Well, the bubble burst pretty quickly for the Fifty Shades of Grey film franchise didn’t it? From the director refusing to return to take charge of the sequels and the shock news yesterday that Jamie Dornan is set to walk away as well, is the dream over?
Let’s take a second to be totally honest about the whole circus. The books are not ‘well’ written, which is the major complaint for a lot of readers, but were they ever intended to be? I don’t think so. If I had to give a totally down the line opinion, I think that the inclusion of a little bit of ‘plot’ mislead bookshops as to where to stock the bestseller. Had everyone been more informed about the nature of the tomes, I’m pretty sure they would have been resigned to the dark corner of every high street retailer, where erotic fiction is forced to dwell, out of sight. But no. It was sold on the premise that a wealthy, yet troubled, man would fall in love with someone who, ultimately, would ‘save’ him. Well, no need to peer down our noses at that… mainstream fiction it is.
Congratulations to the publisher’s marketing team I say. They whipped up such a frenzy that it drove everyone from bored housewives through to literary critics to reach out for a copy (yes, I’ve read them but I found mine in a charity shop that sold paperbacks on a 3 for £1 basis, so I feel a lot less disappointed with myself). And then came the film. The hype has been unavoidable and ever since the news was released, mid last year, that we would be able to flock to the cinema to witness the red room of pain for ourselves, on Valentine’s Day 2015, fans of the books have been beside themselves with anticipation. Then came all the drama.
The original actor lined up to play the infamous Mr. Grey dropped out. Charlie Hunnam (pictured – you’re welcome) decided against the role as he thought it had the potential to ‘tank his career’. Did he have a crystal ball? Perhaps he should have leant it to Jamie Dornan.
Then came the ‘accidental’ leaks that the director, Sam Taylor-Johnson (a women, shock horror!) and the books’ ‘author’ (I’m sorry, that was petty of me, but I can’t bring myself to call her an author with any degree of authenticity) E. L. James, do not get along. Cue rumours of rifts, disagreements and fall outs and what are they all about? The comparative lack of sex in the film. May I be honest for one second? Get over it. The book may have been misleadingly filed in mainstream fiction but the film, if made verbatim to the text, would have undeniably been pornography. It makes me wonder how unsatisfactory E.L. James’ private life must be that she is so dependent on seeing graphic, violent sex on screen.
So the film is released, to universal disappointment. Critics say it is awful, pointless and badly acted (by Dakota Johnson), while fans of the books are left unsatisfied and probably a little limp. Reason enough to quit the doomed franchise you say? You would be forgiven for assuming that Jamie Dornan is set to back out in light of such damning reviews but the real reason is something far more chivalrous and in direct opposition to his on-screen character. Quite simply, he respects his wife too much. I hear you all gasping in shock.
So, is Jamie’s wife right to voice her distaste at the sex scenes her husband has filmed? Is it anything to do with her? If the papers are to be believed, she has not even seen the film, refusing to do so purely because of her discomfort at seeing her life partner writhing around on top of a nubile submissive. Tell us what you think. Would you be comfortable with your husband starring in Fifty Shades of Grey?