Unless you have been living under a rock, or somewhere in deepest darkest St. Ouen, you will be aware that Valentine’s Day saw the cinematic release of the saucy phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey. I will admit to reading the first novel – if you could call it that – our of sheer dumb curiosity and my own peculiar form of literary masochism. It really is hours of my life I will never get back again – and I would rather chew my own arms off (which could be construed as kinky, perhaps) than further endure the breathless cavorting of Anastasia Steele’s inner Goddess, while the Mr Grey in question deliberates over whether to use a reef or a running bowline.
You see, Hollywood will never show it like it really is. This is a shame, because I’m sure there are plenty of everyday couples who will go home, amorous fires all stoked up from a bit of moving picture aphrodisiac, and attempt to re-create this at home, with hilarious results worthy of any blockbuster comedy. While DIY prowess might be very handy when it comes to building your very own dungeon-of-love, and spanking is already used in the very best spas as a cure for cellulite (sort of), nobody over the age of twenty five ever looked good in latex. And once you get past forty, latex is positively life-threatening. One false move trying to do the zip up and before you know it, it’s hip replacements all round, which as I’m sure you’ll agree, is not quite the pleasure-pain quotient anyone had in mind, unless you’re Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
I’m sure all my imploring you not to bother will make no difference. I get it. I have seen every single Twilight movie on the day of release, and I like to think of myself as a sane and reasonably intelligent adult. We all have our weaknesses, and mine is a sparkly Robert Pattinson with fangs.
But if I have convinced you otherwise, go and see Whiplash instead. Every year there is one movie that amongst all the hyperbole is actually worth the Oscar buzz, and this is it. It will be a travesty if JK Simmons doesn’t run away with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. How would I describe it? A small movie about very big things, and with one of the finest final scenes of any movie in recent years. Nobody in it has an inner Goddess and everybody keeps most of their clothes on. Which is much like conjugal relations in real life – who said cinema couldn’t be authentic, eh?