​the cultural phenomenon of 50 shades of grey

Steve Buscemi, the spike in handcuff casualties and the rising sale of cable ties — we explore the global effects of the erotic blockbuster.

by Nick Levine
12 February 2015, 3:20pm

Fifty Shades of Grey finally opens tomorrow, and Sam Taylor-Johnson's film has the internet on the cusp of an orgasm. The big screen adaptation of E.L. James' blockbuster erotic novel is said to contain a full 20 minutes of sex scenes, enough to earn it an R rating in the US, an 18 certificate in the UK and, erm, only a 12 in the evidently more liberal France.

One YouTube wag has recut the trailer to replace Jamie Dornan with the less conventionally sexy figure of Steve Buscemi. Talking of Dornan, he's shown he possesses charm as well as a face that could end an empire by gamely reading out lines from E.L. James' original novels in a variety of exaggerated accents on Jimmy Fallon. And talking of lines, Rita Ora's much-discussed role in the film apparently comprises just four of them, one of which is: "She's here?" No Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Rita next year, then.

In fact, Fifty Shades of Grey has become such a socio-cultural phenomenon that the London Fire Brigade has said it is "concerned" the film's release could lead to a "spike" in people getting stuck in handcuffs. But beware of shameless piggy-backing — and no, that's not an outlandish sexual position from the film. Earlier this week, a supposed memo from B&Q bosses warned shop staff to expect an increased demand for rope, cable ties and duct tape over the film's opening weekend. This morning, the home improvement chain admitted it was just a PR stunt.

If this all seems a bit OTT, try not to get too wound up by it — Sam Taylor-Wood has already confirmed there are two Fifty Shades sequels in the works, so it's going to happen all over again. Twice.


Text Nick Levine
Still from 50 Shades of Grey

Jimmy Fallon
Rita Ora
50 Shades of Grey
Steve Buscemi
Jamie Dornan
50 accents of grey
50 shades of buscemi
sam taylor woods