This is not only disappointing (because there is nowadays so much sex in films and particularly on telly that you’re hard-pressed tries so desperately to portray the tortured emotional relationship of two attractive young people whose main (if not only) connection revolves around carnal knowledge and ankle-cuffs. Cue: , Scene 1: He reappears out of the ether and buys all the portraits of her at an art exhibition because: “I don’t like strangers gawking at you.” Fair enough. While Dornan is possibly the most earnestly banal actor in all of Hollywood, Johnson is actually pretty good, through genes (Melanie Griffith & Don Johnson) rather than any help from the script, which sounds like it was written by a dialogue-generating computer programme.
Which is a completely ridiculous question given a) they starred in a movie this time last year and she would have noticed them then, and b) This relationship is clearly not about a meeting of intellectual minds.
It’s easy to be derisory about the series, not just because the books are (reportedly – I admit/am proud not to have read one) the worst written bestsellers since Dan Brown, but because the word “try-hard” keeps ringing in my ears whenever I think about the trilogy which shook up the publishing world by bringing risqué sex to a mainstream, largely female, audience. But nevermind – that’s enough “opening up” for one day, and Ana lets them get back together. The galling thing about (and its predecessor) is there is nothing subtle, clever or illuminating about a poor little damaged boy growing into a man who admits to his fiancée that he’s a sadist who enjoys causing women pain (textbook! The bigger crime is that the impressionable young women who watch these movies are still being fed notions of wealth, skinniness and beauty as paramount (the camera spends more time “gawking” at Dakota Johnson’s corseted body than Dornan’s pleasure trail), and that consensual S&M is OK, years before they have the maturity to develop a relationship which can handle this philosophy safely.
The films have taken a similar bent; although a friend described it as “Mummy porn” (as in mother, not as in lie-there-and-play dead), there’s really nothing pornographic about at all – at least, not in the sense that you might feel a frisson of erotic response while watching them. Christian Grey the trillionaire (Jamie Dornan) and Ana(stasia) Steele (Dakota Johnson) broke up in the last movie, when she figured out he was of dodgy mind and not going to be able to meet her emotional needs. It also reinforces that age-old chestnut that women can change men through love, even if he “doesn’t want to talk about it”.
De là, s’enchaîne un récit initiatique de prime abord convenu, où se succèdent bonheur et déconvenues.