The lyrics to the Gang of Four song "Contract" (from their seminal post-punk album "Entertainment!"), set to brittle guitar chords and thrashing drums, explored the distance between the bedroom and the boardroom. Singer Jon King addressed a lover who "dreamed of scenes / like you read of in magazines," only to find frustration, as disillusion set in with the chorus: "Is this really the way it is? Or a contract in our mutual interest?"

Cut to the middle of "Fifty Shades of Grey," director Sam Taylor-Johnson's much-anticipated adaptation of author E.L. James' over-100-million-copies-sold novel, a crass cross-pollination of the Harlequin romance genre with top-shelf sadomasochistic porn. We see awkward, ditzy college student (and virgin) Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) sitting across from an impossibly wealthy businessman Christian Grey as they discuss the terms of her agreement to submit to his sexual enslavement — a contract in their mutual interest.

Jamie Dornan's Christian is all ripped abs, simmering yet vacant glower and limitless expense account. How he — ludicrously, the son of a "crack whore" — got rich is not even mentioned, because the only thing that's important is that he is. Anastasia, so seduced by the power and confidence that comes with wealth (versus the presumed worthlessness and student-loan debt of her literature degree) willingly submits to kinky practices that she doesn't really enjoy, though she draws a line at the most extreme acts, thankfully preserving the film's R rating.