Jamie Neish: Grey day, the bonkbuster has arrived

Fifty Shades of Grey. Pictured: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Pic: PA

Fifty Shades of Grey. Pictured: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Pic: PA

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MEN and women of the world, the time is upon us. Fifty Shades of Grey hits cinemas tomorrow, perfectly timed by distributor Universal to capitalise on Valentine’s Day.

EL James’ bestselling novel has been adapted for the big screen by Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Johnson, and stars Dakota Johnson as Ana and Jamie Dornan as Christian.

For those unfamiliar with the novel (where have you been hiding for the past three years?), Fifty Shades of Grey was first published in 2011, and has since become a ‘literary’ phenomenom.

An all-time bestselling novel, it has spawned two sequels and this film adaptation, which has been awarded a strict 18 rating by the BBFC for its sexual content.

Ana, a timid college student, first meets Christian Grey, a successful, yet shady businessman, when she interviews him on behalf of her sick friend.

Christian takes a shine to Ana and the two soon enter into a relationship of sorts - one that’s complicated by Christian’s darker, seedier and masochistic interests.

As you can tell even without reading the book or watching the film, it’s a story with universal appeal - both for its romantic and sexual content.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but other critics have and the initial reaction is positive, particularly for the leads and Taylor-Johnson’s approach.

But then, for a film like Fifty Shades of Grey the opinion of critics was never a concern.

The film, like the book, will be an unmitigated success. But it’s warming to hear that the filmmakers have managed to turn James’ abuse on the English language into something at least watchable.

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