Movies Reviews

My Thoughts While Watching ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

If you know me, you know I try to be nothing but honest here in my little corner of the internet. And sometimes the truth hurts. Or makes me go like this:

Source: Giphy

Yeah, folks, you read the title right. Tonight I went to go see Fifty Shades Darker.

Source: MRW Gifs

Why did I do it, you may ask? Well, it’s a fair question.To be honest, I wrestled with it. I mean, I’m a feminist. I advertise that fact proudly, and after watching the first one (curiosity killed the cat), I was pretty angry. I mean, if you let yourself forget about how creepy Christian Grey is and just focus on the beautiful sets and incredibly attractive actors, the sex scenes are pretty hot. But as soon as you start thinking about what’s actually going on…

My friend, Alex, invited me to go with her. And believe me when I say I wrestled with the decision to go. But ultimately, a night out with a friend is a night out with a friend. I figured that the worst case scenario is that we hang out, eat good popcorn, and admire how beautiful Jamie Dornan is. And for half price (shout out to cheap night)! So, we went.

I planned on going into the movie with zero expectations. But then I thought about the first one and was going to go in with the expectation of hating it. But, upon arriving, I decided to go in viewing the film for what it truly is: a fluff piece.

Whether you love or hate the films, or the books for that matter, let’s call a spade a spade. They are nothing but fluff. Erotica for some, lack of a real plot for others, it’s not supposed to be this profound award-winning drama. It’s supposed to be fluff. Which is why, if you look at the film as strictly that, it was actually really successful.

This film, for me anyway, was more enjoyable than its predecessor. The first film focused on the relationship of a dominant/submissive, and a lot of it felt like abuse. I thought this one was going to be about Ana trying to change Christian, but was pleasantly surprised when he was the one trying to change for her. Not to mention that she actually called him out many times on his crap! As soon as he started getting possessive, she spoke her mind. Now, she still gave in to him quite a few times so don’t go in expecting a whole new Ana, but she’s definitely more likable in the sequel.

Not only was it more enjoyable, it was more erotic. The sex scenes felt consensual and we got to see Ana get hers, which was great. There was definitely some, as Ana would put it (and excuse the language), “kinky fuckery” but it didn’t feel abusive for me. It just felt kinky! It showed a side of sex that not a lot of films do. There was excitement in the unknown, without being too graphic.

Now here’s both a trigger and spoiler warning, for any of you wondering if you should watch it. There is a very intense scene where the threat of rape is real. And while I expected the classic “Christian comes to Ana’s rescue”, she got out of there, fighting the attacker on her own. This was unexpected, good to see, but the scene was still frightening, unexplained, and seemingly out of the blue which I didn’t like.

I’m going to be real with you. If I actually sit and think about this film, either as a reviewer, feminist, or just plain me, I could probably write a three thousand word essay on why Christian still is horrible, why the film is offensive and so flawed. Don’t even get me started on the scattered plot. Or the lack of depth in the characters. Or really any of it! But I wasn’t looking for a jaw-droppingly amazing film tonight. I was looking for a mindless movie to watch with a friend. Something that might make me blush at certain times, and laugh at others. Something that I can roll my eyes at, but also enjoy. Something you know is going to create at least a couple inside jokes (“You’re basically Anastasia Steele”). And I got that.

Is this movie good? Definitely not. If I actually think about it, does it make me mad? Incredibly so. Is it romanticized, to a level where it’s probably unhealthy? Yes.Was the plot constructed well? Not really at all. But I think if you go into the film like I did, expecting nothing more than fluff, you might actually get a few laughs. Or least be able to appreciate Jamie Dornan’s hotness. And Dakota Johnson’s.

I know that this is a little controversial. And to be honest with you, I feel a little nervous typing this up. But maybe you feel the same way as me, but are too scared to say. So let me end with this. If you hate Fifty Shades, believe me, I understand you. I can completely see why, and in many ways I agree. If you love it because it’s bad, I also understand this! If you love it because it’s fluff, that’s okay because we all have and need those films! And if you just love it because you do, honestly, I can see the appeal. None of you are wrong, you just have different opinions. So, if yours differs from mine, it’d be much appreciated if you don’t rake me over the coals!

Source: Giphy

And I’m sure we can all at least agree that the soundtrack is amazing. I mean it’s Sia.

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