Fifty Shades of Grey is the Sanjaya of today’s culture. It just won’t go away.
It’s the punch line and the “that’s what she said” in our little water cooler talks. It’s been on Ellen and parodied (my favorite being Fifty Shades of Chicken) and has graced the Walmart book section shelves for the past two years. Now, it’s going to be a movie. I smell an Oscar. To be clear, I’m not an entertainment snob. I like poop jokes (Bridesmaids, anyone?), and I like corny. I saw Big Momma’s House in theaters for goodness sake, but like Sanjaya’s mohawk (you’re loving this sixth season American Idol reference, aren’t you?), the Fifty Shades movie could be greatly improved upon with these 10 cosmetic tweaks.
A Good Cast // It’s key to any movie, and huzzah, it’s already done, with Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam (hello, abs) and Ben and Kate’s Dakota Johnson, aka Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith’s wee one. I’m shocked that they’ve managed to snag actors above a Dean-Cain-in-a-made-for-television-film status, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I don’t know if I’ll be able to ironically enjoy a movie with good acting, but maybe I’m underestimating myself.
Period Drama // Okay, so I know that the content of this story is scandalous enough, but imagine if it were set in Colonial America. Perfect, right? Everyone would be sweating, but it would be nuanced; is she nervous or is that dress just too hot? It would also justify Anastasia Steele’s lack of agency. It’s just being true to the time. Hello.
Black And White // Christian Grey is nothing without his impeccable style, but imagine the artistic heights that could be reached in a black and white shades of gray version of this thing. It’s almost too much. Almost.
Musical // There’s a Fifty Shades of Grey inspired musical called Spank! traveling across the United States. I say we go one step farther and take this thing into mega-musical land. It could be next year’s Les Misérables. I’m also thinking stellar dance routines, sequins, feather boas, etc. A cast change for this version is in order: Channing Tatum as Christian Grey, Samantha Barks as Anastasia Steele, and Kristin Chenoweth as Mrs. Robinson. While were at it, obviously they should all look like their characters from Step Up, Les Mis and Wicked, respectively.
Women Filmmakers // To some extent this is being done. The director (Sam Taylor-Johnson) and screenwriter (Kelly Marcel) are both women, and I hope they will respect the audience enough to at the very least make the female protagonist, Anastasia Steele, stronger than the book version.
Make Everyone British // Charlie Hunnam already has the accent. Why not just have everyone hop on board? And I don’t think it should be the Queen’s posh and proper accent. I’m talking full cockney, possibly with a chimney sweeper in hand at all times: “We aim to please, Miss Steele, we do, we do!”
Action Figures // Think about it: a little Christian Grey doll with worn jeans holding a whip, while the plastic Anastasia Steele counterpart is stuck in a kneeling position looking down. But what people would really go crazy over would be the expansion pack: miniature handcuffs, an Audi they can ride around in, a contract with very fine print, and of course, a tiny silver tie. I know what I’m getting my nieces for Christmas.
In Space // When in doubt, put it in space. Plus, there’s the added conflict (the only conflict) of how to physically touch one another when wearing space suits. I’m also seeing a riveting scene about how to scratch your nose. That’s the stuff that gets you a Golden Globe, people.
Gritty // Maybe some shaky cam should be utilized; it will be sort of like a Blue Valentine with more sex and less beer gut. Or maybe just use the filming style of The Hunger Games. Oh, maybe use the costumes from The Hunger Games, too. Maybe just use the sets and script from The Hunger Games.
Pig Latin // Please let this happen. I don’t recall a movie ever being made where the characters spoke Pig Latin, and I think this is the perfect project to take the challenge on: “I-ay ould-way ike-lay ite-bay at-thay ip-lay.” That just sounds like fun. I’d see go see Ifty-fay Ades-shay Of-ay Rey-gay.
Hilary Miller is currently an MFA student in Screenwriting at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. When not not watching, writing, or talking about movies and television shows, she can usually be found making crock-pot creations, laughing, talking too loud, running, devouring a good book, eating, racking up cellular bills chatting with her bomb family, sticking her toes in the sand, or wishing she were Hermione Granger, sometimes all at once. And while part of her heart is still in Indiana, the rest of it belongs to her puppy, Estelle Getty.