Sam Taylor Johnson ‘wants out’ of the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise, apparently

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Before Fifty Shades of Grey was released, Sam Taylor Johnson was already talking about the sequels. She made it sound like the studio was already exploring the possibilities and that she, Sam, would be up for directing the sequels if that’s what the studio wanted. But now that the film is a smashing financial success, everyone involved is reassessing. There’s a UK report that suggests that no, Sam doesn’t want to direct a sequel, especially if E.L. James still gets to exert the same level of control over the script/story.

The Sun has reported that Sam Taylor Johnson is keen to leave the franchise due to her constant on-set feuds with the author, despite previously claiming that she had ‘signed on’ to work on the sequels. A senior film insider told newspaper’s Dan Wootton: ‘Sam won’t be back for the Fifty Shades sequels. She wants out and Universal knows that’s the right decision. Her relationship with Erika has become absolutely toxic – they despise each other and blame each other for the problems with the film.’

Sam and E.L. – who signed a £3 million deal with Universal and Focus Films giving them the rights to her trio of books, which also gave her creative control of the movies – are said to have clashed numerous times about sex scenes as the author wanted to make the movie racier. The source also claimed that most of the rows between the two were due to the author’s wishes for the film to be as explicit as the book.

‘But Sam pushed back because she wanted the movie to be more than just a collection of S&M scenes,’ they added.

[From The Daily Mail]

It makes sense. It’s not even that unusual – most of the time, when a smaller-budget film has become a smashing success, the studio usually changes directors. Think of what happened with the original Twilight franchise: the original director, Catherine Hardwicke, was pushed out quickly in favor of a series of male directors.

Oh, and Sam’s rep has issued a statement about all of this too, saying: “The studio have not committed to a sequel as yet….All press reports are pure conjecture as the studio have not committed to a sequel as yet. We will not be making any further comment.” Meaning that the studio hasn’t let Sam into their discussion yet. Of course Universal is going to make a sequel – they’re minting money. But they’re totally going to find a new director – probably a man! – to direct the sequel. And they haven’t told Sam yet, which is depressing. I hope Sam doesn’t get screwed over after she managed to “handle” E.L. James and make a financially successful and watchable film based on terrible source material.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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132 Responses to “Sam Taylor Johnson ‘wants out’ of the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise, apparently”

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  1. QQ says:

    I’d be too embarrassed to have that in my resume were I her

    • paola says:

      She probably doesn’t need to work anymore… she made tons of money with this film.
      The people involved in this treat it as if it was a stinky poo right under their nose. They all surely knew what they were signing up for?
      They can’t be THAT surprised?!
      The only surprising thing to me is that the film went good at box office. I thought it would have bombed big time.

      • LAK says:

        Hiring Sam TJ was a signal that they wanted to make a quality film. Having ELJ sabotage that vision is on them.

      • Amelia says:

        They’d be a fool to let Sam go.
        If she wants to hightail it out of there, then fair enough, but she took one of the worsts books imaginable and somehow pulled an entertaining-in-the-right-light film out of the bag.
        If they’re smart, they’ll get E.L James out of the frame in time for the sequel. She’s a fountain of hideous similes and internal monologues that make me want to go to West London and punch her in the face for crimes against literature.
        /rant.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree, LAK.

      • Delilah says:

        LAK, lol, you my dawg. “Fountain of similes…monologues” lol

    • bettyrose says:

      By women for women ….It’s a rare combo in Hollywood. I wish it was something we could celebrate. Sam seems like a total Hadassah. I applaud her decision to walk.

      • LAK says:

        I don’t applaud women being difficult simply because we are of the same gender.

        Every woman labelled difficult whether real or by perception, makes it harder for other women to succeed in Hollywood.

      • bettyrose says:

        LAK , first my phone changed “badass” to Hadassah and I only just noticed. Second, is she being difficult? I thought she was walking because the writer was so difficult. Maybe I misunderstood but I thought I was applauding Sam for walking away from this little girl nonsense.

      • Lola says:

        EL James does seem difficult, very rigid in having the source material stay when it’s actually resourced material from twilight and her fantasies of Robert Pattinson in particular. Sam pulled off a minor miracle here with the movie in terms of trying to make it less shitty and I doubt James is self aware enough to realize that.

      • LAK says:

        Bettyrose: apologies. Thought you were talking about EL James, not Sam TJ. Completely agree with you there.

    • Zandy says:

      @QQ Lol, no studios care what kind of movies she made as long it made tons of money. So yeah FSOG will look great on her resume!

    • Lola says:

      it’s hard getting directing gigs in Hollywood nowadays, exponentially if you’re a woman director. And to be a woman director helping a successful franchise no matter how shitty the quality(most franchises are usually not high quality anyways)? Even more minute. She doesn’t have a lot of films under her belt to boot as well, and since most are crediting HER for being the reason the movie transcended the very shitty source material, it’s still a great opportunity for her to make some bank, get more experience especially with some bigger budgets ahead, and make a name for herself. Look what happened with Hardwicke and Twilight-she hasn’t been able to get a job basically since and up until this weekend she had the highest grossing weekend debut for her movie.

    • Serenity says:

      Has anyone watched Lisa Wilkinson’s review of Fifty Shades of Grey?? It had me laughing so hard…..she completely rips the movie apart! I haven’t watched the movie (and don’t plan on either) but I had the misfortune of reading a few pages of the first book and if the movie is even anywhere as near as terrible as the book was, well……Lisa’s done a great review then!

      PS: Is it bad that I instantly dislike anyone who says that they love the Fifty Shades of Grey novel/series??

  2. Amy says:

    …what is that picture?

    This is LEG!(tm) on steroids.

    • mimif says:

      How bout the pic where James is looking lovingly at Dornan?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, that’s about as awkward a pose as I’ve ever seen. Red carpet lessons, stat.

    • Amelia says:

      I’d like to think the photographer caught her mid side-step or stumble :)

    • bettyrose says:

      I sort of like the picture. It’s like she’s doing the opposite of crossing her legs to look thinner.

    • Deb says:

      ha! I love STJ and that pose is hilariously awesome! :D

    • chloeee says:

      The stockings with the strappy heels, the face, the pose….what?

    • Ginger says:

      Honestly, as a photographer I probably would have submitted that photo because it’s awkward and kind of funny catching her mid step. It almost looks like a prelude to a Broadway dance! (left leg-kick-ball change!) Immature I know, but still funny. Some of the awful photos I accidentally catch when the person is mid-blink or has a weird expression crack me up too. My husband is usually editing beside me on his work (we cover a lot of the same events) and the goofy things we laugh about…I’m glad we aren’t recorded.

    • TheOnlyDee says:

      She looks like she is about to pop a squat right there on the red carpet.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      She is in the very first step of a pada beret, which she is demonstrating for school children. :)

  3. paola says:

    She clearly knows nothing about the subject. Open toes sandals and tights are the biggest turn off ever.
    50 shades of go away!

  4. Kiddo says:

    I love her action pose.

  5. scout says:

    That’s a pose! Haha..

    What?! All shades of Honeymoon is over already, pretty short lived fantasy.

  6. Bridget says:

    Sam looks like she’s ready to settle their differences with a dance-off.

    Of course she is. But if STW leaves, how hard is it going to be to get a decent new director now that everyone knows that James is a total pain to work with? The source material just gets worse from here.

    • LAK says:

      Exactly.

    • nic919 says:

      I think STJ knows that the second movie is not going to do nearly as well. I bet the second week box office drops a lot too now that the curiosity factor has taken place and word of mouth is generally bad or boring, but not so bad it’s good.

      I just can’t understand how a shit “author” like EL James has any control over this material. Anyone can write porny material and do it better.

  7. maeliz says:

    What a sexy pose!

  8. Amy says:

    I haven’t seen the film (and never will!) but I think she just doesn’t want to deal with the author again.

    I guess it’s shocking a barely literate woman who created fanfiction off a particularly lame teenage franchise is unreasonable? Who knew?!?!

    I think she’s mad that for what she considers to be an accomplished director she was constantly getting checked by the author. The studios knew 50 was dreck but it was dreck that sold big and they didn’t want to change the formula too much. Sam ended up losing a lot of battles.

    • Maria says:

      sure but Taylor Johnson knew what she would get into. its not like the source material was brilliant and someone tried to ruin it.
      im personally more inclined to be on the authors side. i dont like 50 Shades of Grey but i mean its been everywhere when you sign up for that shut your mouth and direct.

      • LAK says:

        The director brought in a reknown playwright to elevate the material and the author threw out his changes and insisted they use the book’s dialogue.

        book to film translation doesn’t mean straight forward copy of chapter + verse of the book because often stuff that works in books doesn’t always translate to film and vice versa.

        And it’s a real failing of current development execs who pander to these authors because they don’t understand this, and the resulting films are dross.

        Good example of a book to film adaptation is BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYs.

        If that had been made chapter and verse, we would have been watching a depressing tale of a failed escort.

      • Amy says:

        I agree with you and LAK. They all knew what this was and signed up for it so the shame is on them. That being said Sam did try several times to polish this turd into a ruby and got smacked down by the Author (who had the support of the studio).

        Honestly though it’s fascinating to watch something when so many people involved are ashamed of it on some level.

      • TheOnlyDee says:

        Is it unfair to be depressed that this bozo is pulling stunts like this, while so many promising authors are out there struggling to get published? Stay in your lane E.L.

      • Maria A. says:

        As a struggling author for my entire adult life, until I got fed up and started self-publishing in 2006 – AND NONE OF IT FAN FICTION – Yes, TheOnlyDee, you have every right to be depressed. I know it frustrates the hell out of me.

    • LAK says:

      I think only the author is unashamed.

      • Tig says:

        I think shame is a stretch- but regrets? For sure- I think STJ wishes she could have had more freedom, and for all we know, regrets not being able to film the script the screenwriter developed. I doubt that Dakota is ashamed- why should she be?

  9. INeedANap says:

    Girl, RUN. The financial success of the first film has likely just over-inflated E.L. James’ head, and she’ll be even more of a nightmare to work with. Let some poor schmuck take over.

  10. zinjojo says:

    I know it will never, ever happen, but if the studio is determined to go with a male director, I wish it would be David Fincher. FIrst to see how dark he would make the material, and secondly, because the fights between him and E.L. James would be better than any movie they could make.

  11. kri says:

    If I were Sam, I’d take my money and artistic dignity and skip off into the sunset with my childgroom. E.L. James sounds like a real a-hole.

  12. Micki says:

    Hahahahaha…. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson will simply LOVE IT to make it “racier”.
    Their chemistry as it is won’t boil an egg and his comments so far are priceless…I’m waiting to read about reshoots of the reshoots…

    • Delia says:

      omg, jamie dornan looked in pain the whole time in the movie. He’s normally a good actor but couldn’t keep the grimace off his face the whole movie!! Their chemistry was really bad…

      • Patricia says:

        I really think he was acting that way because it’s how the Christian character acts in the book, not because he didn’t want to act in the film. They really didn’t change his character at all, compared to the Ana character. They gave Dakota better source material, while they kept all the same bad material for Jamie. If they do have sequels, Jamie will probably act different because the Christian character isn’t one dimensional as he is in the first book.

      • Micki says:

        I haven’t seen the film but even the trailer was sort of…I don’t know.
        I don’t know whether the film will benefit from another director and then HE ( assuming it’s a man) has to deal with the Ever Mighty Autor. That might be worth watching /reading about.

      • nic919 says:

        I haven’t seen the movie, but I wonder if he played Christian like his character from The Fall, how much better this would be.

  13. Jess says:

    If STJ doesn’t get to direct the sequels, it will be a big disappointment. She’s so tasteful and aware. I loved the atmosphere of the movie, the music, the clothes (minus Christian’s ripped light rinse jeans which looked like EL James 80s-informed idea of sexy). It was honestly the bells and whistles (ie STJ) that made this movie bearable.

    • mernymerlyn says:

      I agree. I saw it over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised, especially since I couldn’t even get through the first book.
      It needs a female director to give Anastasia more of a backbone because that is what changed the feel of the movie for me.

    • tifzlan says:

      I haven’t watched the movie and i don’t think i will but i think a female director elevated the source material. I fear that replacing STJ with another director, possible a man will just make it more… gross and pander-y if that makes any sense?

    • Paige says:

      I agree. I think Sam is an awesome director. Plus, it seems like the two leads are comfortable with her directing. I’m not sure how it will play out if they make sequels with a new director.

    • conchitaaaa says:

      omg, those douchey ed hardy jeans poor jamie had to wear that looked like something Bret Michaels wore in 1988……EL James probably bought them off ebay herself to dress Jamie up in like her personal doll.

  14. oneshot says:

    frankly, I hope Sam hops off this ship of shit and it sinks without her. What little credibility/watchability it has is entirely thanks to her trying to make one out of a shit story.

    (and she knew what she was getting into with the story, she knew it was shit but I certainly believe excessive interference from EL is the straw that broke the camel’s back on this one)

  15. lila fowler says:

    I saw the movie last night and enjoyed it for what it was. If EL James is smart, she will let STJ do what she wants with the sequels.

    • MC2 says:

      +1. But I think EL James has likely had all this attention go to her head.

    • Insomniac says:

      I’m sure ELJ thinks the movie’s success is entirely because of her and her literary prowess, so I don’t see her getting any easier to deal with for the sequels. I like Sam, so I hope she gets away from this crapfest. She’s getting lots of money from this and it sounds like she turned a horrible book into a watchable movie, so she doesn’t need ELJ and her overinflated ego anymore.

  16. Jess says:

    Hopefully Sam wants to direct the sequels despite EL James being a pill. Ugh. This is terrible news. Sam deserves to direct the sequels! ack.

  17. kim says:

    She could make things work like Steven Soderberg did. I don’t know. I would go see her next project anyhow.

  18. littlestar says:

    Okay, do you think EL James actually thinks she’s wrote an amazing trio of books? Or does she know her writing is absolute sh*t and doesn’t care because it made her a TON of money?

    • Amy says:

      Oh nooo. This series is her ‘Atlas Shrugged’ she KNOWS what women want. The naughtiness! The danger! The lip-biting! She’s happier than a pig in a pile of mud…which will be a sex scene she slips into her next book series.

      “50 Shades of Brown”

    • LAK says:

      Based upon her interviews, I think she believes she’s written an amazing piece of literature that is serving women starved of attention. That’s why she’s so protective of her brand.

      She will not let anyone interfere with that vision because it serves her fans.

      I think after a certain amount of money, she doesn’t appear to care so much for the money. She’s not extravagantly spending or indulging. Her pictures on the RC don’t show someone whose undergone a drastic make over as befits financial success.

      • Diana B says:

        Actually LAK, if you know of the scandal inside the twilight fandom, you know at least initially, all she cared about was that she get paid. She didn’t care that she was being called a thief for selling the fanfic based on Twilight, that the characters weren’t hers as long as the paycheck was big enough. Now I think all the sales have translated inside her empty head as prove of her literary genius.

      • Delia says:

        The irony of her being protective of her brand, when her brand is actually someone else’s. smh

      • LAK says:

        Diana B, I know nothing about Twilight fandom because that’s another franchise I refuse to acknowledge.

        Funnily enough, when the book first came about, I thought it was simply about the money though I had nothing to substantiate that. And frankly, I thought it was a good thing. One of those people who had lightening strike in a good and unexpected way late in life.

        My current opinion is based upon interviews, leaks, gossip that has come about during the making of the film and why she fought for her vision of the films.

    • Delia says:

      She’s completely insane-not only did she pilfer this whole story from twilight(same characters, same character qualities/hobbies/facialtics/, same parental characters, same sibling characters even, set in seattle, same plot points), she also pilfered all the badly conceived s&m from a previously written twilight fan fiction called the Submissive. And she seems to forget that everything she’s done was lifted from other stories and acts like she’s amazing. Her lack of self awareness is STUNNING.

      • littlestar says:

        I wonder if the authors of Twilight and the fan fiction Submissive can go after her for plagiarism of some sort? Is that even possible? Can Stephanie Meyer (spelling?) go after her for a part of the profits of the 50 Shades series?

      • conchitaaaa says:

        I couldn’t believe 50 shades as a movie-I knew it was a twilight fan fiction, but I was shocked at HOW MUCH it still plays like a fan fiction of another work as a movie. It’s like they didn’t even change the dialogue or setting in some parts. They were walking in the woods, and then in a meadow, saying things that seem straight up lifted from Twilight(which was shit to begin with) and all I could think was, “this lazy bitch couldn’t clean up her story enough to make it look less like a fan fiction??”

  19. Tig says:

    This is sadly not surprising- said yesterday I hoped she didn’t get the Catherine H treatment-and voila! She did! The excuse floated back in the day was that Summit wanted NM cranked out too fast, and CH wasn’t OK with the turnaround time. This, tho- seems like EJ would prefer the devil you know(STJ) vs the devil you don’t(of course it’ll be a male), but that’s too much logic! And for those of you who don’t want a sequel- this may really kill it. Losing a director means finding another fast, who then in turn has to like the script AND agree to being micro-managed-good luck. If this plays out, can see Jamie being shown the door. One crazy part of me would love to see Rupert Sanders get the nod- he’s desperate enough, and the gossip would be priceless!!

    • Amy says:

      I actually think James kind of hates Sam, so while she may be better off working with her she won’t admit it and is probably happy she’s jumping ship since they fought so much.

    • Paige says:

      I’m waiting until something is confirmed. They haven’t even confirmed sequels yet.

      • mom2two says:

        I have to agree with this. Honestly, given what Sam has said about working EL James, I can’t see her wanting to go back for me. There is no way, now that the first movie has been a success (and it pains me to type that) , that EL James is suddenly going to back down. She will say the movie was a success because she stayed true to the fans. There will be no reasoning with her. The studio gave her way too much say-so in the whole thing and she has no problems exercising her authority.

  20. Green Is Good says:

    Lol at “action director” pose! Reminded me of Eddie izzard’s “action transvestite”.

  21. Shelley says:

    David Lynch! The problem with the sequels is the same as with the firs: these books are so badly written, there’s very little to work with, and As STJ was able to somehow make it work cohesively and bring in this level of box-office success, they’d be fools to lose her.

    I just don’t understand the books’ success. I listened to them as CD’s on my commute; the reader does a great job but so much of it is the most cringeworthy swill…and that’s including the sex scenes. I fast-forwarded through then.

    Unlike many, I didn’t find it riddled with abuse, as Anna doesn’t put up with anything she doesn’t want to. To me, it’s a poorly-written, cliche-riddled ‘romance’ – complete with mustache-twirling villains and deranged ex-lovers – about two very annoying weirdos.

    • conchitaaaa says:

      I thought it was just badly executed and conceived and everything else too. It didn’t even have a plot line — it’s like the whole audience is held captive for an hour and half while Ana lip bites her way through deciding whether she will sign that stupid contract. The only clever touches were little directorial and screenplay CHANGES to the source material, but there’s only so much lipstick you can put on this pig.

  22. Leslie says:

    I don’t blame her for wanting to distance herself from this movie. I’m sure she had to work her butt off to get what she did from the book. And didn’t she fight constantly with the author who wanted to control everything?

  23. Goats on the Roof says:

    If I were Sam, I’d want to run like hell from any sequels. Let’s see..shitty source material, mopey lead, extremely difficult and unknowledgeable writer refusing to let things be changed for the better, and from everything I’ve heard, the next two films likely won’t be anywhere near as financially successful. Girl, take your box office hit and run off to better projects. You’re too good for this trash!

  24. Helo says:

    My heartfelt (I am serious here) plea to Sam Taylor-Johnson:

    Run STJ…don’t walk, fucking run away from this crap because you are the only one out of this festering sewer of a film that still has a decent reputation.

    • Patricia says:

      I think you are being a little over the top. Even if the film is bad, I really don’t think it has ruined any of the cast members reputation. Jeez

  25. platypus says:

    Considering she’s already so publicly tied to this film, that apparently is doing very well, I can’t imagine she thinks it would be best for her to get out now. If she’s let go, they might chose to phrase it that way, but I doubt she’ll go by choice (remember when Hunnam quit, the official word was very different from the truth). She’d never have to work another day in her life.

    I can totally see that they might want to replace her with a suitable male director, who might be more comfortable and successful in overriding E.L. James. I hope that doesn’t happen tho.

  26. Sunnyside says:

    I don’t understand why they change directors when the first made it a huge financial success.

  27. Lola says:

    I love how possessive and controlling EL James is of her characters, even though they aren’t hers but the twilight lady’s and I went and saw this with friends this weekend and it was basically twilight with some fake s&m posing. So ridiculous – they had a meadow scene, alice his sister and carlise and esme are there too, and Bella blushes and trips and lip bites while Edward plays piano and constantly laments he needs to stay away from her. It’s even set in seattle–how does her ass not get completely sued for the blatant plagiarizing that seemingly wasn’t even superficially edited here??

  28. Katie says:

    James seems like a nightmare to work with. If half of what’s come out of the leaked info from the set is true, this film seems like absolute torture to make.

  29. Pandy says:

    I read only garbage reviews about this movie. No wonder they pre-sold tickets. I can’t believe they’d make another one/two of this shite?

  30. Judyk says:

    After never having an ounce of interest in reading the book, I finally decided to read it after all the promotions and after my housekeeper telling me about it.

    I have found numerous grammatical errors in it and don’t think James is much of a writer. The book is obviously written by a woman. She uses the same phraseology ad nauseum, as well as finding an unusual word and then using it over and over, thereby losing its original impact. I’m going to have a hard time getting through the book and will not be reading any sequels.

    • FLORC says:

      Judyk
      An English teacher took a red pen to the book writing corrections everywhere and proper use examples of words. The book was a mess in so many ways.

    • Shan says:

      Okay, these books are terrible, but what’s wrong with being “obviously written by a woman”??

      • Judyk says:

        I’m all for female authors, and I think it’s a stretch that you would infer otherwise. I meant that her portrayal of Christian Grey was not convincing in so many instances. One insignificant instance was the often repetitious, “Laters, baby.”

    • Katie says:

      So just like Shonda Rimes

  31. Jess says:

    I hate the way Catherine Hardwicke got chased out, it’s a shame because the first Twilight was the best in my opinion. I love her use of the hand held camera and she incorporated the music a lot better than the rest, plus she understood that the vampires were supposed to blend in and be attractive and didn’t use too much make up, in Eclipse it was laughable how white and awful they looked!

  32. FLORC says:

    Ok
    Things need to be clarified here.
    Hardwicke had it built into her directing contract with Twilight she could opt out for a number of reasons. She read the book, liked the story liked the script and made the movie.
    Then she read the 2nd book/script and found the plot/love story unbelievable and overall terrible. She cited that for why SHE LEFT on her own. She wasn’t edged out. Everyone on both sides admitted this.
    And she was right to. Bella meets vamp, falls in love. Bella spends less time with vamp and more time with wolf, falls in love.

    While the movies did well they’re considered jokes.

    • Tig says:

      Maybe that version came later- but once the first hit big- Summit wanted to crank out NM ASAP- and Catherine H didn’t believe the movie she would want to make could be made on that timetable- which was when Chris W got the nod. You are correct in that she wasn’t necessarily forced out, but it always bugged me that she never got a chance to direct any of the remaining movies. She clearly had a much better feel for the material than David Slade ever did!

    • Delia says:

      Hardwicke read new moon way before opening weekend of twilight-and she was the one rallying fans to get into that theater the first night and first weekend so that a sequel could get green lighted right away with her intention to helm it. She did not leave because of the source material, she was edged out for a variety of reasons, one being what Tig talked about.

  33. Ice Queen says:

    I can not stand to look at E.L. James, especially after her “auteur of new universe” comment.

  34. She wants out? So do I. I wonder if she can send me a copy of whatever form we need to fill out….unsubscribe…..UNSUBSCRIBE!

  35. Jess says:

    Sid from Ice Age.

  36. Orly says:

    The Sun is a tabloid that publishes straight-up lies. Dan Wooten is nothing more than a shill who long ago abandoned any journalistic standards, if he had any to begin with. The interesting thing is that probably someone has paid him to put this narrative out in the public. I wonder who?

  37. holly2905 says:

    i turned off on STJ the minute she said she wanted to find a place for Kendall Jenner in the next film. Anyone who would willingly push more of the Kard*** crap on us is not someone I want to admire.

  38. Nibbi says:

    So we’re really blaming the entire fact that the movie sucked on EL James’ interference?
    OK, but c’mon. It was clear how successful the movie was going to be financially given that the turn had turned into a big “event” movie, but I admit I thought they’d still pull out a guilty-pleasure-fun-kinky-goofy thing out of it, not that strangely frigid stiff-wooden (not in the good way) awkward no-chemistry mess. I wasn’t expecting high cinema (even less a ‘film d’auteur’… wow EL James) but I was expecting to enjoy the flick in that same sorta secret-shame-it’s-so-bad-it’s-good, campy kinda way as the Twilight flicks. this was just some kind of confused, disheartening mess which left nothing to distract me from the infuriatingly crappy dialogue, flat, dull acting from both the stars, and the fact that yes at the end of the day it’s not presenting a healthy romantic relationship or anything near an interesting, empowered female lead character. i fully expected that the hotness of the kink would be enough to pull my attention elsewhere from all that, but i’m still trying to figure out how a film with two good-looking people naked doing hot stuff so much of the time could manage to be so utterly unsexy. just, wow. it was “50 Shades of Insipid.” i feel like the epic crapola that is this film should be blamed on many, many people. The fact that the books were so bad should have made it easier to create something that could live on its own, but even the books had that “guilty pleasure, so bad it s good” factor, as evidenced by the way they flew off the shelves. I think ticket sales will sharply drop off now that the initial curiousity has been sated. whaaaat a disappointingly un-hot crap-a-thon that was.