|In 2011, the erotic romance novel "Fifty Shades of Grey", by then-unknown writer E.L. James, took the publishing world by storm. And what a storm it was! James only started writing in 2009 – fan fiction based on the "Twilight" movies and books, but by the end of 2012 after the publication of "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed" , "Publishers Weekly" named James "Publishing Person of the Year" and she made "Time" magazine's list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World"
and that storm I <more>|
had turned nasty. Authors as prominent as Salmon Rushdie derided the novels as poorly written, while others debated whether the BDSM theme around which the plot revolved depicted an abusive relationship. Nevertheless, James' mostly female readership enjoyed the romance between the main characters and James made $100 million in 2013, $5 million of which was for the rights to film the first book in her trilogy. "Fifty Shades of Grey" hit theaters in 2015 and, despite mostly negative reviews from critics, the movie banked over 14 times what it cost to make and the second and third films in the trilogy were filmed concurrently in early 2016. The critics can say what they will about E.L. James, her stories and the movies that her books inspired, but millions of people all over the world have been entertained by the "Fifty Shades" saga, including the second film, 2017's "Fifty Shades Darker" R, 1:58 .The movie picks up a few months after the naïve, but strong recent college graduate Anastasia Steele Dakota Johnson and the controlling and sexually adventurous billionaire businessman Christian Grey Jamie Dornan said an emotional "goodbye" by simply uttering each other's names at Christian's elevator. Ana has started a new job as an administrative assistant to Jack Hyde Eric Johnson , the handsome head of the Fiction Department at Seattle Independent Publishing. Christian finds Ana at a gallery showing for a photographer friend and Christian talks Ana into joining him to get something to eat. Soon after, Jack, who has shown an interest in Ana that went beyond the professional, convinces Ana to join him for a drink at a local bar and Christian soon shows up. The two men take out their penises and measure them. Christian wins, taking Ana with him as he leaves the bar, but Jack isn't quite ready to admit defeat. That last part was metaphorical, but very much in the spirit of this story, so
As Ana and Christian resume their relationship in fits and starts, the terms have changed, new challenges arise and old jealousies are aroused. Christian agrees that this time there will be no rules and no punishments and his relationship with Ana will be a "vanilla" one. Ana worries that Christian will be unable to give up the kinkier aspects of their physical relationship, but he assures her that she is more important to him than his need to dominate his lovers. This time, Ana is on top again, metaphorically speaking as she calls the shots and even shows a continuing interest in some of Christian's sexual toys and tricks – as long as she isn't again compelled to surrender control. Meanwhile, one of Christian's previous submissives, a clearly disturbed young brunette named Leila Bella Heathcote , keeps popping up, as does Elena Lincoln Kim Basinger , aka "Mrs. Robinson", the woman who first introduced Christian to the BDSM lifestyle. We also learn more about Christian's early life and why he is the way he is."Fifty Shades Darker" has a better story and may even be sexier than its predecessor. The plot is
well, darker, with elements of a thriller mixed in with the romance and the sex, and with a new director James Foley and a new screenwriter Niall Leonard – adapting his wife's novel , it's more broadly entertaining. Like the first film, there's plenty of sex in this one, but it's less a little less "kinky" and more romantic than previously. The insights into Christian's background, including meeting more women from his past, also gives the plot more depth as both Ana and Christian each have more at stake, emotionally-speaking. This movie won't win any Oscars, but it's pretty
f---ing enjoyable. "A-" <less>