Fifty Shades Darker Review – A Steamy, Romantic, Sex in Seattle, Romp

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Fifty Shades Darker, from Universal Pictures, brings to the screen a steamy, sex in Seattle sequel, that has our two young lovers rekindling their romance, refining their technique, revisiting boundaries and taking things to a whole new level.

Directed by James Foley, Fifty Shades Darker stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Marsha Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Bella Heathcote, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Victor Rasuk, Luke Grimes Andrew, Airlie, Robinne Lee, Amy Price-Francis and Kim Basinger as Elena Lincoln. Fifty Shades Darker was written by Niall Leonard based on the novels by E.L. James.

Fifty Shades Darker begins with a sleeping Christian, played by Jamie Dornan, having nightmares of his childhood, when his birth mother, whom he describes as a crack addict, was being beaten and he abused.

The film moves quickly to the front door of a recently single Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, receiving roses from her ex-lover Christian Grey. She walks to the trash to toss them and has second thoughts not out of sentimentality simply over the beauty of the perfect roses.

After leaving Christian, Anastasia moved on was able to find employment doing executive assistant work as Senior Editor to Jack Hyde, played by Eric Johnson, one of the few independent book publishers in Seattle, where words on an actual page, bound by two covers, are still the draw.

Unbeknownst to her as she is leaving for the day, Jack Hyde takes a lingering look as she walks out of the office. On her way to a photography exhibit she is meeting Jose, the photographer, played by Victor Rasuk. Walking in the gallery she is overwhelmed, as is the audience, as six of the larger pieces are black and whites of her, and they are very beautiful, which sell almost immediately to a mysterious buyer.

When she turns there he is, Christian Grey, who wants her back, and while not acting desperate at least says "please" and asks her to dinner. Soon the two are at dinner, and Ana trying to be Miss Independent, doesn’t allow the billionaire to totally take over, and orders her choice for dinner. It is obvious she is aware of the limited power she has at this point in the relationship. He wants her back and she is aware of what he does when he wants something.

The first date the two have after their separation ends at the door of Ana’s apartment, a passionate kiss goodnight and like any well-intentioned, keep the memory alive, hopeful lover he leaves her with a gift. A modern romance, a modern gift.

Soon the steam is rising as the young lovers are tumbling in the sheets. As the two have a past history, there isn’t a lot of fumbling or other jitters as the two are well aware of the others boundaries and desires.

Fifty Shades Darker, for the 1% of the population who may not know is, in reality, a Sex in the City, one couple style erotic story line with plenty of bedroom, boardroom and other room romps.

Christian, as most know is fighting the demons of his past which manifest itself in sexual activity that is sadistic, S&M, submission/slave/bondage and outside, at least I think, 99% of the populations, thinking.

The sexual activity is all consensual. For every action, the question of consent is always asked. And the two are young, of a new generation, wealthy, independent, and generally in love. And as they are free enough to make their own bedroom decisions, they do.

Once Anastasia and Christian rekindle the romance, she is back again at the killer apartment that overlooks Elliott Bay and the Seattle, Washington skyline.

Wasting no time, he acquires the publishing company she works for and soon the reasons behind the Jack Hyde’s inability to keep good employees becomes obvious and one of the plot points for the final film in the trilogy.

We meet Christian parents, Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey, played by Marsha Gay Harden and Carrick Grey, played by Andrew Airlie as well as his sister Mia, played by Rita Ora and brother Elliot played by Luke Grimes.

Kim Basinger plays Elena Lincoln, a lifelong friend and neighbor of the Grey’s. She is also a business partner in one of Christian’s many holdings. They have a shared past and a mysterious secret that she is more than willing to use as leverage to keep anything permanent from his life.  

Fifty Shades Darker is an unexpectedly good film. Granted the fast action doesn’t have the same meaning as in other box office choices and still the writers created a plausible story line behind the main erotica plot points. A modern day Cinderella story, billionaire meets working girl, and as much as she is willing they explore his lifestyle.

The sex scenes build throughout the film, from rekindling welcome back, after the break up, sex, all about pleasure, to hooked and how far can we go sexual activity. Fifty Shades Darker is about bondage and to the degree that it is allowed the film goes. The film also shows a fully decked out bondage room with everything one can think of and plenty of other items that are best left for another day.

The entire cast handles the challenging material seamlessly. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and as sex scenes are often the most difficult to film, and those within Fifty Shades are outside of the normal, create the illusion of genuineness.

The writers paid homage to another Cinderella film story, Working Girl, which starred Ms. Johnson's real life mom, Melanie Griffith. Keep your ears tuned to the exchange between Ana's assistant, Hannah, played by Ashleigh LaThrop, after Ana receives a promotion.

Fifty Shades Darker leaves a few loose ends and for those who stay through the end credits a teaser trailer to Fifty Shades Freed, due out February 2018, plays. So, with one more installment in the trilogy the burned bridges, deviant pasts, romantic futures and the life, love and hopes of Christian and Anastasia fans will have to wait until 2018 for answers in one final explosive ending.

Fifty Shades Darker is playing everywhere. See it if you dare. 


Haute Tease

  • Romney’s Romp - Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week Five

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, roared back from his bitter South Carolina defeat, winning both Florida’s Primary and the Nevada Caucus proving he’s the GOP front man to beat.

  • Money News: DOW Jones Roars Closes Up; World Markets Follow

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial market bounced back from a very bad week and, assisted by global markets, managed to calm deeply skittish investors concerned over a long term bear market and another devastating market mauling.    

  • Kino Lorber Opens Yuri Ancarani’s THE CHALLENGE Opens September 8, 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kino Lorber is proud to announce the New York theatrical premiere of Yuri Ancarani’s award-winning documentary THE CHALLENGE, now set to open Friday, September 8, 2017, at Film Society of Lincoln Center with a national expansion to follow.

  • Denver Film Society and Denver Arts & Venues Announce 2015 Film on the Rocks Schedule

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Denver Film Society and Denver Arts & Venues announced the line-up for the 2015 edition of Film on the Rocks (FOTR). Presented by Pepsi, the 16th season includes nine events throughout the summer. Each film is preceded by a live concert and local comedian, courtesy of Comedy Works.  

  • Kering and The Festival De Cannes Will Present The 2017 Women In Motion Award To Isabelle Huppert; The Young Talents Award Will Be Presented To Maysaloun Hamoud

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    International film icon Isabelle Huppert will receive the third Women in Motion Award presented by Kering and the Festival de Cannes. Isabelle Huppert has chosen director and scriptwriter Maysaloun Hamoud to receive the Young Talents Award.


  • 911 Tapes Released In Sandy Hook Massacre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ten days before the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre the community of Newtown, Connecticut will relive the tragedy as state officials released six 9-11 calls made the morning of December 14, 2012.

  • Yellowstone Cold Case Remains Unsolved

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Scarface, the once 600lb grizzly bear known to roam free in the vast wilderness of Yellowstone National Park was shot and killed last November near Gardiner, Montana, after wandering just north of the Park's boundaries.  

  • Judge in Stanford Rape Case Stops Hearing Criminal Cases

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced the Stanford convicted rapist to six months including time served, has stopped hearing felony cases due to the public outrage over his leniency in what has been deemed a travesty of justice.

  • 18 Penn State “Brothers” Arrested in Fraternity Murder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Eighteen Beta Theta Pi Alpha Upsilon Fraternity brothers at Penn State University, still synonymous with pedophile cover up of football Coach Jerry Sandusky, have been arrested in the shocking hazing death of Timothy Piazza, a freshman pledge, during the annual Rush Week.

  • Robert Durst Charged With Susan Berman Murder; Extradited to Los Angeles

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robert Alan Durst, the son of the New York millionaire real estate mogul Seymour Durst, was arrested in New Orleans and extradited to Los Angeles in the execution style murder of Susan Berman, a Beverly Hills writer and friend.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • The Fifth Letter Review - Page Turning Legal Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Fifth Letter, a novel by research scholar Dr. Vivian Carpenter, introduces Katherine Helena Ross, the first black female Supreme Court justice caught between her conscience and political expedience when forced to consider the most important question facing the U.S. Supreme Court today: Who is a person with inalienable rights?  

  • Celebrities Pay Tribute to Jerry and Elaine Orbach During Launch of Remember How I Love You

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Celebrities, family and friends of the late Jerry and Elaine Orbach gathered recently, at The Snapple Theater Center in Manhattan’s Theater District, to honor them with readings from their newly released book, “Remember How I Love You - Love Letters From An Extraordinary Marriage.”

  • Honeymoon In Vegas Review – Go For The Music, Stay For The Elvis Impersonators

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Writing reviews to send out is actually quite difficult for me.  The truth is, I’m a theatre snob, and I’m pretty hard to please.  Without creative geniuses such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, or even Stephen Sondheim, it’s hard for me to give my endorsement.  Not this time.  You will love ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’.

  • Adventures on the Queen Mary Review - Stunning, Beautiful, A Must Have

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Adventures on the Queen Mary, by Dave Wooders with James Radford, a book for those who have dreamed of traveling the high seas, in all the style of a bygone era and the opulence of the Queens luxury.

  • Something Rotten Review – Raucous Surprises, a Roaring Good Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Something Rotten!, Broadway’s newest musical, is so fun it's hard to say for sure who was having a better time at the St. James Theater the other night, the audience or the actors and musicians on stage.