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Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson: A Question of Character?

02/19/2015 07:01 pm ET | Updated Apr 21, 2015

Valentine's Day had a little help getting things off the ground. This past weekend, the hit new movie Fifty Shades of Grey sizzled at box offices everywhere. The erotic drama took in more than $81 million, breaking records to make it the "highest-grossing Presidents' Day opener of all time." The movie is based on the popular book of the same name written by E.L. James. Leading up to the film's release, however, there was some question about whether it was moving in the right direction. Some who read the book thought Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson may have been miscast to play the roles of Christian and Anastasia. In fact, the announcement that they would be the stars of the much-anticipated film initially stirred up negative reactions from fans, particularly because both were relatively new to the public as leading actors. Many people were also concerned that the necessary chemistry for this movie wouldn't be there.

The fact that Jamie and Dakota might not have been as well-known as other actors probably factored into their landing the roles in the first place. It is likely that the producers wanted to bring fresh faces to the table so people could watch without preconceived notions about the leading man and woman, and allow their own fantasies to develop with that. Even so, this is not Jamie's first appearance on the big or small screen by a long shot. Among other things, he played a sexual serial killer in the British television show The Fall in which he was riveting and compelling.

Making a movie from a book can be challenging. When that book is such a controversial national best seller, it can be even harder. Many of us have been part of a discussion during which people tried to imagine the cast of an upcoming movie. If you have, you know how strong people's feelings can be about the topic. That's because everyone brings their own vision to the mix. People become their own casting agents. When the actual announcement is made about a movie they have thought a lot about, they can form fast and furious opinions before they even have a chance to see what the actors can do, and why they were chosen in the first place.

If you're skeptical about the movie being true to the book, and the actors doing justice with their interpretation of the characters, the best thing you can do is remain as open-minded as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of shortchanging yourself as well as the leads in the film. While the movie may vary from the book, and the characters may differ from what you expected, you still might find yourself having a new and equally-good experience. It seems, considering the huge ticket sales, that in this case fans have been willing to put their concern and anger aside and take a chance by seeing Fifty Shades of Grey. That is really the most anyone can ask of them.

Hopefully, after seeing the movie, the new consensus will be that Jamie and Dakota have what it takes to recreate the chemistry between Christian and Anastasia. There is no question that they brought a little extra romance to Valentine's Day this year.

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