Drunk/Sober/High: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades of bear

*SPOILER ALERT: Fifty Shades of Grey pretty much sucks, no matter how intoxicated you are*

Also, this is our first ever virtual Drunk/Sober/High. The writers saw the movies in separate locations (due to the long weekend), but still, of course, remained faithful to their respective substance (or lack thereof). 

Before the show

D: I sort of failed at pre-gaming for this film, so my friend and I took a ¾ full handle of vodka into the movie theater. Somehow, despite sitting in the front row, we did not get booted out of the theater. We also didn’t boot. The latter might be more surprising.

S: I can’t believe I’m actually at a movie theater on Valentine’s Day waiting to watch Fifty Shades. Is this real life? I look around and the theater’s pretty empty; I get there about 15 minutes early, thinking that it’ll be packed because the hype was so real, but there are probably less than 20 people there, most of whom are couples who, I’d guess, have been married for at least ten years. I’m suddenly extremely paranoid–what if parents that I know show up? What if they’re already here? What if they see me? What if I see them? I glance down the aisle and notice one couple my age sitting a few rows up and I ask myself the following question: in what world would anyone ever see this movie as a date?

H: Upon arriving to the mall, we made a bee line to the food court, snuck Chinese Food combo dinners under our coats, and found our seats in the way back of the theater. I saw quite a few other Brown students there, and I tried calling their names to get their attention but apparently I was only whispering. We smoked again in the theater; we realized we had great neighbors when we heard, “get it girl” after my friend stifled a cough.

During the movie

D: The first thing I noticed about this movie: damn, Anastasia Steele is a terrible journalist. Does Christian Grey have a thing for people who conduct horrible interviews?

S: Of course it takes place in Seattle. This is definitely going to be a non-vampire adaptation of Twilight minus the plot, plus nudity. Dakota Johnson (I’m not even going to address them by character name because I cannot take this movie seriously) is literally Bella Swan but in the form of a college graduate living in Portland. But, given the awful character she has to portray, Dakota’s doing a pretty good job. Respect. Jamie Dornan, on the other hand, is pathetic. He’s failing pretty hard at trying to sound American. Also: so much lip biting, so little time.

H: Why did no one else laugh out loud when she ran out in the rain? Providence Place, I feel like this will be a better experience for everyone if we can all laugh about it.

D: Then he falls in love with her for being a drunken, vomiting mess? I feel like that’s how most of my romances end, not how they begin. I must admit, I just developed a strong desire for someone to sensually bite a piece of toast.

S: Who does Jamie think he is forcing Dakota to leave the bar? At this point, I’m 100% convinced he’s an obsessive control-freak. I don’t like him. Good for Dakota telling him to leave her alone over the phone. Also, a definite highlight of the film: “I will launder this item.” You do you, Dakota Johnson.

S: OMG he took a bite out of her toast. That’s not even seductive. That’s just plain rude.

H: WHAT just happened with that toast. That went from zero to sixty.  Girl, get out. I’m scared for you. I mean seriously did anyone else just see that toast move. I feel like I’m the only one who saw that toast move.

H: Kristen Stewart is killing the lipstick game.

D: Kristen Stewart is not in this movie… High, I’m confused.

D: I had to pee as soon as this movie started! When I finally took a bathroom break, I returned to my seat in the middle of the “Room of Pain” introduction scene. That, and the middle of two 12 year olds aggressively making out… also in the front row.

S: First sex scene. Finally. So many boobs. So many.

H: If this was porn, I would watch the hell out of it. Wait, this is porn. I’m suddenly realizing how odd of an experience it is to be watching this with a hundred strangers.

H: Oh I get it, he’s playing the piano because of Twilight. How different and great would this scene be if she walked in on him playing an equally precise but unsexy instrument. I’m thinking a marimba.

D: This movie is really boring, I’m going to drink some more vodka.

D: I’m pretty sure the past fifteen minutes/hour of this movie have gone something like this: Yo, I don’t want to pressure you to sign this extremely specific contract about a culture of BDSM you’ve never been exposed to before, BUT I’m going to break into your house to pressure you to sign the contract. I’m just saying that you’d really like it, and I have the keys to your apartment. But srsly no pressure 4 realz.

D: No fisting… but like are you sure no fisting? Also why does this contract having so many appendixes. Can we turn that noun into a sexual innuendo? I want to be in your appendix. Sounds hot. I should’ve written this screenplay.

S: I cannot believe my mom read this book. And 50 Shades Darker. And 50 Shades Freed.

H: She did some close reading of that contract. Speaking of reading, has she been in school, or for that matter, anywhere at all thus far in the movie?

H: I have kicked the back of the chair in front of me soo many times by now. Sorry lady.

D: Gmail is a highly underrated method of sexting.

D: Let’s have a sensual dance. Wait, actually, let me flap around and tap dance for you. That would be waayyy sexier.

D: I love having serious conversations with my significant other while they are asleep. It really helps our emotional connection progress. Oh I also love overhearing my parents have sex, and then when my boyfriend stalks me across the country to prevent me from having a second cosmopolitan.

D: I’ve never been upside down in a plane before Christian. I realize now that I love you.

D: I was right, they both have pubes!!! YAY, the only part I appreciate in the movies thus far! BTW it’s the end of the movie.

D: We spilled some of the handle, but it’s finished now. Also I got yelled at for messaging my High and Sober buddies on my phone, because it was “distracting.” So my phone was distracting, but me taking swigs from a glass bottle of liquor blended in seamlessly with the backdrop?

Final thoughts

D: Overall, I feel like this was 115 minutes of mediocre build up to one legitimately good scene. Finally, she realizes that he wants to cause her more pain than she wants to experience, and she bounces. Despite this being the one good scene, it’s also not unique to the world of cinema. Try watching Shame with Michael Fassbender–now that’s a movie.

S: This was an utter trainwreck. (But, then again, what did I expect?) There were only like three <5-minute sex scenes that weren’t even hot over the course of over two hours (does that even count as erotica?) and there was absolutely no plot. It dragged on and was incredibly anti-climactic. It wasn’t even fun to troll. The movie was just so awful on so many levels that I got tired of hating on the Fifty Shades team after ~ten minutes. I also think it’s worth mentioning that, by the end of the film, I was really concerned about the fact that this movie’s mass culture because it fails to emphasize the importance of consent–especially in the context of something as especially potentially dangerous as BDSM. Lines like “fuck the contract” send the absolute wrong message about healthy, safe, sexual intercourse, instead almost suggesting that actions classified as sexual assault are not only acceptable, but are actually supposed to be perceived as passionate and hot. If I could pick my top reason (of many) why I really hope this movie flops, that’s probably it. [Ed. Sorry to break it to ya…] On the other hand, the remix of “Crazy in Love” was pretty dope. And the soundtrack on a whole was pretty good. Also, it was kinda clever that the sky was always grey. I see what you did there, Sam Taylor-Johnson.

H: Wait it’s over? Being high was definitely the right way to experience Fifty Shades. It had enough one-liners to make for comedic gold. I would see this high over seeing Anchorman 2 sober anyday. That being said, there are some glaring issues and concerns with this movie. To sum it up, I’ll quote the titular line: “fifty shades of fucked up.”

Image via Albie Brown ’16.


  1. Very funny review! Thanks! I loved it. As to movie – a total disaster! It’s name should be the only inscription on the gravestone of the creators. “I created a monster!” (c)

  2. EL James. Photograph: Michael Lionstar

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