5 groups that won't be going to see 'Fifty Shades'
In this image released by Universal Pictures and Focus Features, Jamie Dornan, left, and Dakota Johnson appear in a scene from 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' (AP / Universal Pictures and Focus Features)
Published Friday, February 13, 2015 6:52AM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 13, 2015 7:51PM EST
The first film instalment of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy opens this weekend, which is not coincidentally also Valentine's Day weekend.
The reviews so far have not been stellar (read Canada AM film critic's review here). But bad press or not, there is little doubt that the 100 million or so fans who gobbled up the erotic novels will flock to theatres to watch playboy billionaire Christian Grey seduce ingénue Anastasia Steele on the big screen.
But there are also plenty who will be staying as far away as they can. Here are just a few:
Those who couldn’t stand the books
One might say that the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series has not exactly been a literary darling… but that wouldn't even get close to it. The self-published fan fiction trilogy has been called everything from "mommy porn,” to "an assault on sexual mores, good taste and the English language," to "a book written so badly, it made Twilight look like War and Peace." (That last gem was from Salman Rushdie.)
There is a chance the film's writers have done away with all the awkward dialogue, and cringe-worthy scene descriptions of the books -- and that would likely be wise. Because not one wants to endure such cribbed-from-a-thesaurus clunkers as: "My subconscious has reared her somnambulant head" or "I like my women sentient and receptive," or "My insides practically contort with potent, needy, liquid desire." Eww.
Those who hated the books' content
It's not just literary snobs who can't stand these stories. From the beginning, women's groups have complained about the way the character of Christian Grey treats Anastasia, stalking her, following her to work, threatening and isolates her from her family. Not exactly the stuff of a romantic Valentine's Day date movie.
Those who adored the books
The secret to the Shades of Grey success is no secret at all: it's the graphic, steamy sex scenes. But the books' most ardent fans know they're going to be disappointed with the movie. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has made it clear her adaptation will not be as racy, for the simple reason that it's an 'R'-rated movie and there's only so much that is allowed.
Taylor-Johnson says the film will be focused on the story and while sex is integral to that story, key scenes had to be nixed -- including that notorious one involving a tampon.
"It didn't make it into the movie," director Sam Taylor-Johnson told Variety. "It was never even discussed."
The same goes for all the nudity of the book – or as star Jamie Dornan told the Guardian: "viewers wouldn’t be seeing my… todger." So be forewarned: there will be lots of snogging, no todgers.
Everyone in Malaysia
The 30 million of so people of Malaysia will not be seeing this film because the Malaysian Film Censorship Board has decided they are not allowed to. They called the film more like "pornography than a movie" and said it was "unfit" for a Malaysian audience because the sex featured was not "natural." So that settles that.
The actors' families
Watching your daughter simulate sex on film? Not most parents' ideas of a good way to spend a Saturday night. Which is why both parents of actress Dakota Johnson have said they won't be seeing the film – and their daughter is grateful.
"She would be very uncomfortable if I saw it, and I would be very uncomfortable if I saw it," Dakota's mother, actress Melanie Griffith, told reporters over the weekend.
"Would you want to see your child having sex like that? Just regular sex, I couldn't even do that, but the 'room of pain' sex? I definitely couldn't do that!"
Johnson's father, Don Johnson, won't be seeing the film either, but not because of the sex scenes.
"I probably will not see it just because it’s not a movie I would see," he explained to The Telegraph. "I’ve never seen The Vampire Diaries, I’ve never seen Twilight. It’s in a category of films that I just wouldn’t be interested in."
Activists against violence against women
Several Canadian women's shelters are calling for a boycott of "Fifty Shades" saying it normalizes the sexual violence that is so common in domestic abuse.
Megan Walker, the executive director of the London Abused Women's Centre, says the book and film might be portrayed as romances, but that's a fairy tale.
"This is not a love story," she recently told CTV London. "This is very much a story of rape and domination and violence."
A campaign started by U.S.-based Stop Porn Culture and dubbed #50DollarsNot50Shades is asking filmgoers to take the $50 they would have spent on a night out to see the movie and donate it to an abused women's shelter instead.
Not a bad idea, whether you see the film or not.