So E.L. James' hot-trash novel makes it to the screen, and the surprise is… well, it's a chick flick, that's no surprise. But the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey is also sleekly made and sometimes quite funny. And especially in two aerial sequences—a helicopter flight over a glittering city and a splendid glider ride, swooping through the clouds—it's also romantic in an unusually persuasive way. The characters are still ciphers, and there are still too many of them, and we weary of their company rather long before we're able to take leave of it. But for a pre-sold exploitation project, the picture is an honorable effort, and better than it needed to be.