GUEST CRITIC #9: Fifty Shades of Grey



As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me.  As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, sometimes a simple sentence or two from a friend says it all.  Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy.  Sometimes, they save me $9 and you 800+ words of blathering.  In a new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for quick-hit movie reviews.


Since "Fifty Shades of Grey" has splashed onto the scene as box office juggernaut, grossing over $81 million and counting, I knew this film would and could attract more than one "guest critic."  Women are coming out of the Pinterest and beach-read woodwork by the box-wine-load to see this flick.  I put the all-call out on Facebook have picked up some sinners and winners.  I've got two takers so far.  Mr. Shanahan will see you now...

First up is Mrs. Sharon Mulyk.  I was lucky and privileged enough to be her daughter Emily's third grade teacher four years ago at Pioneer Elementary School in Bolingbrook, Illinois.  Emily and Sharon were two big reasons why that year was my favorite and best year of teaching.  She was kind enough at the time to write me a glowing letter of reference worthy of tears and framing that helped net me the school administrator role that I have today.  We've been steady Facebook stalkers of each other ever since.  When Sharon is not being a "Brady Bunch" mom, juggling swimming, basketball, volleyball, and football mom to four kiddos, with her husband Jimmy, she loves to travel.  She and her hubby have New Orleans, Cabo San Lucas, Florida, and Boston on the travel itinerary.

Also, I find that she has two passions, both of which have their fun and ugliness at the same time.  By day, Sharon is a family law attorney and an owner/partner of Mulyk, Laho, and Mack LLC serving DuPage County.  Before that, she was the past president of the Italian lawyers, women lawyers, and DuPage County Bar.  On her nights and weekends, she transforms to a pushy and belligerent die-hard Green Bay Packers fan that vacations commonly in the loving Lake Geneva area.  Somehow, that woman married a Bears fan and I feel worse for her husband Jim each and every day than I do for Anastasia Steele herself.    


"I went into the movie with very low expectations and hating the casting.  I left pleasantly surprised.  I just love when books move to the big screen and what I am watching is exactly what I saw in my mind while reading the book.  This movie did that.  A couple of times during the movie I found myself thinking I've seen this before and realized it was because the scene was exactly how I pictured it while reading.  I love that!"  

"Despite what the critics say, I thought the actors had the perfect chemistry.  I think that Dakota Johnson was the clear star of the film, but I can't decide if Jamie Dornan was forcing the role too much or if it was the character.  I could get really deep and give you my whole theory on how this is truly a great love story and the sex is really just incidental to that love story, but I fear the laughter that may bust through my computer speakers." 

"And, as far as those critics who claim this glamorizes and legitimizes violence against women through sexual violence, abuse of power, female inequality and coercion I say...don't make it something it's not.  Finally, two pieces of advice - 1. take the kiddo's for a sleepover with the grandparents and take your wife to see it. Best date night you'll have. 2. If you choose to go alone, don't try to make small talk with the women around you while wearing a trench coat and a hat. LOL!"


I'd like to thank Sharon for their unique and totally superior takes to my own recent "blind review" of "Fifty Shades of Grey."  At some point, I will catch up and see it, but their reviews are gold.  Well played!  Thanks for letting me play along and thanks for thinking of me with this review! 

As I always ask, let's keep this going.  Friends, if you see a movie that I don't see and want to be featured on my website (and get a fun fake biography written about you), hit up my website's Facebook page and you can be my next GUEST CRITIC!