Friday, April 12, 2024

“Fifty Shades of Grey” Casts Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam in Leads


The mega bestselling piece of junk novel has found its movie leads: Dakota Johnson will play Anastasia Steele. Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey, the man who ties her up a lot. Johnson is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Hunnam is  a star of “Sons of Anarchy” and has for a long time been a guy who just about to break out big time. Sam Taylor Johnson, who was Sam Taylor Wood until she got pregnant by (at age 43) and married 19 year old British actor Aaron Johnson, is the director. (Aaron Johnson is now 23, and Sam Taylor etcetera is 46.)

This should be good, right? If history tells us anything, movies made from really awful bestsellers do not turn out great. The material is so bad, and once it’s filmed, it looks worse. Harold Robbins, Jacqueline Susann, and Judith Krantz hubba hubba hot sexy books all turned out this way on screen.

With “Fifty Shades,” it could be a couple of results: it’s too hot for a R rating, gets an NC-17, and has to be edited severely. Or they just don’t bother to go for it, so the movie doesn’t meet any expectations. And then we have recent examples like “Friends with Benefits” or “Love and Other Drugs” each of which was extremely tedious. Watching naked actors loses its novelty after 20 minutes. And if the dialogue comes from that book, the word “Glitter” won’t be too far behind.

Well, good luck to everyone. A lot of publicity will accompany this project. People will be “shocked” and “stunned,” there will be muffled protests, anger from women’s groups, and a big kerfuffle. Two years from now “Fifty Shades” will be on Netflix. Pass the handcuffs.

PS The big story will be which designer get the tie tie-in. The ties must be great looking but sturdy. My vote would be Zegna. Not like I know anything about this.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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