In some other universe, a screenwriter would choose to lean into the toxic absurdities of E.L. James' story, turning a faux-risque romance novel into a camp classic and cautionary tale - Reefer Madness, but with Ben Wa balls. If you haven't caught the movie yet, there are some spoilers in here, but these are the moments that made us and our fellow audience members crack up.
It's also not remotely titillating, and given what it says on the tin, that's the greatest of all possible sins. The books were something of a secret shared between women, a guilty pleasure shared with a knowing smile and a "thank me later".
And this is where Fifty Shades Darker gives up reality - totally and completely - in favor of fantasy luxury: The lipstick, which glided on so easily and inexplicably, didn't stain his tuxedo shirt. There are Law and Order episodes with more heat. "It's awesome walking up the red carpet and on both sides of the carpet you have fans wanting autographs and pictures, we really love spending time with the fans".
Us Weekly's Mara Reinstein writes, "The sequel, once again starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, is more unintentionally hysterical than the original". Unfortunately, the catfight between her character, Christian Grey's mother Grace, and Kim Basinger's character, Christian's former lover Elena, may not last as long as fans had hoped. Even an absurdly contrived helicopter crash is just a bump on the road to what we're meant to believe is a happy ending. But this one has lowered the bar to a whole new level.
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Trying to keep Anastasia protected, it seems as if their problems are coming from all around as Christian tries to maintain control. On top of all that, he's kinky. Or maybe the film, in which Christian and Ana reprise their rough sex high jinks, just rubs reviewers the wrong way even more than its much-maligned but commercially successful predecessor. Viewers also get a first look at Ana and Christian's honeymoon. Despite its title, DeFore argues that much of the talk of master/servant roles and contractually binding sex play is replaced in Darker by something that's in fact a lot more tame and "lovey-dovey".
The fate of the Fifty Shades franchise is front and center on the latest episode of Straight Up Hollywood, the podcast that brings you behind the velvet rope.