Darker, Or Just Drab?



After Anastasia Steele and her older, wealthy love interest Christian Grey called it quits at the end of 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker catches up with the pair — and sees Christian groveling to win Ana back. As they attempt to begin a relationship, they’re haunted by Grey’s past — namely that it appears one of his exes is stalking them. Even trying to stitch together what this movie was really about proved difficult. It seems it’s not quite sure what it wants to be, but we’re not quite sure that we care. 50 Shades Darker opens in wide release Feb. 10.

JAIMIE: I just … do not care about this book/movie series. If someone came up to me and said they would pay for my tickets and all the snacks and alcohol I wanted to watch this movie, I still would turn them down.

NICOLE: I didn’t read this series, so I’m not sure what the plot is supposed to be. It kind of seems like the dude’s crazy ex-girlfriend is coming back to kill the new girlfriend. Which would be great, especially if said ex-girlfriend is really dead! Plot twist! But I don’t think that’s the case at all, and I’m not gonna watch this.

CHRISTINA: I had no idea that this was how the trajectory of the series went … The first one seemed to be about a BDSM-ish type of relationship with a messed up guy who wouldn’t commit, but now all of a sudden they’re in a committed relationship and the girl is being stalked by his ex. It looks like it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It starts off seeming like a romantic drama, and then all of a sudden it’s trying to be a suspenseful thriller.

PAIGE: I mean, are these movies absolute train wrecks? Yes. But they have good soundtracks. I’ll admit it. I like that I Don’t Want to Live Forever song.

NICOLE: I can understand people who are erotica fans, because you use the foundation of the story but use your imagination to fill in the blanks. But when erotica is transposed on the screen, doesn’t it logically take away from the experience?

JAIMIE: I don’t know, I don’t get erotica. I don’t get off on other semi-attractive people getting it on and playing power games with each other. And wouldn’t you rather just like, live life and do it yourself than fantasize about doing it while reading/watching other people doing it?

NICOLE: What is the point of masks like that? You can totally still tell who they are. Maybe that’s not the point, but that’s my takeaway.

CHRISTINA: I know, that part made me laugh. Like, they’re acting like the masks are all secretive and sexy, but you can still completely see their faces. I don’t get it.

PAIGE: Watching this incred-

ibly vague trailer makes me feel like this movie is like, the physical embodiment of the #aesthetic hashtag. We’ve got masquerade #aesthetic. We’ve got tasteful shower sex #aesthetic. Like, is this a real movie? Or a series of carefully coordinated Instagram photo-shoots stitched into a facsimile of a movie?