First up, I'm not buying all the hate. As an art form, I really enjoyed the movie. All things considered, I thought it was tastefully done. Both leads were good. Dakota was funny & Jamie was full of moody swoon.
The main plus point for me was that the film captured the spirit of the book without being overly gratuitous. Yes the book is never going to be seen as high literature (and I say this as an English Literature MA graduate) but SO what! Why does it need to be? I'm SO over the negativity from people who haven't even seen it or read the books. Surely we've got far more important things to be hateful about in the world today than a book or movie? Anyway, back to the film...
I've seen a lot of criticism from fans of the book for certain scenes or elements being left out. I think people keep forgetting that Christian doesn't really start trying to open up to Ana until the second book (Fifty Shades Darker) & most of the naughty bits are not in book 1. FSOG is when Ana is being introduced to Christian, her new life and basically to sex. I felt the FSOG film stands as a good intro into Christian's 'world' and to the characters in general.
I loved the contract scene because I felt Dakota portrayed Ana brilliantly - she was actually really funny and Jamie countered her well. I though Dakota gave a great performance and was really believable as Ana.
I have to admit I was initially a firm supporter of Ian Somerhalder being cast as Christian Grey but Jamie totally won me over. I appreciated the subtle nuances he brought to the character and how contained he was. The only slightly thing I did notice was his Irish accent coming through a couple of times. We all have such differing concepts of what Christian should look like, that we are always going to disagree. I felt he did a good job and it'll be nice to see him be more demanding *ahem stalkery* in the follow up!
I thought the set design for the Red Room was fab and it was exactly as I had imagined. The cinematography was great and the attention to detail Sam Taylor Johnson put into the movie was impressive. I did find the Beyonce song a little bit sinister when used in a certain scene. The romance of the story really came through and I loved the Charlie-Tango, ice-cube and gliding scenes.
There were a couple of characters missing who tbh I was expecting to see, but this wasn't a big thing and I understand why they weren't there yet. A movie is a visual form and not all aspects from the book needed to be there (I come from a TV production background so I've had this argument about what should or shouldn't stay many times). I've also seen a lot of criticism about Christian having an iPhone and Ana a flip phone, rather than using a Blackberry, but I'm going to be honest and say it didn't matter. Perhaps the phone section was left out to slowly introduce audiences to his more stalker-ish tendencies (or maybe because the Blackberry isn't as popular as the iPhone is now).
I did miss certain events which were removed (I definitely didn't miss the tampon scene, and am SO glad it wasn't in the film) but the key points were there and the film was actually far better than I had imagined; I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the production team made the decision to tone down some of Christian's darker parts so it wouldn't scare people off before the story develops. On another note, my friend thought Christian's burns were simply Jamie having a spotty chest (um yuk).
Another thing worth noting is that we don't know what the film classification boards made the director cut. The good thing is the production team have us all talking about it. I heard a rumour that EL James made Sam Taylor Johnson change the ending of the film; whether this is true or not remains to be seen. It wasn't exactly the ending I had expected but worked well and certainly packed a punch!!
I'm really looking forward to Fifty Shades Darker!