Fifty Shades of Puns: sexual innuendos and “word foreplay” dominate Fifty Shades of Grey reviews

It's not just about how good the film is - it's also about which reviewer has thought of the best jokes...


The first Fifty Shades of Grey film reviews are out, and as much as we want to know whether it’s really as steamy as we’ve been promised, we’re actually more taken with the critics’ word foreplay.


Yes, knowing that this will be probably be their most-read review all year, the Fifty Shades critics have slapped plenty of knowing puns onto their sub editors’ desks.

Here are some of the more obvious sexual innuendos from the first-look reviews. Are they all deliberate, or did some accidentally slip out? Only the writers know.

They can be quite rude, so if you are easily offended – now’s probably the time to stop reading about Fifty Shades…

Sophie Monks Kaufman, Little White Lies

“Scriptwriter Kelly Marcel does a great job of mounting a haul of swollen, passionate lines atop the whirring back and forth of relationship dynamics.”

“Dare we call it a female cumming-of-ager?”

Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“Things grow more compelling once Grey whips out his nondisclosure agreement…”

“When he takes Ana up in a magnificent glider, both characters let go.”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Anastasia’s interview does not elicit any information about what Grey’s firm does – and this remains a mystery.” (Am I looking too hard here? Or is Bradshaw working in a sly dig about ‘Grey’s firm’?)

Kaleem Aftab, The Independent

“A flaccid performance from Jamie Dornan reveals his best asset is his body”

“We witness English lit student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) arrive at the offices of billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and look skyward up at the long protruding lines of a tall skyscraper. It’s the closest thing to arousal in the film.”

A.O Scott, New York Times

Fifty Shades “might nonetheless be a movie that feels good to see, whether you squirm or giggle or roll your eyes or just sit still and take your punishment.”

Justin Chang, Variety

“The usual gender-based double standard prevails: plenty of Johnson, but only a fleeting glimpse of johnson.”

Josh Dickey, Mashable (NB. Excellent name for a Fifty Shades reviewer)

“The movie… is abruptly over, a blatant sequel set-up that rudely shoves us out the door, so you walk out sort of wondering if you missed something.”

David Ehrlich, Time Out

“‘Fifty Shades’ may not make you come, but you’ll still be glad you went.”

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“When the movie does slow down and get serious toward the end, the romantic push and pull gets repetitive, and the literary limits of the source material begin to poke through.”


Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“The true audiences for Fifty Shades of Grey are gluttons for punishment — by boredom.”

Read more: The five stages of reading Fifty Shades of Grey