Fifty Shades owed us full frontal male nudity
I COULD draw Dakota Johnson's breasts in my sleep.
I'm not a particularly skilled artist, and this is not an activity I would choose to engage in, but after viewing each of the three films in the Fifty Shades franchise (and only once each) I feel infinitely aware of what her torso looks like while topless - which she is, frequently, in the films. So why haven't I seen Jamie Dornan's d**k?
Let's bring it back to Johnson, first. This actor should be commended for her role as Anastasia Steele (and by the third instalment, Fifty Shades Freed, Mrs Grey). Sure, in Fifty Shades Of Grey she was probably just as timid when it came to disrobing as the innocent character she was playing. But wow did she get on board for Fifty Shades Darker, the best of the trilogy with arguably the hottest sex scenes. And now here we are with Fifty Shades Freed in theatres, featuring a scene where Ana is willingly and excitedly removing her bikini top at a European topless beach. She's a married woman now. She's feeling confident and indulging in all that her honeymoon experience has to provide. You go, girl!
Oh, and it's not just the beach. It's in bed, in the Red Room, on a kitchen table, and while she doesn't quite get topless in that car scene, let's please discuss that one sometime soon. This is a couple that has a lot of sex, in even more places than one would expect. Shout out to them for exploring and loving and using each other's bodies for extreme levels of pleasure. It's (mostly) healthy, wonderful and just plain hot to watch.
But while Johnson fully earned her kudos for not only exposing her top half and her behind, but for also expertly showing off the work that her professional waxer has accomplished, Dornan's bits have stayed relatively hidden.
So, what's the infamous Christian Grey's deal? Where's that Dornan dong? For a character that lives to bang, why haven't I so much as glimpsed his balls? I'm not talking full, gratuitous, lingering full-frontal scene here, either.
Jason Segel shook his junk in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Ben Affleck gave us the sneakiest of peeks at his peen in Gone Girl. We deserved to see Mr Grey somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, at the very least.
There are plenty of opportunities in the third film to get this done on screen, even technically. It doesn't need to be flopping around before he's about to do the deed, per se, when it would also presumably be covered by a "c**k sock" for the actors' safety. But when he's comfortably walking around his home, he can lose the jeans for a quick shot. And really, there's a shower scene where she's hugging him from behind and the camera stops at his pubic mound, literally a hair's length before seeing the goods. Come on. Perfect opportunity for a little flash!
Now, to add insult to injury, it turns out there IS actual full-frontal footage that just, whoops, didn't seem to make it into the film. As director James Foley told ET, "There were actually scenes that we shot where it was [full-frontal nudity]. [Dornan and I] never talked about [having him show more]. But in the final cut, I'm being totally honest, it just didn't come off … Full frontal would have been a kind of deliberate cut, to see that for no reason. There's plenty of dailies where he's on, but it just didn't make the final cut," he said. "For dramatic reasons."
Dornan also commented at the third film's premiere. "I feel like if it serves a story to see more, then I am all for it. If I don't think it adds anything or I don't deem it to be necessary to move the story along, then I don't think you need to see that part of me, or that part of Dakota [Johnson]. It just becomes sort of gratuitous if we don't need it."
OK, pal, but here's the thing: WE DO NEED IT. And I'm not just saying I need a random d**k pic - I can just allow strangers to send me those via AirDrop on the subway. So many females have encountered d**ks they had absolutely no desire to see, yet this popular movie franchise couldn't provide us with one we actually were interested in getting a look at?
We needed to see that junk in the name of feminism - perhaps you've heard of it? It's the simple idea that women and men are equals. We'd need a whole film of nakedness from Dornan to remotely catch up to what Johnson's showed off so far, so all I'm suggesting here is a clear shot of what he's working with. It would simply serve as a nod of good faith on behalf of the filmmakers, a remote attempt at evening the nudity score between the two actors, for the predominantly female audiences.
I'm by no means obsessed with looking at penises, and Dornan's in particular. But it felt like a cop-out to put so much of Johnson on display and simply chalk Dornan's lack of full frontal scenes up to "meh, it didn't work". Take my word on this: you could've made it work. Put in a goddamn post-credits three-second scene. That works! Sure, the married actor probably doesn't want his privates all over the web, but hi, welcome to the internet. When you need a shoulder to lean on, call your co-star who is beyond familiar with what that might feel like at this point in her career.
A quick peep at Christian's penis would've been a loving wink to the audience, a form of: "Hey ladies, you made it through three of these highly entertaining yet thoroughly ridiculous films - here's a little something just for you."
The films never felt particularly exploitative of Johnson's nudity: it fit the story. A d**k shot would not have been shocking, out of line, or in any way misplaced here. It wasn't necessarily expected but it could've been fully warranted. It's a noticeable disappointment, but adding those "plenty of dailies" in to the DVD extras sure would be a start to making it up to all the loyal, curious, paying fans. No one likes a tease.