When the Twilight phenomenon was in full swing the burning passion that the fans had for the books and films was matched only by the intensity of derision from everybody else. Some books are just fun to make fun of, and this is very true for E.L. James' Twilight fan fiction turned erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, in which a shy and virginal student is whisked away into a world of spanking and spreader bars by a troubled billionaire.
The Fifty Shades trilogy quickly became a worldwide bestseller, no doubt helped by the rise of ebook readers that offered the ability to read a naughty book on the train without anyone being able to see the cover. Fifty Shades of Grey may have spawned a thousand parodies, but it also sold more than 100 million copies and had now been adapted into a movie starring Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.
As with the first trailer, Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey actually looks like it might be a decent movie. There are elements of silliness - such as the fact that Christian seems to wear shades of grey almost exclusively, like he's a Power Ranger, and Anastasia's exaggerated jumpiness that has her flinching at the smallest of things - but as a sexy Valentine's Day treat it looks entertaining enough.
Taylor-Johnson made her feature directorial debut in 2009 with the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, and Fifty Shades screenwriter Kelly Marcel scripted the recent Disney movie Saving Mr Banks (a movie that was also about a writer who meets a rich businessman, but has quite a different outcome). Fifty Shades of Grey's supporting cast includes Jennifer Ehle, Rita Oram, Marcia Gay Harden, Eloise Mumford, and Luke Grimes. It also seems to have some kind of marketing deal with Beyoncé, since her songs have been featured in both of the trailers so far.
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Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters on February 13th, 2014.