Someone Out There Likes “Fifty Shades Darker”
By Skip Sheffield
Who are the people who are so enamored of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades” potboilers?
Evidently they are not friends of mine. I asked several lady friends and they all begged off to an advance screening of “Fifty Shades Darker.”
So I went alone and sat with the wife of a popular movie critic. By way of small talk, I told her I once was so exasperated with my first wife I turned her over on my lap and spanked her bottom. I added she seemed to like it.
“I understand why she is an ex-wife,” my friend commented dryly.
So I don’t understand the whole S&M thing, but this sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” does not have as much of the sado-masochism fetish.
That’s just as well, but without it, the story, written by Niall Leonard, husband of original novelist E.L. James, is rather dull.
Dakota Johnson, outfitted in a mousy brown wig with short bangs, returns as Anastasia Steele, the virginal conquest of billionaire Christian Grey, played by the returning Jamie Dornan in an eternally rainy Seattle. How Grey became a billionaire at age 27, or what he actually does is never explained. The focus is on his relationship with Anastasia, usually called Anna, and their kinky pastimes. We get to see a lot of Dakota Johnson’s lithe body.
The plot, such as it is, is that Grey wants Anna back. He wants her enough to buy six of the large photographs she has mounted at an art exhibition.
Dakota Johnson is an attractive young woman, but my mind wandered to her silly wig, and her bright red lipstick that never got smudged no matter how fervently she made out.
Kim Basinger plays a new character, Elena Lincoln, who was a former lover and business partner of Grey. Marcia Gay Harden plays the thankless role of Christian Grey’s mom.
It doesn’t take a soothsayer to guess Elena Lincoln will be returning in yet another sequel. It remains to be seen if there are enough E.L. James fanatics to support another installment.