I have to be honest I loved Fifty Shades of Grey, not for its beautifully crafted writing of course, or even its storyline or characters but because it gave me something to share with my girlfriends and kept us giggling for weeks after we’d read it.
I think I must have been one of its first ‘ambassadors’ and probably boosted its UK sales and popularity massively. You see I was in NYC in March 2012 when I saw E L James being interviewed on morning TV. She was extremely charismatic and I watched her talk about her characters with love and affection.
She knew at that point that the book was a huge success – word of mouth and whispers at the school gate in the USA had catapulted it to the top of the NY Times best seller list. Despite her being British it hadn’t exploded in the UK at that point as she had only just negotiated the publishing rights. When the words kinky sex were mentioned, I turned on my Kindle and downloaded it immediately. I also emailed three of my ‘most open minded’ friends and told them to do the same.
That’s the best thing about the Kindle isn’t it? You don’t have to go to the shops, or be embarrassed about your choice of reading material as you present it at the till. One click of a button and it’s available to read immediately, and no one knows if you’re reading latest the Booker Prize winner or a trashy novel.
The funniest thing about me reading on a Kindle is that I don’t pay that much attention and I accidentally read the books out of order. I read Fifty Shades of Grey first; of course I knew that was the first book, but then I read Fifty Shades Freed by mistake. I can’t say I missed the second book, I can’t ever remember thinking whilst I was reading ‘Freed’, ‘who was that character or what happened there?’ Maybe I was reading them too fast to notice, I don’t know? But when I started on what I thought was the third, but was actually the second, I realised what I’d done so I left it there – you see I already knew the trilogy had a happy ending!
So, when the second film came out last week, I was less than enthusiastic, but buoyed by my over-enthusiastic friends, we grabbed the mini bottles of Cava and Minstrels and trudged down to the cinema to watch the opening night preview.
I’ll admit I was slightly, ahem, massively handicapped due to the fact that I’d just read two very amusing Guardian reviews. I caught myself laughing out loud as the very accurate viewpoints of the Guardian reviewers played out on screen, must to the irritation of my friends.
Was it rubbish? Yes, in my opinion it was.
Was the second film worse than the first without the direction of Sam Taylor-Johnson? Yes, in my opinion absolutely.
Did the script fail without Kelly Marcel? Yes, the dialogue was excruciating.
And as a consequence of all that the acting (and we all know Jamie Dornan can act) was appalling.
But, will I dash down on opening night to see Fifty Shades Freed when it comes out at the beginning of 2018 – yes, of course I will!