Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey *and giveaway*

Feb 7, 2015 by

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey  *and giveaway*

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Movie Blurb: Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

 

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On Friday 2/7/15 I was invited by Mandi from Smexybooks to be her +1 at The Today Show’s, Fifty Shade First Event. This event was to premiere the Fifty Shades of Grey movie for the fans a week before the movie is released on Friday 12/13 (in some cases, Thursday night, 12/12). This was a movie premiere event unlike any other, and a first The Today Show has done. All week long, leading up to this event, The Today Show would show clips the movie and interview some of the cast member, the director and EL James, the author.

It’s been well documented about my honest criticism and disdain for the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. For those who may not be aware, Fifty Shades of Grey was once an erotic Twilight fan fiction that was pulled and published, becoming a massive global hit with over 100 million copies sold. As there are many lovers and fans of the book series, there’s a great amount of “haters” or harsh critics of the books. I’m a very harsh critic of the trilogy, and in some circles I’m considered a “hater”. Some may ask, why then would I go to the movie premiere then. Why not? Maybe I would be proved wrong and enjoy the movie, but on the other hand I might end up being even more critical. The movie viewing experience is very different from the reading experience. Book adaptations to screen can go either way. They can be a great success, bringing to life the book in such a way, it will astound you, while in other ways it may leave the you  scratching your head, wondering what you watched and how it was gutted and completely different from the original reading material.

I attended the movie premiere from two different points of view. I would watch the movie as if I was a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, the book, and then as a normal everyday person who hasn’t read the book and wanted to see the movie. When the lights went down for the next two hours, I left behind my feelings for Fifty Shades of Grey the book, and all the drama and controversy surrounding it, and was simply a person seeing a movie.

After the movie ended I was completely stunned, as in my jaw dropped. The reason- I liked this movie, more than I thought I would, a great deal more. I really thought I would dislike it and find so many faults, much like the book. If you’re a fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey book, you will eat up this movie and love it, hungry for more. If you haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, you will enjoy the movie for what it is and will be anxious to see Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel, which was announced as moving forward. Fifty Shades of Grey was very entertaining, with many moments of humor and a romance that should appeal to both men and women. It’s a perfect date movie, including one for Valentine’s Day. Those who are looking for more spice in their movies, Fifty Shades of Grey is the movie to see. The love scenes are well choreographed and sexy. When the time comes for the BDSM scenes, they are extremely well done and very erotic. If you’ve watched cable television shows like Sons and Anarchy and Game of Thrones, the sex is on par to what you find there, but with a little more titillation and heat, but nothing that will make you uncomfortable or have you squirming in your seat.

So why did the Fifty Shades of Grey movie work so well why the book doesn’t? Every cheesy WTF moment found in the book with the silly, ridiculous dialogue and fan fiction element was erased. The filmmakers made the right decision by taking out the eye rolling trademark phrases and dialogue like the “oh my’s” and “inner goddess” Anastasia Steele, the heroine loves to spew. Christian Grey, her hero’s trademark line, “later’s baby” is there, but the delivery  of how it was spoken is cute and sweet. Christian’s twitchy palms is also in there, and again delivered in a great way. That tampon scene everyone was hoping would be shown? It was better left in the book. It had no place in this movie. The reason is because the love scenes and scenes of sexual bondage, torture and foreplay are tasteful and somewhat artistic in tone. The manic, abusive elements Christian portrays in the book are gone. His possessive is toned down enough in the movie that it’s believable. His reason he doesn’t do romance and needs to be a Dominant, and Ana his submissive isn’t farfetched when it’s revealed and explained.

The credit for making Fifty Shades of Grey movie a success are because of four people. Out of the cast and production crew, I knew little of their resume and background. I have only see the work of Marcia Gay Harden (Christian’s mother), Jennifer Ehle (Ana’s mother) and Victor Rasuk (Jose, Ana’s friend and possible love interest). Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and the director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, are all unknowns to me. Kelly Marcel, the screenwriter and Sam Taylor Johnson deserve major kudos for their work. These two brought Fifty Shades of Grey to life in a way I would have never expected and admired. These two are just important as the actors on screen. The focus is on Ana and Christian, the main couple. All the other characters come and go and rarely have much screen time (Rita Ora as Mia, Christian’s sister is not even a blip, and when she speaks, you cringe. Here she is treated in more of a throwaway role, which is going to be interesting since Mia plays a bigger part in the next two novels). Kate Kavanagh, Ana’s best friend and roommate played by Eloise Mumford made the most with her role. She ate up the screen anytime she appeared. If given more screen time, she would have been a force of nature.

 

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There have been many opinions about the casting of Ana and Christian. From the press tour and random scenes shown from the movie of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, it looks like they’re all wrong for the roles. Awkward and bad chemistry comes to mind. I’m a happy to say that Dakota and Jamie’s chemistry is alive and well in the movie. Jamie Dornan is the one everyone has concentrated on. He plays the role of Christian more than adequately, but there’s still a stiffness and remoteness to his portrayal. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but even though I wasn’t as enthralled with him as I should, I will say that when it came to the love scenes and BDSM centric action, he made me believe he was a true Dominant. His delivery, whether it was seducing Ana or blindfolding and tying her up and flogging her was, panty dropping, I need to take a cold shower ASAP. This man let loose and wild, no holds barred sexual takeover in the sex scenes. He doesn’t have a waxed and ripped body, which was a surprise, again in a good way, but you won’t be disappointed by his naked butt shots and his happy trail leading to the promise land.

 

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The one person who deserves more praise than anyone else is Dakota Johnson. Jamie plays second fiddle to her. I had some concerns with her in the beginning. The first twenty minutes are the most problematic. It sets up the story and the introduction of Ana, the college English literature senior, about to graduate, and Christian, the twenty-seven elusive billionaire. Dakota was channeling Kristen Stewart ala Bella Swan from Twilight in the first fifteen minutes, complete with being clumsy and falling to the floor in Christian’s office, to the non-stop lip biting. But the lip-biting is somewhat of an inside joke. Now I understand perfectly why on some promotional movie posters, Dakota is biting her lip. It becomes a running joke, throughout the movie, but one that fits. The moment I become invested in this movie, and knew it was a winner was the scene where Dakota as Ana gets drunk and drunks dials Christian (very well-known scene in the book). That five minute scene shows Dakota’s comedic skills, which is throughout the movie. She starts out as this almost fragile, plain and basic young woman, who transforms into a more self-assured saucy, tells it like she means it woman. I would go as far to say she steals some of the scenes away from Jamie. Also the love scenes, including the BDSM ones where she’s on full display, showing everything from her chest to her navel and even lower, is admirable. It shows a strength and courage not many actress are willing to do. Dakota as Ana keeps her girl next door package, but also brings out her temptress. Dakota has a “real” type of body. Nothing is fake. The way the love scenes are filmed show Dakota in all her glory, down to the baby fine hairs on her legs and even the dimples and noticeable bumps that all women have. That’s something that should be applauded, and highlights the beauty a woman’s body has. Simply put, Dakota owns the Ana role and runs with it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a Rom-Com with dark undertones. The first half appears to be a romantic comedy and then slowly becomes more intense and serious. The humor isn’t out of place, and when we get to that point where Christian shows Ana his red room of pain, as she calls it, you’re invested completely, wanting to stay with Ana and Christian, even during their most private intimate moments, no matter how dark they may seem.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a solid romance with more to it than girl meets boy, boy and girl connect, and then boy loses girl. The ending has you gasping because it’s so sudden, like a smack of a whip on your back. It leaves you panting for more. I’m now anxious to see Fifty Shades of Darker and see where Sam, Ana and Jamie can take the next installment of Ana and Christian’s romance.

If you’re a fan of romantic movies, see Fifty Shades of Grey.

The one hope I have for the success of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is that Hollywood will look to more romance novels or romantic fiction and give them a chance to come to life on the big screen. It might just happen now because Fifty Shades of Grey proves romance can entertain, just as it has for decades of dedicated romance readers, like myself. Now the entire world can see that and will understand why.

Finale Grade: B

 

Another opinion of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie experience:

Heroes and Heartbreakers

Smexybooks

 

GIVEAWAY!

I have an official Fifty Shades of Grey poster from The Today show, including an official T-shirt (size medium) and Christian’s key to his red room of pain, with mini flogger chain. For your chance to win these items, leave a comment here by Tuesday 2/10, US residents only.

 

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82 Comments

  1. Amazing review !! Can’t wait to see the movie and review it myself!!
    Thank you for the chance.

    stamper_sierra [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. Maria

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    I want!!!

  3. Thanks so much for this review. After all the complaints and boycotting, it’s good to have someone who actually saw it and explain her experience. I probably won’t see it–not my cup of tea–but am glad so many women will get to experience this fantasy they love on the big screen. And I do know Dornan (from The Fall) and can imagine him as Christian.

  4. …you’ve converted?? I have to reevaluate my entire life now…

    • KTGrant

      I still think the books are horrible. The movie is completely different and shows how people with skills can make something worth watching.

  5. Heather Lire

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    I’ve been waiting for your thoughts on this since you said you were going. Now I want to see it even more.

  6. Ashley C.

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    Can’t wait to see this now. Thanks for the review!

  7. Great review. I have not read the books. Just reading or hearing excerpts make me cringe. I said that I wouldn’t watch the movie unless it was on Netflix. I don’t know that I will change my mind, even with your glorious review. I’m not a fan of romantic comedies or chick flicks, so I don’t think this movie is one for me either way. I’m glad it was done well. I’m also really glad that Dakota is getting the credit is sounds like she deserves. I heard nothing but people gripe about her prior to the screening, but everyone seems to have loved her portrayal in the screening.

  8. Janiec

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    I’m surprised to hear that the leads have great chemistry onscreen because I’ve read about their awkward interaction on the press tour.

    • KTGrant

      I thought the same, especially during the Glamour shoot and the interviews. But it was surprising how well they worked together in the film. I think Dakota is just uncomfortable. She was like that at the Today Show yesterday morning, while Jamie looked more relaxed.

  9. Bailey

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    Great review! I love your honesty and am thrilled you enjoyed t. I’m looking forward to seeing this. I would love the chance to win.

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    Thanks for such a great review, I really didn’t think I wanted to see the movie, but now I am on the fence.

  11. ashley

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    Thanks for the review I can not wait to see the movie I read all 3 books and hope the movie is just as good

  12. Cindy

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    Thanks for the detailed review. Can’t wait to watch the movie!!

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    I have read the books and am anxious about the movie, however after reading your review, I think that it will be worth the ticket. Hope I come away from the experience like you, wanting to be further enlightened!

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    I likes the books (even though they were a bit sophmoric) and can’t wait to see the movie. P.S. I hope I win your giveaway ;-).

  15. Vicki Alberts

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    I can’t wait to see the movie! I am flying to Seattle on Thursday and will be seeing the movie on Friday.

  16. Brenda

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    Awesome review! I am so jealous that you had the opportunity to go see the film with Jamie, Dakota, Taylor, and James in the same building as you! I have read the books a total of 15 times. In fact, I’m still reading them lol. I have hourly reports about anything pertaining to the film so that I won’t miss out on anything. I seriously can’t wait to see the movie this Thursday! I have bought the tickets a month in advance and I have been restless ever since. I was worried about how Taylor Johnson was going to translate the book onto the big screen without taking out too much of the books essence, but after reading your review those doubts have been eliminated. I am also very glad to hear about Dakota Johnson’s performance. Everyone seems to be hating on her. But honestly, I think she’s perfect for the role because she is just as I imagined her while reading the books. Anyways I’m rambling on lol. I get too excited whenever it’s about Fifty Shades! <3 Thank you so much for your great review! I look forward to your next posting!
    Laters, Baby

    • KTGrant

      Before the movie started, the applause was all for Jamie and nothing for Dakota. After the movie ended, she got the most applause. People who had their doubts about her are going to be very surprised.

      • Brenda

        Yay! You have no idea how much your words put me to ease. There’s been so much trash talking, that I have started to worry about how the movie would be. So thank you so much my friend for posting something very lovely about the movie. I also think that you are a very sweet and generous person for you to be offering an awesome giveaway such as this one. Whomever wins will surely be a very lucky lady! Thank you for letting me be a part of this post! 🙂

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    I haven’t been able to read the book that much but I can tell you I just can’t wait to see the movie because just like the first 50 pages of the book is s caught my interest I think it’s one of the most important things that we should discussing nowadays are so many things out there that nobody knows about so we stand behind closed doors this is a chance to see what’s really out there and what people are really doing behind closed doors

  18. KSE

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    Enjoyed reading your review! Looking forward to seeing the movie.

  19. Crystal

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    Awesome 🙂 so excited for the movie,! Tickets purchased a week ago lol

  20. joye

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    I’m impressed with your review. Especially knowing you didn’t enjoy the books at all. It wasn’t until recently that I read the trilogy and flew through them within a mater of days. I wa Leary of the books at first because of the BDSM, that’s why I hadn’t read them before now. After reading them, i don’t really get much BDSzm out of it, I see a man a broken man with a troubled past learning how to love.

    I’m want to see the movie, but then… I think I’ll go into the way you have… Open.

    Thank you so much for your review.

    I like hearing what other people have to say as well as their take and opinions…. Otherwise we would all be pretty boring.

    Thanks again!

  21. Sandy Hayek

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    Glad you liked the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie, […] I can’t wait to see the movie. I have my tickets for Thursday night with the ladies. Then again with my husband (of 44 yrs.) for date night on Friday. Would of Love to been in NYC for the Premiere Fan Show! From Nebraska

  22. Thomas

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    Thanks for the review. I’m less afraid to see this now not because of the naughty bits but that its not like Twilight…Totally got tricked in to seeing that. “Its got werewolves AND vampires…” I was thinking a bit more like Underworld and i got sparkling guys in the forest…

    Cheers!

  23. Mary M.

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    I guess the screenwriter should win an award if they actually were able to edit and adapt FSOG into a film which can believably portray a real relationship, let alone a true power exchange.

  24. marisela

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    I love the books!! Cant wait to see the movie ive been waiting for what seems like forever!! Great review

  25. Tanisha36

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    Thanks for the honest review. I loved the books, but was scared that movie wouldn’t be good. I more excited to see it now

  26. pieclown

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    Thank for the review. I have not read the books and have heard many people say the and nay. This gives me a desire to see the movie, not just for the BDSM, to see a movie that by your account is better then the book

  27. Justine

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    This is a great detailed review!

  28. Becky

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    I read the books without knowing it was Twilight Fan Fiction (never read/saw Twilight). I agree with much of your assessment of the books, but am looking forward to seeing the movie now. Bought my tickets for next weekend already.

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    I have read all three books I.Iteae been a fan Andi also listen to the audio recording. I think the book was well written and it was a beautiful love story. I also have to say it inhanced my own sex life my husband was very Happy. It spiced our lives even after being together almost forty years we were high school sweethearts. We used the book to give us a boost again
    All I can say is thank you we been waiting for the movie for two years.And we’ve been looking at the trailer takes.And for the true fans they need to read all three books first to get a understanding. Please continue to write one of your biggest fan.

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    Wow, I’m more stoked to see the movie now than ever before! I absolutely loved the book, and now I’m left restless to see the movie adaptation. I am a huge fan of the trilogy, not just for their sexy scenes, but for the (in my opinion) well constructed plotline. I can’t wait to experience it in the theater! 🙂

  31. Ashley

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    The 14th cannot get her fast enough. I am dying to see the movie after reading the books in about 2 weeks.

  32. courtney

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    I’m glad to see this. To me its just a story of female sexual awakening and a man’s realization that love conqours and fixes all things. Its a very powerful thing love and sex just happens to be a WONDERFUL perk.

  33. Jamie E

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    I both lived and hated the books. The writing irked me and Christian’s jealous and abusive personality was deplorable. I had set the movie aside in my list of “maybe watch it never” titles. But after your review, I may just give it a chance.

  34. Christy

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    I love your review of the movie and it makes me excited to see the movie. I know people have many opinions whether positive or negative. I’m always afraid to ask my friends to watch this movie but now I feel I can and tell them to read your review because the movie is good and deserves a chance to be seen.

  35. Nayeli C.

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    Amazing review!! thank you so much for this. Im so glad you loved the film.

  36. lia

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    Amazing review! Im a huge fifty fan and reading this, knowing your not such a huge fan, makes me excited! Cant wait to see the movie on thursday!!!

  37. Crystal Lechuga

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    I’ve been a fan of the movie ever since I finished reading the Fifty Shades of Grey book. Everybody thinks the book is wrong (because of the BDSM) and that it is not a love story but I completely disagree. BDSM is a life-style choice that may not be for everybody but it is a choice. As for the “it’s not a love story” comments, I completely disagree; Christian changes and falls for Ana. He implores her to stay with him in the second book and they both become different people who would do anything for each other.

  38. Jennifer

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    Omg I wanna win. You are so lucky! My good friend and I wanted to go to the primere but she had to be on dialysis and we couldn’t go. I’m glad you had fun that’s super awesome!!!!
    Laters Baby. Lol

  39. G K

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    Thanks for the giveaway! Jamie is hot, and he’ll be a big name after this.

  40. Jessica Lang

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    Your review was a pleasant surprise! Now for the question of the day: Would you go see it again?

    • KTGrant

      I’d probably watch it on DVD… with my mom ;P

      • Jessica Lang

        LOL! I wonder if they will come out with extra scenes that were cut from the original movie. I see them releasing the original movie on DVD and waiting a few months until everyone has spent their money on it, and then, “SURPRISE” they come out with a newer version with unseen footage. Great marketing strategy.

  41. Allison Bankowski

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    You are SO lucky to have gone to the premiere, and what a GLOWING review! I was unable to even enter the TODAY show contest. Well, I guess I could have entered and given the tickets to someone if I had won. I’m having medical issues right now, but hope to get well soon. Believe you me, if they have another contest for the next movie, I’ll be the first to enter! I’m glad to have the chance at this contest. Thank you!

  42. Patty

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    A friend just informed me of this site. I’m so glad I read your review! I figured I would see the movie eventually, but now I hope to see it sooner than later. 🙂

  43. Paula

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    The rumor about this site is going around like wildfire through my book club! Lol Everyone is hanging on to every word written about the movie. You make it sound like a true winner! You’ve made the wait to see the movie even more intense!

  44. morgan

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    such an amazing review, I cannot wait to go and see it!

  45. Betty Hardin

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    Coming from someone who wasn’t a fan, this die-hard fan is happy you converted! (Just kidding)

  46. Tasha Smith

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    YAY! A chance to win Fifty Shades swag! I love it! And I love your review!t

  47. Diane N.

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    You’ve got me psyched about the movie!
    Which scene would you say you liked the best? And on the flip side the worst?
    Thank you!

    • KTGrant

      The best scene was the contract negotiation scene. It’s a nice power play dynamic and it was very risque and funny at the same time. The worst was the beginning with Ana interviewing Christian at his office. I found Dakota somewhat annoying in that scene. Jamie was very broody staring at her the entire scene.

  48. Ed

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    I have no desire to see it. But my wife loves it, so I am taking her on V-day. Good to know it appeals to men too. That’ll help. I’d really like to give her something from the movie. I hope you will enter my name in your contest. Thanks for the informative review. P.S. Were there any men in the audience?

    • KTGrant

      Surprisingly there were more men in the audience than I expected. Some were husbands or boyfriend, while some of the men read the books and were fans. I talked to some of the men after the movie and they enjoyed the experience.

  49. Nancy

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    [* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash” because: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox). *]
    Thank you for the remarkable review. I’ve seen other reviews on-line, and they didn’t touch upon many of the book’s details like you did; i.e., reference to Anastasia’s “inner goddess.” Ugh. Even though I’m a big FSOG fan, I hated those parts in the book and eventually skipped over them. I’m seeing the movie Thursday and appreciate reading this review from an unbiased critic. Thank you again.

  50. Martini

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    [* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash” because: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox). *]
    I am a huge fan of Fifty Shades of Grey! I’m so glad someone impartial liked it. Thank you for the rave review! If I win the Fifty Shades items, I am going to display them for company to enjoy (along with a copy of your review). And I will send you a picture of me with it too! I really want to win, can you tell?

  51. J.C.

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    Sounds like Dakota and Jamie have some great chemistry going on screen. You couldn’t tell that by some of the photographs of them two together. What’s up with that? You’d think their agent or publicist would give them some tips when being photographed together in public! Jeez.

  52. Joy McCarthy

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    I just read your review and thought it was very well written. I loved the details. I had my suspicions this role would make Dakota Johnson, and it sounds like it will.

  53. Nancy

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    I am seeing the movie on Thursday with my hubby. He is coming with me because I need a little help getting around (and more so because I think he has this secret desire to see it – lol). We will get there early to secure an aisle seat. The anticipation of waiting in the theatre for the show to start is going to be nerve racking, especially after reading your review!

  54. Kara Morganford

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    I’m new to this site, but hope I’m eligible for the giveaway. I enjoyed your review very much, and even though I haven’t tapped into my inner goddess (probably a good thing), I am still a very big fan of Fifty Shades of Grey. 😉

  55. Donna Hoffstetter

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    Please forgive me, but I’m not familiar with this site. I came upon it by accident. I loved your review and was wondering if you are also a novelist? But I answered my own question by doing more research. Wow! Forgive me for being so clueless! Upon reading a multitude of your accomplishments, I also came across the Amazon statement, “KT has been a top ten best-selling author at Amazon.” What can I say? I need to get out more often, or rather, read more often (if I can ever find the time). I’ll certainly check out your books! I hope my ignorance will not disqualify me from the drawing.

    • KTGrant

      Thanks Donna! I started this blog in 2008 and was reviewing many books, mainly in the romance genre years before that. Then I started publishing :). I’ll be celebrating my 5 year publishing anniversary next month 🙂

  56. Ruth Nelson

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    Questions . . . Questions . . . Questions
    So what’s the verdict? Academy Award worthy? Do you see any Oscars being won?

    • KTGrant

      Not an Oscar winning movie, but maybe one of the songs might be up for best song at the Oscars? The Weeknd song is hot!

  57. Mary K.

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    Someone from my book club just told me about this site today. Thank you for sharing! Hope you get to attend the next FSOG movie premiere and share that one with us too! (I also hope someone from my book club wins so we can Oooh and Ahhh the goodies!)

  58. percy

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    Please enter me in your giveaway! How awesome you were able to attend the premiere! Enjoyed the review and reading the other comments!

  59. Nesmith

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    I know E.L. James’ writing wasn’t the best, and I read an article about it recently. It said her writing was poor, but pointed out that she got her story across, and that’s the important thing.

  60. chickie

    Thank you!!! Hated the books and was dreading the girls’ night to go see it – they’re all 50 shades of crazy for the books. Sounds like a good time now 🙂

  61. Z Girl

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    I’m either psyched or psycho to want to see it – haven’t figured out which. Tee hee hee! Wish my boyfriend would go with me. Maybe if I show him your review he’ll change his mind. Otherwise, it’s a girls night out. Oh well.

  62. C.W.

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    KT
    Thank you so much for this review. It sheds some light what to expect compared to the book.

  63. Talia Jones

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    I thoroughly enjoyed your review. It’s so kind of you to give these items to one of us fans! Thank you for being so kind.

  64. Courtney

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    I’m going to see this in 2 days and I’m so excited! I feel like I’ve been following this since before casting calls were even made!

  65. [* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash” because: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox). *]
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    OMG, thank you so much for the chance! I can’t wait to see it!!!

    mmalavec(at)med(dot)umich(dot)edu

  66. Nesmith

    Will the winner be announced on this page? I’m sure a lot of us are sitting on pins and needles! 🙂

  67. tallyhomare

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    I really appreciated your review. It addressed some concerns I had. Glad Dakota Jackson rocked it.

  68. KTGrant

    Hi all! I’ve picked a winner for the giveaway. The winner is Brenda. Brenda, please email me at katiebabs g at gmail dot com.

    Thanks everyone for commenting!

  69. Allison Bankowski

    Congratulations Brenda!

  70. joye

    Congratulations.

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  1. Mandi saw the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie! And She Liked it! - […] Also read Heroes and Heartbreakers review and Kate’s! […]

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