THE trailer for the much-anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey film is out now.
Fans across Wrexham, Flintshire and Chester may well be getting excited, but there are bound to be some for whom the advert does not live up to expectations.
The film, released on Valentine’s Day next year, will tell the story of the unlikely-named Anastasia Steele’s fateful meeting with Christian Grey, a multi-millionaire with a penchant for helicopters, fine dining and bondage.
Penned by British author E. L. James, the series – Fifty Shades Of Grey was followed by two further instalments – became a blockbuster phenomenon, fuelled to some degree by the growing popularity of e-readers, which enabled people to read it without fear of judgement.
Some fans are already complaining that the actors, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, don’t quite fit the bill – but then again, no real person is ever going to be an exact match for the character you bring to life in your imagination.
The real question is, will transferring a guilty pleasure to the big screen actually work – and who is going to see it?
You’d have to be pretty open minded to take your mum along with you, for instance.
Nigel Skinner, 50, from Holywell, opined: “I’ve not read the book but can’t see much of an audience for the film, can’t imagine couples watching it together, or blokes, maybe hen parties might though.”
Jennifer Ward, 41, of Connah’s Quay, admitted coyly: “I want to see it but not sure yet about watching it in front of friends. A big group of us may go and make a night of it.”
Hannah Chapman, 23, who lives in Ruthin but studied in Wrexham, said: “I couldn’t watch it in the cinema – on my own, with my friends or my mum, or my nan.
“I’ll get the DVD, and watch it in my own! I didn’t read it to anyone except myself.”
However, one woman from Connah’s Quay, who asked not to be named, said she had promised herself she wouldn’t watch the trailer, but succumbed to temptation and was now into the film “big time”.
Jackie Aitken, 54, of Wrexham, said: “I’m not sure it will work. We will all have had our own imaginative version, and my Mr Grey doesn’t look like the leading man!”
Michael Harrison, 23, of Wrexham, was going to brave a screening.
He said: “My girlfriend has told me I have to go with her to see it, could be interesting.”
Fans aside, there will be other people who are looking forward to riding the next wave of Fifty Shades hysteria.
Yvonne Brown, 54, who runs the Fantasy House on Mount Street in Wrexham with her husband David, 53, said: “We are the official outlet for some parts of the Fifty Shades merchandise – including some whips, although we don’t sell the actual books at present. Of course I bought a copy to read it.
“When the books were at their peak, we were inundated, especially by mature women who read it, although we have all kinds of customers of all ages.”
To Yvonne, a bit of kink is her bread and butter, but Fifty Shades may have taken some readers by surprise.
She said: “I think some readers had sheltered lives, and they read the book and thought ‘what am I missing out on?’ We ended up selling out of some things!
“We couldn’t keep up with demand. We’re hoping it’ll be the same when the film comes out.”
The more inventive sides of our private lives have always been a bit hush-hush, according to Yvonne.
She said: “Fifty Shades brought it out a little bit. More people are talking about it, and it’s giving people a bit of extra excitement.
“We had husbands coming in to buy things for wives, couples coming in, and younger and older women coming in and going ‘wow’, because the shop isn’t what they expect.”
Yvonne reckons people will be curious about the film.
She said: “I think people will watch it to see what the fuss is about.
“I think part of the reason people are curious is because we are quite a prudish nation. My mother is German and she has a very different attitude to the whole thing.
“She’s 76, and she’ll talk quite openly with me. On the continent, in Amsterdam and in Germany, people will go into adult shops like they are supermarkets!”
But when you’re not surprised or particularly titillated by the bedroom adventures of Christian and Anastasia, what’s left for the reader and, in six months’ time, the viewer?
Yvonne added: “I’d rather read my usual books, which are actually romances. That’s a bit boring, isn’t it?”, she laughed. “Maybe I should write a book myself and see how that goes.
“But if Fifty Shades the film is getting people to discover things for themselves and get out there and broaden their minds, then that’s good.”