed really – having to know ASAP what was going to happen next. I downloaded book two and three before I was even half way through the first book. There was something about Christian that I gravitated to. I do not consider him an abusive man, nor do I believe that what he and Anastasia shared in the series is domestic violence. Those that do? I firmly believe mock domestic violent victims at large. Because what we have is a consensual relationship between two adults – exploring their sexual desires and boundaries. I deal with domestic violence situations daily at my job – and this story is far from it. But, it is a piece of fiction that people will use as a platform for discussion and that’s the real point of any book isn’t it? To create a discussion. And this book, selling over one hundred million copies does just that.
I read the books during a moment in my life where I had just lost someone very close to me – someone who had been a strong presence my entire life – a father figure, a friend and someone who just understood me. These books helped me in a time in my life when I needed it most. I lost sleep, staying up until two in the morning to finish one book – and go on to the next and when I finished the trilogy I wasn’t ready to live outside of it yet – my mind wandering on a constant loop – I re-read them all again, in two days. Never in my life have I done that. But the story between Christian and Ana just struck a cord with me – so much that I created this blog. I went into abyss that is the internet and found a whole world of amazing independently published authors and never looked back. My Kindle got so much action in the months following that I had to upgrade to something with a back-light – and even created a reading nook in my back yard so I could sit underneath my walnut tree at night, chain smoking – and not keep my husband up any longer. This was my escape and I was so excited that my love of reading had come back – full throttle that I wanted to share these amazing books with anyone who would listen. So E.L. James, I thank you for this –
And now to the movie…..
When I found out, about three days before the release that my local theater was playing it Thursday night at 8pm I was determined; I.Will.Be.There.
Thursday comes, and swiftly turns into the day from hell – leaving my lights on in my truck – the battery drained so I couldn’t get to the theater to per-purchase my ticket on my lunch break. I work 8am-8pm Mon-Thur, so I was convinced that the theater would be sold out. While at my other job, a friend/co-worker did me a solid and went to the theater to see if it was jam packed – luckily for me it wasn’t, and I broke several traffic laws getting to that theater in time to walk into that dimly lit room FULL of people as the credits started – I had a perma-grin across my face through the entire thing – because it was actually happening. It was surreal – truly to see this story that I’ve ran through my mind so many times, to see the scenes played out – even at times the dialog coming straight from the novel itself, it gave me goosebumps.
I went into the theater with an open mind – I didn’t pay much attention to the casting because when I read the novels I didn’t really picture a specific person playing them – when they first announced Charlie Hunnam was cast as Christian, I was floored – he was the last person I thought of – but I was hopeful, because everything I’ve ever seen him in is great – and I’m a sucker for Jax Teller. Dakota Johnson…. well I did not jump on the band wagon for this – at all. But still, I kept my mind open and hoped for the best. When Jamie Dornan was cast, I didn’t have the slightest clue who he was, other than he was on a BBC show called The Fall that my husband kept telling me to watch on Netflix. (You really should – it’s amazing.) But the second I saw his face, and re-read the novels for the sixth time in anticipation for this release – I couldn’t stop picturing him as Christian, and it left for some pretty steamy reading.
The film itself – I applaud everyone involved for taking a story that everyone has fluffed off as nothing but mommy porn – and turned it into a very strong film with witty and very funny dialog. Dakota Johnson OWNED that role, and for the life of me I can’t even remember why I was leery of her casting in the first place – she was made for this role. She was and is Anastasia.
Jamie Dornan….. good lord, Mr. Grey. Though I think in some ways he seemed stiff and not quite sure of himself, he gave a great performance that left me with the chills. There is something very unique in his gaze – the unsaid tension between these two characters, the looks they shared SCREAMED so much of what I felt when I read the books. The man has Christian’s smirk down to a T.
I was glad I watched it last night – even though the theater was packed and i wanted to throttle everyone around me that wouldn’t shut up or turn their damn cell phones off – even leaving the theater afterwards I knew I’d be seeing it again. I took the day off today, hoping to catch a matinee that would be a bit quieter – and it was. The second time seeing it was even better. I adored it that much more.
I do not envy Dakota and Jamie now that it’s released – and the toll it will take on their personal lives, but they deserve all the positive recognition that they get – fuck the haters, the nay sayers and everyone commenting on what a horrible story it is – without having even read one sentence of the story. They brought this story to life – breathed life into Ana and Christian and I hope they carry that chemistry on into the second and third installments.