5 reasons why the Fifty Shades movie is better than the book

50 Shades cover art

So, this may run contrary to every review out there, but I liked the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. In fact, in many ways it was better than the book. Here’s why:

  1. Anastasia is not an idiot. She’s got sass. She sticks up for herself, pushing Christian, questioning him, and at times even outsmarting him. When they discuss the contract, she insists on a business setting and confidently negotiates the terms. She may have an antiquated flip phone, but she’s a poor college kid after all. And she  does know how to use a computer… it’s just on the fritz.
  2. Ana is funny. When she drunk dials him in the bar, her reactions are spot on. Alternately confident, nervous, cute, embarrassed, she’s charming. You can see why her friends like her and why Christian is intrigued.
  3. The movie glosses over the illogical parts. Christian is still a young billionaire, but they never say how young. The book puts him at 27, which is ludicrous. In the movie, he could be 30, maybe 32. Not so old that it’s creepy that he’s with a young college grad, but old enough that he had time to amass a fortune, learn to play piano/fly/dance and cozy up to 15 women. Plus, his family appears wealthy, so maybe he didn’t build Grey Enterprise from scratch, but rather took over the reins.AND the timeline doesn’t seem so compressed. Instead of taking place over two weeks (?), the movie gives the impression the relationship evolves over a few months.  After their initial meeting, Ana sits in class, Christian goes to work. Over time, she mulls, he pouts. She considers her options carefully, he stews impatiently. She muses chewing on a Grey pencil, he fidgets in his grey office. The pace is much less frenetic, which helps dial back the ‘Christian is an unreasonable control freak’ vibe.
  4. Christian’s got a gorgeous… apartment. I expected it to be cold, grey steel, white walls, hard angles, with large windows leading to the balcony. Nope. It was ALL floor to ceiling windows. Not much furniture, but there were warm brown pieces, glowy candle thingies, and a dramatic sweeping staircase. The only walls were in the upstairs hallway and bedrooms (ok, they were white) and the playroom (red, natch). The playroom was large, but kind of elegant in its own right. I would have had to explore it, just like Ana did. Kudos to the set designers.
  5. And overall, the movie was cast well. Ana was close to perfect (see #1 & 2). Loved her. Christian was a little off, some of his lines were poorly delivered, but he looks the part–nice body, tousled hair, sexy saunter. He’ll do.I expected Ana’s mom to look like a hippy throwback, but she was more a modern day free spirit. I hated that she didn’t come to Ana’s graduation, but that was straight from the book. Other than that, she was sweet. Ana’s roommate Kate was much more believable in the movie. She was pretty, dynamic, and not nearly as obnoxiously pushy as in the book. And Elliot? Perfect. Just perfect, front and back.

That’s not to say the movie was without its flaws. Christian’s performance was sometimes embarrassingly stilted. Early on, he rants at Ana for wanting him, and his reactions were so odd, the audience laughed. In the sex scenes, Ana seems to go from zero to the verge of orgasm in 2.5 seconds. I wish it were that easy.

And my own personal preference…I would have liked to see more of Taylor, the driver/bodyguard. He’s my secret crush.

But other than that, as a fan of the book, I’d say the movie was fifty shades of fabulous.

To see the few POSITIVE reviews printed regarding 50 Shades, check out my 50 Shades of Great Expectation page.

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