Oh, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. When are those two crazy kids ever going to get together? There’s is a love story we can all relate to: she, the inexperienced college student and would-be journalist, and he, the millionaire Seattle playboy, willing to teach her in the practice of love. Would their shared appreciation for BDSM be enough to overcome their differences and help them find true love? I don’t know for sure, but based on this first teaser trailer for Fifty Shades Freed, I’m going to venture that the answer to that question is yes.
Fifty Shades of Grey was so flavorless and forgettable that I actually had to go back and look at my review to see what I thought of it. (SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t like it.) In that regard, Fifty Shades Darker is a very faithful sequel; a milquetoast continuation of a bland romance between two boring people for whom everything always seems to work out. The film goes on long enough that you begin to understand what it feels like to be punished by a self-described sadist like Christian Grey.
Apparently the press tour for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015 was just much too sexy, because Universal has slapped a gag order right onto the faces of the Fifty Shades Darker stars, forbidding them from making any sorts of innuendoes while promoting a movie about sex, lies, and BDSM.
For most people, the decision to make a sequel to 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey is probably the punchline to a bad joke. But have you actually stopped and looked at the box office numbers for Fifty Shades of Grey recently? We’re not talking about $100 million at the global box office; we’re not even talking about $200 million. We’re talking about $571 million worldwide, more than Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed combined and the eleventh highest-grossing movie of the year. With those kind of numbers, you pretty much have to make a sequel. I don’t blame them.
It’s every woman’s fantasy: not the perfect man, but the man who is perfect in all ways except one, which can only be changed with the gentle touch of a lover. Anastasia Steele, the Dakota Johnson-played protagonist of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, shares this widespread fixer-upper fetish, and she makes as much clear in the new trailer for Fifty Shades Darker. In the film disappointingly not titled Fifty-One Shades of Grey, Ana accepts Christian back into her life under the condition that he cut it out with all the brooding angst that originally attracted her to him and got old pretty quickly. They let one another back into their lives (and beds, and red-lit sexual torture chambers), but tragedy may cut the honeymoon phase short.