Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Casting Couch: 50 Shades...

...Of Rubbish!

My disclaimer (that I’m guaranteed not stick to):  
This is not a review of the book.
Though I will say, the psychology of it isn’t 100% accurate.  See, I already contradicted myself!   

My open note to author E.L James:
No one in the states (who didn’t originally come from the UK or who has spent less than 6 months there) says “Laters.”  No one.  “Later” maybe but not “Laters.” That is strictly British slang.   I have so many other things I'd like to say to you but this will have to suffice.  For now.

Oh, and for all you readers out there…imagine if Chuck Pahlaniuk had written 50 Shades.  Now that would have been a good book. Now that I'm thinking of it, is there potential for the screenwriter of this to actually make the material better?!?! 

This review on Goodreads perfectly mirrors my feelings toward the book; however my feelings use a lot less blue language.  Seriously, she uses every offensive word there is.  Forewarned is forearmed, people.  And also, Katrina, you are fabulous!

I was perusing EW the other day and saw that Emma Watson had to publicly deny rumors that she was circling the female lead in the movie adaptation of the novel.  Good for her.  She's busy and I'm sure has much better things to do than star in this poorly-written drivel.  But then I realized that casting discussions have been floating around the interwebs for long enough and I wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

Ok, let’s get to the casting couch part of this post.  We'll start in the most logical of places: the character descriptions.  I don’t actually own the books (thanks for the loaners, Bobbi Jo!) so I’m getting these off the 50 Shades wiki.

Christian Grey*:
The 50 Shades wiki does not have a paragraph on Mr. Grey's appearance so I got this information somewhere else.

“wickedly handsome, with gray eyes and copper-colored hair (a lot of gorgeous, copper-colored hair). He's tall, he's well dressed and his moods are mercurial.”

Mercurial is putting it lightly.  Dude should be on mood stabilizing drugs.  Also, they’re forgetting: jealous, petty, controlling, and icky.

Christian, as seen by the fans:
(if you are opposed to clicking on links the list is as follows: #1 Ian Somerhalder; #2 Chris Pine; #3 Henry Cavill; #4 Matt Bomer; #5 Kellan Lutz: and so on)

Somerhalder has been lobbying hard for this role.  I see it.  He’s not tall enough or young enough but when has Hollywood paid attention to character descriptions?   I can't stop laughing at Somerhalder saying (in the link provided) he wants Angelina Jolie for the role of Ana.  Like that would happen.  I can totally see Bret Easton Ellis adapting this though. This is right up his alley.

My vote is for Matt Bomer.  He is the most beautiful man on television, plus he can act.  If you’ve seen White Collar (and you should, it’s a thoroughly entertaining program) you know he could play Christian in his sleep.  He is due for a breakout movie role and this could be it. 

Anastasia Steele*:
The wiki did have a paragraph on Ms. Steele and I had to clean up some typos.  That’s a commentary on the fans right there but I’m going to resist putting it into words since I admittedly read all three books.  

“Ana describes herself as the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face. She is insecure about herself being skinny, pale, and scruffy. She has thin lips and often blushes.”   

I actually don’t remember the thin lips part.  All I remember about her lips is that she bit them a lot.  Also they’re forgetting: clueless, annoying, low self-esteem, etc.

Ana, as seen by the fans:
(Again, for those who are link-phobic [I hear that’s a thing], the list is as follows: #1 Emmy Rossum; #2 Emma Stone; #3 Amanda Seyfried; #4 Shailene Woodley; #5 Alexis Bledel; etc.)

Oddly, I care a lot less about the casting of Ana.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t care much about the character.  Not that I cared about Christian, but at least he had a story and did something with his life.  Ana literally fell into her life of a rich boyfriend and fancy publishing job.  There I go on a tangent again.  Ok, so looking at the list most of them are too old and have better things to do with their time.  I have no real opinions about Emmy Rossum and wouldn’t care one way or the other if they cast her. 

My vote would be for Shailene Woodley.  She looks the part and is closer in description to Ana.  Plus she can act.  No, I’m not talking about that scripted teen pregnancy show she can’t seem to get away from.  She was great in The Descendants but then she had a great director, which makes a difference.  Who knows who they’ll get to direct this thing.  But Shailene would get the immediate response this film needs and that's the creepy factor.  If Ana is a recent college grad in a relationship with an older executive, why not cast a girl who looks the part and gives the audience the creepy feelings those of us who read the books felt?

Emma Watson could have pulled it off but I really like her and I hope she stays way too busy to come anywhere near this project.  I just had a funny idea. I wonder if Lindsay Lohan is trying to get this part.  I wouldn’t put it past her.  And once upon a time I could have totally seen it.

So yes, I have a real distaste for the books.  Of course I’ll probably still go see the movies but I would be doing it for you guys.  I’m a giver.  Back when they announced it was being made into a movie, my friend Ann R. (Hi Ann!) mentioned she thought it would have made a better series on HBO or Showtime.  I have to agree with her.  I guess studios still think there’s more money to be made in the theaters but it would have translated very well into a television series on one of the over-sexed cable channels.  Ew, then it might have been a panel at Comic-Con.  Nevermind. 

*Honestly, did EL James throw first and last names from various Harlequin romance novels into a hat?  The names are soooo derivative.  Then again the entire book reeks of unoriginality.  Heh, there I go reviewing the book again. 

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