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Turning any book into a movie is a big task, and director Sam Taylor-Johnson had her hands full adapting Fifty Shades of Grey for the big screen. She was given the task of appealing to E.L. James hordes of fans while still creating a movie that could be R-rated and be seen by a larger portion of the movie-viewing population. Despite the problems on set, Taylor-Johnson largely succeeds at this by creating a Ms. Steele with a little more spunk and cutting out some of the racier chunks of the novel.
Unfortunately for fans, this means there are a few key differences between the Fifty Shades of Grey book and movie. Following are the 14 biggest changes I noticed in my screening of Universal’s Fifty Shades Of Grey. Plenty of other details were changed, of course, and feel free to remark on any changes you feel may have been more noticeable. There are many spoilers in the Fifty Shades of Grey book to movie comparison. Do not delve in if you want the film to be a surprise.
Christian doesn’t purchase the coveralls when he visits Ana at Claytons. Luckily, he does still get to cheekily say to Anastasia Steele that he could "always take them off," when she mentions he might ruin his clothes. And he still gets the cable ties, of course.
Ana’s lack of eating is less apparent in the movie. It’s sort of touched on when Kate steals her sandwich and again when Christian has to carry her after a rousing round of BDSM. Christian does chide her to eat and keep up her strength, but in the book Ana’s eating problems are a huge focus and help to spotlight the fact she seems weak and unable to care for herself properly. She's much more spunky in the movie, too.
Christian never charms the pants off of Ana’s dad at graduation. In the book, Christian proves he is a man with many faces when he gets Ana’s quiet father to like him over a conversation about fishing. They have a much shorter conversation in the movie, and we don’t get to see that "shade" of Mr. Grey.
Jose and Kate have smaller roles in the movie and we don’t get to know them as well. Kate’s still around a lot more because she is dating Elliot, but she gets way less suspicious of Christian than she does in the book. Also, in the book, Christian perceives Jose as more of a problem, although Jose does still grossly kiss a drunk Ana in the movie.
Ana’s inner goddess never makes an appearance. I’m not sure how this would even have been done on a film. Maybe a little angel on one shoulder and a devilish inner goddess on the other? Either way Sam Taylor-Johnson avoided the cheese and skipped over those parts of the novel.
The negotiation sequence is different. Instead of working out the ‘kinks’ in the contract at the hotel, Ana asks for a business meeting in the movie. She still wears a pretty hot dress, but meets Christian at his office to discuss hard limits, striking out the like’s of "butt plugs" and "anal fisting." Also surprising: Christian offers to have a date night with Ana.
Christian is presented as less of a stalker. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still stalker-like, appearing out of nowhere while Ana is on vacation with her mom. However, his "call me" texts don’t appear in the movie, and the GPS tracker he uses to keep track of Ana doesn't get joked about. He’s obviously still tracking her, but it’s way less creepy.
A lot of small side plots are mentioned in the movie but aren’t directly made into a huge deal. This includes the fact that Ana flies first class to see her mother (in the books, Ana is a little flustered when Christian makes this happen). It also includes the scenes during which Christian steals Ana’s panties and she goes without them to the family dinner. We see him steal them and ask her if she is missing anything, but the movie never explicitly states her lack of undergarments.
Christian Grey never rips out Ana’s tampon and has sex with her on her period. Although, we do get to see the couple in a bathtub at one point, the movie had to work really hard to avoid the kinkiest scenes that would have given the flick a dreaded NC-17 rating. It’s no real shock that the tampon scene didn’t make the cut.
Ana’s job at SIP is barely touched upon in the film. As Fifty Shades of Grey has already been picked up for two more movies, Ana’s "internship" will become more important moving forward. This is why it was a rather odd choice to put her career goals on the backburner in the film. Probably one of the many things that were cut for time, but we’ll see how it all plays out when Fifty Shades Darker hits theaters.
There is no sex scene in the boat house. In the book, Christian tries to fool around with Ana at the dinner table and she’s not into it. So, he takes her to the boathouse on his parent’s property and fucks her "for his pleasure." It’s one of the more shocking parts of the book, so it’s no surprise this scene was also cut.
Christian and Ana never jam out to Britney Spears in the car. It’s a small moment, but one that helps to explain Ana’s predilection for disliking the women Christian has been with in the past (one of Christian's past girlfriends put Ms. Spears on his iPod). In the movie, her annoyance is focused on "Mrs. Robinson."
Other sexual acts from the book don’t make it into the movie. In the books, Christian uses furry floggers and puts balls inside Ana as part of their sexual time together. The movie is pretty vanilla in comparison, although there is plenty of sex present.
In the movie, the plot comes full circle when Ana leaves Christian at the elevator, murmuring his name before leaving him. This echoes the beginning of the movie when Ana leaves Christian at the office following their interview. In addition, Christian says he will give Ana a check for the Beetle in the movie, rather than handing her the cash.