Based on the popular novel by E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey tells the tale of a wealthy billionaire and his lover as they pursue BDSM. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is tasked with interviewing the wealthy mogul Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) to help her roommate. There is an evident attraction that only grows as Christian shows up in her life continuously and sends her expensive gifts. Anastasia finds his intrusions bizarre but can't help but be attracted to his wealthy lifestyle and multiple talents.
The movie is really boring with a plot that plods along spotted with the occasional sex scenes in a bland attempt to engage viewers and I guess appeals to women. The first book was exceptionally awful but I don't think I will ever read the second or continue the series. Grey's behavior is that of a possessive stalker and seems to be able to get away with this behavior because of his wealth and status. Anastasia resists and sees that there is still something good in this man she has come to know. She worries about his past and the older woman who corrupted him in his youth.
Christian proposes that Anastasia must sign contracts to continue to see him, first a non-disclosure so that she doesn't gossip about their relationship and then a contract specifying their relationship as a dominant and submissive. The chemistry between the two actors is a dim flame and the paltry acting mixed with ludicrous dialogue make anything spoken in the film hard to take seriously. The sex feels like softcore pornography that is afraid to push any boundaries hardly exploring the many aspects of BDSM.
The source of drama is Anastasia's decision of whether to stay with Grey or not. Despite his six-pack abs, billions of dollars in fortune, and limitless talents, Ana still has reservations about whether she wants to continue to participate in the depravity of the Red Room with him. She sees his addiction to inflicting pain and is frightened by his zealousness.
The movie ends abruptly and awkwardly after an overlong run. The movie was very successful at the box office after the novel was a bestseller. E.L. James tapped into some formula that allowed her novel to have mass appeal and the movie actually felt like an improvement in my opinion though there was only so much that could be done with this material. The series of books are a trilogy so there will be two more of these films to go through.