Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗
Well, what a week it’s been. With the movie premiere here in Brisvegas, and a house full of guests, my free time for reading went out the window. Aww, well. Perhaps this week things will return to normal. 😜
Before I start with my review, let’s take a look at the news:
- If you want to see MORE of the glamorous L.A. Darker premiere, check out this link from Sharon on the Any Second Now site.
- USA Today reports on 7 secrets from the set of Darker.
- Marie Claire features 11 behind the scenes facts about the film.
- And if you want a vacation package to make your kinky Fifty fantasies come true, see what Cosmo has to say about this “clothing optional” resort in Mexico. Oh my…
The final clip is not related to FSOG, but I couldn’t help sharing this absolutely ESSENTIAL training app that will get your man up to speed on his lingus technique – lickety split!
Wahahahahaha! 😂😂 Thank you, Sharon for making me spray tea all over my phone! Though I’m a little concerned about the hygiene of this tongue-in-cheek (or is it somewhere else??) app, I do appreciate a man that can give a good tongue lashing! 😉
Okay then, let’s get on to the main event of today’s post: the Fifty Shades Darker movie review. I made an effort NOT to read any reviews before the film or before I posted my own. I didn’t want anything to influence my thoughts while I took in Erika’s vision. The only bits I caught was of the ladies raving in general about the L.A. premiere.
Again, if you DO NOT WANT TO SEE EVERY STITCH AND DETAIL UNRAVEL, skip this bit! Also, this review reflects my personal opinion only. Please feel free to disagree, but as I mentioned last week, let’s play nice 😉
So, I’ll start with the things I DID like. This time around the movie was MUCH more accurate, the flow and events treated with a sensitivity that reflected Erika’s wish to do right by the fans. Little details like clothes choices, etc. might not have been strictly adhered to, but as far as the BIG details were concerned, it was true to the book. And if I had to venture a guess, the folks who did not read the book would probably find this movie more appealing than FSOG.
I enjoyed Ana’s smart mouth, her quips often funny and a great replacement for her inner goddess.
Also, I think her hubby did a great job adapting the book to the screenplay. Naturally there are a lot of things that can be done in writing that won’t translate to film, and with the first movie, I felt that some of those additions took away from the general veracity. This time, I didn’t sit in my seat, slack jawed and outraged at sudden new scenes that seemed senseless in its place. The one scene that did leave me frowning, (and this brings us to my list of grievances), was the masquerade ball bit: in the book as well as the movie, when Ana prepares for the night, she looks through her sexy new undies and selects a fetching number that leaves CG speechless. The Ben Wa balls follow, and then, off she goes to be the belle of the ball with a side helping of sexual frustration that leaves her breathless and achy. Later, when Christian buys her for the first dance auction and they steal away to his childhood bedroom, he strips her of that silver dress, but in the movie, she’s wearing nothing underneath. It made the whole flow seem ridiculously pointless. Why get dressed in heartstopping lingerie, only to take it off before you slip on your dress? Strange. (And yes, I could tell that the undies she wore wouldn’t fit underneath the cut and style of the dress, but the two acts are one in the book. A little finer planning would have gone a long way to ensure continuity here).
Personally I felt that CG came across as unlikable, an asshole even, in the first movie, something that I NEVER thought of him in the books. I understand that he was closed-off and broken, but his beauty – inside and out – shone through even in the earliest of chapters. I also understand that in Darker he came around to “the light” – as Ana calls it, but he NEVER became Mr. Straight-Laced-Vanilla-Nice-Guy. Certainly he had moments of playful, boyish charm and a sense of humour, but Fifty ALWAYS lurked in the background, whether it was in the sternness of a command, a searing look, his mercurial mood switches, or his jealous growls. And further, I get that they had to find a visual way to portray his transformation, however, THIS movie painted him as an all-round teddy bear, a picture perfect boyfriend. It’s probably the part of the movie I disliked the most. Where was our Dom, not the belt wielding one, but the one that LOVED with his domination rather than hurt? I missed the dark looks, the brooding pouting, his trademark distraught hands shoving through his unruly hair in exasperation, and that sexy, OTT jealousy. Over and over he tells her that he’ll never change, that his controlling, overbearing nature will always keep her on her toes. And we see that in the book too, even in moments where they are blissfully happy. In Darker they fight so much as they forge their way, as they come to grips with loving each other in the infancy of their relationship, but the film shows them resolving conflict too easily, like a well-adjusted couple with years of compromising experience. It took so much away in terms of the chemistry between them, the anger, the passion, the deep; new feelings that they both struggled to deal with. You have to ask yourself if the outrageous cries of abuse from the ill-informed public steered their decision to make him sweet as apple pie.
As far as the sex was concerned, there was definitely more, but with markedly less skin. I didn’t mind the more tasteful version of the bedroom antics, but, I’m sad to say, it contained little heat. In fact, the audience in the movie theater giggled through so many of the sexy scenes because the acts seemed stilted in their heavily edited state. And having been edited so harshly, it left no time for you to feel the connection between them, to see the desire building into the beautiful crescendo that is their strong bond. We saw a LOT of Ana’s reactions, and, in my opinion, way too little of Christian’s, especially considering that the movie’s demographic is overwhelmingly female. One of the most appealing things about him is the way he turns her on with just a look, the intensity of his desire evident in those deep, gray depths. Those heated gazes are, instead, replaced with playful smirks that yet again hint at well-adjusted guy, rather than the broken MAN using his exceptional skills to win his girl ANY way he can.
The sex scenes were not the only parts of the film that bent under the pressure of time constraints. At a supposed 118 minutes, I was hopeful that MORE time would give us, well, MORE, but the fact of the matter is that it went by in a blink of an eye. One of the biggest criticisms of the first movie was that it lacked some pivotal scenes. This time the director took that to heart and decided to include EVERY crucial moment, but – and this is a big BUT – it left the movie feeling like a reel of highlights, a montage of clips, a photo album of the book, rather than the full story itself. Rushed does not begin to describe the unnatural jumps from act to act. Vital, story-changing scenes like when Christian admits that he loves Ana, the bit where he goes full Dom on Leila to get her to heel, and then, the most important one of all, where CG lets Ana touch him for the first time, was devoid of emotion because they felt so abrupt. If you didn’t have the book as reference I have no idea how you would interpret these flash-card moments as significant. It is my understanding that more than expected landed on the cutting room floor (including the pool table shenanigans that we saw in more than one trailer), however, personally, I could have lived with less in terms of sequential accuracy, but more of their love and connection.
Wow, looking back at all that gabbing, I suspect you think that I hated it, but that’s not the case. I just wish that they would stop to think about the true essence of the story rather than the blatantly obvious charms. Would I go see it again? For sure, if only in hope of seeing some new insights and perspectives. Perhaps now that I know what to expect I might see the MORE that I crave.
And for those of you curious about the Easter Egg at the end of the film: if you stayed until after the roll of credits, you would have gotten a tiny taste of Freed! It was a lovely teaser showing bits of their wedding and honeymoon.
————— END OF SPOILERS —————
Currently I’m reading:
Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn, book one in the Larson Brothers series. Don’t mistake my snail’s pace for disinterest. I just had NO time to read this week.
Let me wish you well for the coming week with a VERY naughty pic from Katherine:
I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember Morph, but my version obviously missed something vital! LOL! 😂