Fifty Shades Darker: Now A Major Motion Picture

First of all, if you haven’t seen the movie yet:

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I don’t remember ever being more excited for anything than I was for the release of Fifty Shades of Grey. Sure, I was fully on the Jamie Dornan is #NotMyChristian train, and there was just something about the Dakota lip biting poster that was plastered all over movie theaters everywhere that I found extraordinarily unappealing, but I was hype. Crazy hype. February 13th 2015 was not a chill day for me. It was a Friday and I didn’t get any work done. I sat at my desk and I listened to interview after interview about the movie on my iPhone and stared at the clock like I was afraid glancing away for even a second would make the world explode. But I made it through the day, and that night, when I finally got to witness the spectacle that was Fifty Shades of Grey, I was not disappointed (unlike apparently everyone else in the fifty community)

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From the very beginning, I was sold. Even IN the movie theater, I was pre-planning my #JamieDornanIsTheOnlyChristianGrey tweets and fighting the urge to get on Fandango and purchase tickets for the next seven days. When I left the theater, I got in the car and googled when Fifty Shades Darker was coming out, and that’s when my Fifty high was doused with an ice cold bucket of reality.

Fifty Shades Darker: February 10th 2017

2017. Twenty MOTHER FUCKING seventeen. I have a handy dandy countdown app in my phone that I immediately plugged the date into and it told me: 728 days.

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How the fuck was I supposed to fill 728 days?! Well, let me tell you. I re-read the books, read GREY, found a fellow group of obsessives, and oh yeah… may have started a ridiculously long FanFiction which I’m convinced I will be writing until the end of time. I was suddenly ravenous for ANYTHING Jamie Dornan was in, I was stalking E.L. James twitter like crazy, waiting for filming updates, and when they FINALLY did start filming, I was checking for pictures and videos DAILY. Then came the trailers, the teaser clips, the talk show interviews… and FINALLY, 2 years and two days later, it arrived. Fifty Shades Darker was in theaters and I had tickets, a tub of popcorn, red vines, and the largest Diet Coke money could buy.

I was ready.

Maybe it’s because it’s been two years of anticipation. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking about this so much with the internet peeps. Maybe it’s because, between all the clips and teasers we’ve gotten over the past few months, it felt as though I had already seen the entire movie, but when I left the theater after my initial viewing, I was having an existential crisis.

It was okay. I didn’t hate it. But I also didn’t love it.

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I felt betrayed, devastated. I replayed it in my mind over and over again trying to figure out where it had all gone wrong. Thankfully, I know myself, and that I’m very over analytical. Even just thinking over every scene of the movie, I realized how critical I was being. I’d gone into the movie keeping track of everything that was left out, everything they had changed, and to see how many of the foreign actors simply couldn’t pull off an American accent: See Bella Heathcote.

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I needed to see if again, knowing what to expect, and I’m so happy that I did, because the second time, I loved it.

The Good:

Jamie Dornan: 

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Good god, is he even human? I’d like to take this moment to formally retract ALL of the complaints I had about Jamie Dornan from the first movie. His acting was really great, his accent has vastly improved, and his body… hot damn. There was life to Christian. He was funny and adorable and FINALLY a person, not some autistic sex alien sent to Earth to seduce all the virgins of the world. The way he looked at Anastasia, the way he smiled at her, the way he held himself around her, there was love (though not really, more on that later.) Jamie Dornan gets no criticism from me. Five Stars.

Dakota Johnson/Anastasia: 

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Dakota has done for Anastasia what E.L. James and three books couldn’t, and that’s turn this character into a multidimensional, interesting person, who I not only want to hang out with on weekends, but who also feels empowering. She’s cute, she’s funny, she knows what she wants, she knows her limits, and she sticks to them. She was a powerhouse in this movie and that scene where she put Jack on his ass was awesome. Dakota is able to bring a lightness to Anastasia that I think is absent from the books and it’s not only welcome, it’s necessary.

The Grace: 

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I was not expecting this, but this was probably my favorite scene of the whole movie. They were just so damn cute together. Everything from the “So this is where your tying knots expertise comes from” line to Christian’s made up story about the old sea widow had me reduced to a puddle of warm goo on the movie theater floor. I’m not one of the people who hate the Taylor Swift/Zayn song, I actually have listened to it every day up to the premiere, but I do wish it hadn’t been so loud. There were some cute dialogue moments that were definitely over powered by the music, including Dakota’s incredibly adorable, “I’m doing it, I’m the captain!”

The Sex:

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Those who were disappointed by the sex in the first movie, are not going to feel the same after this one. It’s not only more numerous than the first movie, but it’s also much more explicit. Jamie Dornan sucking Dakota Johnson’s nipples anyone? We got some of Christian’s dirty talk, we got some good old fashioned kinky fuckery, and Christian went down on Anastasia in basically every sex scene. Good on you, Christian. Good on you.

Jack Hyde:

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Okay, I admit it. I have a thing for villains. I need drama to survive and where does drama come from? A really great villain, and Eric Johnson as Jack Hyde was absolutely incredible. He was believable playing the good guy part, the subtly of his growing obsession was spot on, and the final spiral down was flawless. That scene where he cornered Ana in his office and tried to coerce her into have sex with him was actually terrifying, and even though I knew what happened, I was still on the edge of my seat. I can’t say enough good things about Jack Hyde in this movie. If Fifty Shades Darker didn’t ALSO star the has-to-be-some-kind-of-Greek-demi-god Jamie Dornan, he’d have my vote as best male character 100x over.

Mia’s Hair: 

Remember this?

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Well it’s this now,

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And I think we can all rejoice. And Christian’s “It’s very blonde” reaction was just icing on the cake for this NECESSARY change.

Christian’s Apartment:

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Loved it. Every detail. It not only feels like a real place now, but also much more opulent. This is where a billionaire would live. And that wine cellar wall? Pure Christian Grey. I would still like to know where Ana’s department store… errrr closet is though. Or where it was in Fifty Shades of Grey…

The Bad:

Elena Lincoln: 

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And not in a good way. Look, I know everyone hates Elena Lincoln, but I’m fascinated in the potential she has as a character. Unfortunately, this movie lived up to NONE of that. She was so… frail. This woman is supposed to be a bad ass dominatrix, and yet, she came a cross as meak, soft spoken, jealous lover rather than a wicked bitch desperate to keep her place of power. She’s the ultimate bady, but she was so overshadowed by Jack Hyde that I almost forgot she was even in the movie.

This Entire Scene: 

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This is going to be a long one because there isn’t one thing I hated about this scene, it was basically all of it. Number one, when Anastasia turns around and sees Leila, she IMMEDIATELY starts with the whole, do you want to see Christian? He’s downstairs. He loves you. I’m nothing. I get why she did it, this was a terrifying situation and she was really just doing whatever it took to survive, but that also started before a gun was ever even brought out. She didn’t try to talk her down first, didn’t even ask her what she was doing or how she got in. She just immediately jumped into the Christian stuff and that felt weird to me. Number two, when Christian came in I actually thought, oh good, here comes Jamie Dornan to save this train wreck of a scene. I think he played the Dom role very well at first, especially that quiet, whispered “kneel”, and then he started… petting her? What the fuck was that? Even as a Dom/Sub relationship in that moment, that’s rewarding her for breaking into your girlfriend’s house and pulling a gun on her. And I get that they needed Anastasia to see a bond between them for her to get mad to get to the whole next part, but that should have been done through Christian DOMINATING Leila, because that’s what Anastasia can’t do for him… be submissive. Instead of those stupid hand motions, they should have been commands. I needed more and I didn’t get it. It made it so when Ana was walking through Seattle later, I was like, what are you even thinking about? That was super weird, do you really think Christian was into that? But that brings me to…

Christian, the Submissive: 

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Ughhhhhhhhhh.

Let me start with the one positive. When Jamie came out of the kitchen and said the, “Where the fuck have you been?” line, I was like that is it. He was Christian Grey in that one line and I was overjoyed. Then the rest happened.

I don’t even know where to start here. The whole “argument” felt so rushed. He literally went from “I’ve had people out combing the streets to find you” angry to on his knees in like 3 lines of dialogue. There was no build up to that moment, so when it happened, I was like, what the fuck are you doing? They didn’t even really explain what he was doing so if you didn’t read the book, it’s very possible that that was all just very confusing. Then they both exchange some horrible lines and Christian lets Ana touch his chest, and he doesn’t even flinch. He’s not over the touch issues, he was giving that to her because he was giving all of himself to her in that moment. The acceptance of her touch comes later. It was very glossed over and, as one of the most pivotal moments in the entire series, I think this was the biggest failure of the movie. Thank god for the dream sequence that immediately follows and that adorable cuddle because, had that been left out, I think it would have taken me the entire rest of the movie for me to get the taste of this horrible scene out of my mouth.

The Script/Pacing:

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^Not an actual line from the movie.

Was the script better than the first? Yes. Low bar to set, but yes, it was better. Was the pacing better? No. This movie is much more fast paced, a lot more happens, but so many things were rushed. I’ve already talked about the Leila with the gun and the Christian submissive scenes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anytime this movie needed to build on emotion, it was rushed and ultimately fell flat. The gallery, Elena’s outing to Grace… There were so many conversations that felt clunky and unnatural simply because a character needed to bring up X so we could move onto Y, but they needed to do it quickly because this movie has to be under 2 hours. Did anyone else think that Ana jumped to “You’re buying SIP” real fast? How about Grace slapping Elena? Sure she may have heard the “You taught me to fuck…” line, but what if he had been 21? She didn’t get any of the anguish from Christian that she overheard in the book because, chop chop, we gotta fit in more sex scenes. Hey, maybe this is one of those things that’s going to be fixed on this amazing extended DVD we’re supposed to get. God hope so.

Dear Universal. Can you please make a fan version of Freed, and really every other book to movie picture you make from here on out that’s 5 hours long? We won’t mind, I promise you.

Also… I love you, Anastasia? Not once was this uttered in the movie. Not. Even. Once. How in the actual fuck….? E.L. James, you have some explaining to do.

The Sex: 

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Wait, what? But you just said….

I know, I know. Here’s my problem with the sex.

  1. Did anyone else feel like some of these sex scenes where just shoved in there because the main complaint about the first one was that there wasn’t enough sex? Maybe this goes back to my pacing issue, but the spreader bar scene especially seemed just slapped in there. Confession time: I’d trade the spreader bar scene for more time in the submissive Christian scene. I said it, I don’t regret it.
  2. We’ve been through two movies of these beautiful humans having sex, and, as I mentioned before, Christian was particularly giving in the oral department. Number of blowjobs Ana has given to date: 0. What kind of man puts up with that non-sense?
  3. Does Anastasia ever wear a bra?
  4. Look Jamie, I know it’s not your choice… but pants on in every scene? Come on! #ShowTheD

and finally…

Seattle: 

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Okay, I know this is probably not going to bother literally anyone else, but it made me cringe the whole way through the movie. We didn’t see a lot of “Seattle” in FSoG because they were in Portland (See: WMGWH’s least favorite city) for half the movie, and then when they were in Seattle they were in Christian’s apartment.

Now I will say this. For those of you who haven’t been to Seattle before, the view from Christian’s apartment is OUTSTANDINGLY accurate. I would believe it if someone went to the top of the actual Escala building and took one of the 3D panoramic pictures to turn into set screens for the windows because not only are the buildings and landmarks accurate, they’re accurate in relation to Escala. The Sea Wheel, Century Link Stadium, The Space Needle, Harbor Island, the Sound itself, all perfectly in place. I think maybe that’s what built my expectations up so high because when we got into the actual Seattle, those expectations were crushed.

I know this movie was filmed in Vancouver and not Seattle, but TIL that Vancouver looks NOTHING LIKE SEATTLE. Scratch that, the area they filmed SIP in looks exactly like Pioneer Square. I was fully emerged at that point until…

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So if you know me, you know that I show preference towards a certain football team from the Pacific Northwest… This is a screenshot from just outside of Ana’s office, a set that is seen SEVERAL times throughout the movie, over and over again, and that flag in that box, that’s the 12th man flag. Except it isn’t. This is:

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The color, the font… it’s all wrong. I know you guys don’t care. But I do. A lot. And it’s freaking all over this movie. Good on whoever was the set designer for knowing that Seattle is crazy ’bout them ‘Hawks, but bad on Universal for not paying the licensing for the actual 12th flag and subjecting me to this bullshit for 2 hours.

Anyway, overall, I did like the movie. Much better the second time, and I’m hoping even more the 3rd, 4th, and 5th time… but it had it’s drawbacks. Is it better than the first, I could argue that after my 2nd viewing. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you’ll at least like the movie, if not love it. There was a lot in here that felt like it was kept just for the die-hards, so I appreciate that.

What I don’t appreciate is knowing that the 3rd film is already finished but we still have to wait to see it for 363 days, 02 hours, 22 minutes and 46, 45, 44….

Oh well, I guess in the meantime I’ll just be

WishingMrGreyWasHere

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36 thoughts on “Fifty Shades Darker: Now A Major Motion Picture

  1. I was so excited I thought this was a surprise chapter lol but I must say I agree with you 100%!! I’m so confused as to why they left CG clothed in all the sex scenes lol also, the fact he never said I Love You even after the big proposal it’s kinda crazy. Your review post is spot on!! Thanks for your input!! Looking forward to Monday’s update 😊

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  2. I don’t know if this is just me sticking too much to the books but I never noticed any indication of condom use prior to christian’s birthday….

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  3. Wow, can’t wait to see the pic!! Thanks for the review As a big hawks girl, I do care how the flag looks like!!! Go Hawks🏈🏈 Waiting for your next chapter ❤️ Much love from Sammamish!!

    Sent from my iPad

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  4. Your review of the movie was fabulous. So much so that I can’t wait until tomorrow so I’m going to the last showing tonight. I thought Jamie was going to be naked and we would see the “big D” in this one, did they really not show him? I had been looking forward to seeing that. Lol. Please tell me Jamie doesn’t have his full beard at any point in this movie…that is the only thing about him that I can’t stand. He is so hot without his lumberjack beard, I just don’t understand why he thinks it’s a good look for him. Do you like him with the long beard?

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  5. Having read your review and enjoying every word, I KNEW this is what would happen with the movie. The first one was so rushed I thought I’d fallen asleep and missed half of it. It took me watching it several times to actually accept it for what it was…..It still pisses me off that they didn’t make a movie that the characters and plot deserves. The first one needed another good half hour and from what your review says, the same goes for the second. Very disappointing, but to be expected I suppose seeng as they made both Darker and Freed at the same time. I’m not going to see it at the theatre. I’ll watch it online like I did the first one and when they bring out a special release DVD with the trilogy and heaps of special extras on it, I’ll buy that. Thanks for your review. We have a very similar way of thinking, so I kind of feel like I’ve seen the movie. LOL. NOT A BAD THING. Now I know what to expect and am more prepared to deal with the disappointment. But like you, it will ( again) take a few times to watch it until I really enjoy it fully.

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  6. Honestly Tara, you are a total hoot 😂👍 This review was brilliant and so much fun to read – and I feel your pain. Granted, I have another 6 hours until I get to see DARKER for the first time but I found myself in 100% of what you said on Part 1, so I believe my experience today will be similar to yours. Guess I should buy tickets for a second viewing right now 😂 Thanks so much!

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  7. Great take..breakdown of the movie. I was feeling the same, but still completely loved it. I am looking forward to seeing it again. So excited for Freed…to bad it’s a year. Thank you for writing this for us die hard fans

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  8. Thank you for the review.. Since the movie ban from my country I getting snap shot what in the movie from you guys.. Thank you so much ..

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  9. This was a deep honest review. I basically had a lot of the same feelings.
    I hate that damn submissive scene.
    But in the end it’s a fan movie pushed in an hour and 45 mins.
    Im mad they took out the pool scene after the don’t come in the elevator. Very open ended.
    And no damn I love you. Ugh.
    Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
    Always so much better from true fans then people who never read the book and have biaesd opinions anyways.
    And I hope your amazing story will help fill the void of the next year and the dvd is like 6 hours long.
    Give me a blooper reel

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  10. Simply well said Tara and I agreed on everything you said here in your review. I too was disappointed we did not get to see more of Seattle in the mohair. It would have been nice!

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  11. Hey. I’ve been reading your fanfiction for a loooong time now and it’s so good, that I read it all three times now. You have an amazing gift of making your readers love your characters, you’re full of amazing ideas and even though Monday is the day that I have to go back to work every week, I’m still looking forward to it because it means that I get to read another chapter of your amazing fanfictions. With that being said, you made me ecstatic with your review of Fifty Shades Darker. I agree with a lot of the stuff that you mentioned, especially the Grace/Elena scene at the end. I expected something more spectacular and the whole showdown lasted about 5 seconds… But I love the film more than I did the first one because, while the first film was mostly about kinky fuckery and Christian being cold, the sequel is all about their love. I still don’t get why did they include the pool scene in the trailers and not in the film but I guess the extended DVD edition will include it. At least I hope so. And by the way, I’m glad someone is as obsessed as me. I also started a countdown for Darker and now I have one for Freed 🙂 I’m also going to see the movie for the second time today 😉
    Thanks once more for writing your fanfictions – I can’t stress how absolutely AMAZING they are! I’m looking forward to Monday and I hope Ana gets to tell Ray about the baby… I’ve got a feeling that Carla is not goint ot be happy about the pregnancy… I guess I’ll have to wait and see.. 😉 Have a great weekend!

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  12. It was rushed little clips put together hardly a story behind it .i fault the second movie would be better then the first .just hoping the third movie will be better .very disappointed: 😦

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  13. I completely agree! I went with two of my friends and were so excited! Saw the movie and felt betrayed lol! Pretty much everything you said was how I felt! The Christian submissive scene I was majorly disappointed in, I expected way more there. I also expected more in helicopter even when Christian finally came home(meaning the interaction between him and Ana). I didn’t hate it, but it was very rushed in my opinion also!

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  14. I agree so much with your points, but I will point out unfortunately the creepy Christian petting Leila is actually in the book… as odd as it is to actually watch on screen.
    “It confirms my worst fears and plays on all my insecurities: Christian and Leila together—the Dom and his sub.
    “Taylor,” Christian urges, and Taylor leans down and scoops me into his arms. The last thing I see as we leave is Christian gently stroking Leila’s head as he murmurs something softly to her.”

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  15. Thanks so much for your wonderful review. Like how you broke everything down in sections and listed the good versus bad. But, my favorite part of your review was this line “may have started a ridiculously long FanFiction which I’m convinced I will be writing until the end of time.” And all I can say is thank goodness you did. Your are a phenomenal writer.

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    1. I 100% agree I liked it better the second time. I think you are spot on with the whole Leila scene into the submission scene. The commands would have been better than hand motions and I think they could have cut out some of the Ana walking around and made the next part not seem as rushed. The lack of I love you also struck me as weird. But can’t wait for your update on Monday!!!

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  16. I agree with a lot what you wrote. I think the photo gallery scene could have been better. First of all I think if he would have gotten in touch with her and taken her in the helicopter would have been for us to see Seattle. Then at the gallery about people seeing her photos hanging up Christian is suppose to get really jealous also when Ana hugs Jose. Did not have that feeling. Then of course he takes her to the alley that scene was totally left out. More intense should have been the talk in the restaurant. Then when they drove back to Seattle Christian should have told Taylor to put ear plugs in his ear. Could have been a better reconcile in the car them kissing and hugging her straddling his lap… before she sleeps. What happened to him giving her the ipad with the music list he made for her expressing his feelings in music…I have that now from doing the 3D christians aprt..pretty cool the song list…..also the other apps eng. .literature app etc.

    Totally was left out.Apartment scene him chopping peppers was important..because in Freed they buy paintings on their honeymoon in French Riveria reminding her of when he did that. Scene was changed from the book…..They start to make out leading to sex and he says he has no condoms and she went off the pill. so then they go food shopping. That would have been better I think….scene with vanilla ice cream in store cool.why leave that out in the apt him putting it on her….. After all they did have sex. Love the masquerade wish they showed first dance auction. Again hot sexy follows which was super by her having the BenWa balls. Love the scene on The Grace my favorite scene wish there was more there. Ok her washing off the lipstick off his body was good. Isn’t there he says yes I love You???. The music from Taylor swift I love but not for the boat scene. Text did not pass at all I feel. I loved the other music to the sex scenes…even in the elevator but on the boat something different like you said it was to loud. I loved the love and caring with them standing and her stirring the boat. I am planning on going to Seattle, I would love to see that scenery especially.. and like you say what scenery is from Escala…Iloved how they did his apartment. Can not wait to see the house in Freed. Was surprised he did not take her to the house to see it after she mentions that to him while on the boat… That scene would have been..Wow Awww to see. Getting us ready more for Freed. Leila scene was ok but was missing more how Christian treated Leila as a submissive. Ana was shocked but needed to see more of Christian turn completely Dom. Then after walking around she goes back to him…There the scene was rushed totally also him being submissive to her. I guess they had to cut a lot cause of time. Same was when at his birthday. That too was rushed. I would have like to see more how Grace reacted finding out about what her best friend did to her son. I thought Kim Basinger played good acting also her face expressions in the movie. Jack Hydes part was played super. First all nice and then turned…. I felt something missing with the helicopter scene went way to quick… I have to read in the story how he returned reading so man fan fis story I am confussed. I remember a story where Ros and him start hitch hiking and get picked up from a truck driver and he helps them get back to Seattle.Was a nice old man even gave them something to eat. But he had no cell for them to let everyone no he was ok. I feel he showed up to quick and then no real explanation of what happened.I had tears when he went missing but it could have showed more feelings in that scene. Best of course when he opens the box and saw the key chain…. loved that and then started heavy sex scene in the shower leading to the red room…. His birthday party was good… ANA THROWING THE MARTINI …LOVED IT….The end was done super hearts and flowers all the way him getting on his knee loved it…There maybe he should have said the love word again but it was ok….Great ending with everyone outside. Love fireworks. SO LOOKING FORWARD NOW TO FREED!!!! Also to read many new fan fic stories…….

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  17. I was such a huge fan of the books. I feel like it was ruined because of the movies. Honestly they’re terrible. They chose the wrong actors. Dakota is great she can act but Jamie cannot act to save his life!!! Seeing them together on screen is uncomfortable. They have zero chemistry and it’s sad they tried to make up for that with more explicit sex scenes… it just wasn’t working. They should’ve replaced him with another actor. As for the writing I feel as though every single line from the book made it into the movie… like no point in watching the movie if it’s going to be the same exact as the book. I give it one star.

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  18. OMG, I love this review – thank you so much Tara. And just because I NEED to, I will write a lengthy response. If you’re not interested, I get it 🙂
    I agree with so many things, but with some I disagree.
    Let’s start with the disagree list, since it’s much shorter:
    – I did not love the movie. So many parts of it were good, but as a whole it felt rushed and I’m not satisfied. I liked the first one better (but I watched the first one before I read any of the books – so it will never be a fair comparison)
    – I did not particularly like the sex scenes, it didn’t seem like there were more of them than in the first movie and when they did have sex, it didn’t really seem like they were that much into it.
    – I did not like Mia’s hair – while Rita Ora looks much better as a blonde, WHY THE ROOTS? I would think a billionaire’s darling sister could get her hair properly colored (because those roots were nowhere near ombré)

    That’s about it for the discrepancies between my and your impressions. Oh yea, and I didn’t notice any of the Seattle stuff (other than: does it really rain that much up there in June? Every scene other than the Grace one, had rain in it). But then again, if the location was my hometown, I am sure I’d be picky too. I totally feel you, girl.

    Do I agree with the rest of this review? Hell yes!
    Dakota Johnson was amazing as Anastasia. She was by far the best part of that movie. Nothing more to add to your comments, I agree with everything you said about her.
    And then – Jamie Dornan – is he human???? He is so fucking hot, I can’t get over it. Not to mention, he’s such a cute and sweet guy. Very funny in his interviews and generally very likable. I don’t love him as Christian, as he could have been a tad more enthusiastic, but overall still much better than in the first installment and almost convincing 😉

    The Grace was the best scene hands down. And the made up house story was super cute and a nice leeway to their house on the Sound.

    Jack Hyde was awesome. Almost as good as Dakota.

    OMG, Elena Lincoln – I love, love, love Kim Basigner. I think she’s a wonderful actress and one of the most beautiful women out there and I was so excited when it was announced she would play Elena. I thought it was a great pick. BUT she was awful in Darker. Honestly, to me, this was hands down the worst part of this movie. I dont know whether it was the writing or the acting, but I just hated it all. And who did her hair? Wasnt she supposed to look great and be the owner of a hip hair salon? Please. If I saw her in real life, I wouldnt want to get my hair done at her place.

    The Leila – gun scene – I literally laughed out loud in the theater, that’s how ridiculous I thought that scene was. And yes that whole “dominant-submissive” thing that was supposed to be shown… instead seemed comical and embarrassing.

    Christian-the submissive and the pacing fall into one category to me – it all seemed rushed. The whole movie. I didnt feel like they transitioned well between scenes and showed the progression of Anastasia and Christian’s relationship. From the start it was like – wow, Anastasia agreed to try again after, like, 2 sentences from Christian, where at the beginning of the movie she seemed to be way more reluctant than in the book. The promotion (hey, I want to be promoted like that). The Christian-the-submissive scene – he dropped to his knees out of nowhere – I mean there was NO desperation from Christian, no reason shown for him to just go from 0 to 60 in, like, 2 seconds. And the Elena-Anastasia-Christian-Grace scene at the end – awful. Why the hell did Christian give her the handkerchief? And the whole “you taught me how to fuck” sentence came out of nowhere. And how did Elena not see Grace and stop talking, when Grace was literally behind Christian? That scene was a mess.
    I thought the first movie was much better at telling the story, while this one just crowded all of that stuff in there. In this case, the more the merrier did not seem to work out.

    Some of the things I also loved: the in the middle of the night proposal – very sweet and actually much better placed than in the book. The discussion about the proposal the morning after – funny, sweet and realistic. AND his awkward way of asking her to move in? ADORABLE! I loved it.

    Hahaha, and I loved your questions, Tara. My husband said this about the first movie, and I have to agree here: there’s a whole of a lot of eating out and NO blow jobs! Do the producers think it’s beneath Anastasia to give head? PLEASE, not only did Anastasia like it (rightfully so) in the book, but also did Christian! WTF, what kind of man doesn’t want a BJ (watch some Dave Chapelle, he’ll tell you how much guys like BJs).

    The bra… I kept thinking, lucky her to not need to wear a bra – hahaha, she never seemed to have it on – convenient for the quickies, but maybe that’d explain why her boss would take interest in her… Also, didnt she have this elaborate lingerie on before going to the Coping Together gala? But then when they went on to have sex in Christian’s bedroom, she didnt have any underwear on under the top of her dress. Did she just put it on and then take it off before going to the gala? (Oh wait, I do it all the time at home, lol)

    SO that’s that. I am much less excited about Freed after seeing Darker, but just because of Dakota and Jamie, I cant wait. Almost as much as I cant wait for the Monday morning updates form Wishingmrgreywashere.

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  19. I agree with you 100%, they left out so many details, Your review is amazing! And I love more the movie the 2nd time I went to watch it, Eric Johnson was amazing as Jack Hyde OMGGG! And Jamie Dornan 😍😍😍😍

    Thank you so much for your awesome review and can’t wait for monday uptade!!! 😊😊😊 have a nice weekend!

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  20. With you. Saw it Thursday and was disappointed that so many of my favorite scenes were missing. Ana and Christian making out in the alley after the Photography Exhibit? I know they filmed it. I saw the photos from the film set? Where was the scene from the trailer of Ana and Christian playing pool? Why include it in the Trailer to then leave it on the cutting room floor? That being said, I saw it again last night and loved it.

    On another note, please keep on writing. Love your stories. You are truly exceptional.

    Z

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  21. Oh, I was reading it and feeling like my thoughts turned into ink in a screen. I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING.
    Well, there is one thing that I don’t happen to agree with you… Your story it is NOT ridiculous, it makes my Mondays. At 3pm I am like a little guy in Christimas morning waiting for a new chapter…
    Take credit for your work, because you deserve it. It is even more beautiful that the main story of James.

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  22. Wow. Your comments about the movie are odly enough some of the things I thought too. I’ve seen the movie only once and I think I need to see it again to understand what the hell happened. I thougt it was rushed too. I simply agree with a lot of what you said. And dang it where was the pool playing scene. I loved that flirting they had going on in that scene when they released the preview but it vanished.

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  23. This is the first time I comment in this site so I have some things to point out before I actually do. The change itself made me grieve for a feel hours before the bio update and the new domain was made public. 😂
    First of all I must express how much the amazingly long fic means to me. Last year was my senior in High School and I was studying like crazy and even my friends from school rarely got time to talk to me. However, trying to find anything to take my mind of chemistry and maths and essays I came around this amazing author! Soon every one of my friend got their ears full of everything (even if none of them like the FS series) and we went from not talking to only talking about it. Every Monday in biology class I stopped everything, took my phone out and begged my friends for internet.
    I also had tickets for the midnight premiere – lucky me people here don’t like subtitled movies and I got some pretty good seats. I then, after all this time, left devastated. I couldn’t believe what happened. I felt just like you did. And it makes me feel so much better to think that I’m not crazy – that something was wrong! I hope now that just like you I can love it if I watch it again.
    Thank you for every thing! Thank you for getting into my mind and expressing what I couldn’t.
    😘

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  24. Had same thoughts regarding several points/subjects! I actually get disappointed over three things in the movie. Won’t really expand (that much) on this as it would take a whole page and what but one, the reconciliation scene for me at the very start already felt so rushed. I mean, they got the important dialogues out but I didn’t feel the urgency, the longing, the desperation to get back together. Well, the messy, rugged look of Christian spoke of it at least but still, I was expecting more from it. Take out the fact that Christian’s all fifty shades and that Ana just bit more than she can chew on the playroom, it almost felt like a normal lovers’ spat. Sorry, really, but no build up whatsoever. It felt lacking.

    And speaking of lacking brings me to the second disappointment. Elena. She didn’t give off the impression of being one of the major conflicts there. I didn’t even feel her that much, really. And that Grace-Elena scene I am sure we’ve all been waiting for? Again, no build up. Grace just charged in there. I mean, it would’ve made sense if the situation was so heated and there’re more lines for an actual spectator/listener to ‘actually’ understand what the hell is going on and what it’s about before one charge in like that to land a well-deserved slap. I mean, come on.

    And last (although I have some petty stuff to say later) , spot on with your review of the submissive Christian scene. I won’t say in it details (you got it covered), but it felt rushed and forced to me. Actually, it’s my most awaited scene ever but it didn’t live up. It felt like it was just there for the sake of getting it over with. Like, ‘Hey, that needs to be in the movie, let’s get it over with and quick.’ I didn’t even see/feel the internal conflict we all know Christian is having during that moment, panicking that Ana’s gonna run. It’s supposed to be a scene where Christian was so fucking lost of what to do that he just reverted back to his submissive side hoping that if he gave Ana the reigns, she’ll be the one to tell him what to do so she’ll stay: the good old handing over of decision between Master and Sub. I’d give the benefit of the doubt and say it’s a very difficult scene to make. The emotions to actually make such scene, I believe, would have to have been so deep and hurtful and lost. I dunno if I’d blame it on the script, the actors or on the director, or on Erika for making a scene that’s so freakin difficult to put to life but still, it’s probably MY biggest disappointment in the movie. I mean, it’s just me. Others may actually like it…?

    Which brings me to that surprisingly powerful scene with Christian and Leila. I mean, I get your point with the whole patting her head seemingly more like a reward than anything, but I can vaguely remember Christian emphathizing in the book. Leila is sick and I think, no matter how fucked up said sub is, Christian wouldn’t like anything to happen to her just because she’s not on the right state of mind. And like what he told Ana, he’d not take any chances with Ana in there. Leila’s a loose cannon. Who could say it won’t trigger the jealousy or the aggression if Christian’s cold/curt with her, all the while knowing in her head that he’s completely different with Ana. Besides, in the book, Ana bolted out because she cannot seem to erase how intimate Christian and Leila’s interaction is. Dakota got that look on her face that one scene. Perfectly captured as a tear ran down her face. It’s not in the playroom during end of Grey, not during their negotiation; it’s during that very moment that she met the Master, that side of Christian, who she won’t really be able to completely handle. That 1-2 second flash showing Christian towering over Leila and her kneeling? It gave me way more feels, my heart was clenching, than the submissive Christian scene. I hope they invested as much in the latter.

    So, Dakota was the perfect Ana. Jamie’s portrayal is way way way better compared to the first. His shy smiles, naughty smirk, smoldering looks? Jamie had made Christian human: one fucked up but no less gorgeous, wonderful, fine specimen of a man. And he got a sense of humor now too. Great great acting from Jamie (apart from the submissive scene, again. Sorry, can’t get over that). Jamie and Dakota’s chemistry skyrocketed here as well. Maybe because they are now more comfortable with each other? And the script is at least a little bit better? But they REALLY are perfect for the roles!

    On a side note, I like how Rita brought Mia to life. Her ‘he has eveything apart from sense of humor’ jab had me giggling at how natural and normal it sounds. Looking forward to more of her on Freed.

    Now, to my petty (or not?) thoughts. Where’s Flynn?! Urgh. And I don’t feel much of Taylor here too. Also of Carrick! *Sigh*

    I know we can’t capture the whole book in the movie but still, I did hope they would’ve invested more on the right parts.

    Sorry sorry sorry if this comment is so long. I just need a place to lay this all out. I don’t really know anyone who’s as passionate as me when it comes to Fifty or who doesn’t usually get all awkward and shy talking about sex. It makes me feel awkward too, you know? People around here (those I know) just watched the movie, curious of the hype and the scenes, so I don’t have much of a group to share with. They’ll be weirded out if I start saying reviews and stuff about the movie.

    So yeah, if you get this far reading this, thanks! Will be watching again one of these days (hope work permits me, I am working even on a Sunday! *sob*).

    Now waiting for Freed!

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  25. Your review is so spot on!  The film had its moments, but I don’t know how anyone could follow it if they hadn’t read the book.  I felt like the script was written by taking one sentence from each page of the book. It would be nice if the DVD version would include at least a half-hour of additional dialogue.   I thought Grace was poor casting in the first film; she doesn’t come across as a kind pediatric doctor at all.  And Elena  should have been “harder” and sleeker, esp. her hair.  But I’ll go see “Freed” next year, in hopes it’ll be fine-tuned during the year and more coherent. Marlene

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  26. I hoped that you would review and you did not dissapoint. Honestly i was more happy about mia’s hair than anything else. But yes the pace was rushed and the submissive christian scene was dissapointing on so many levels.
    Their were some scenes that james foley said were cut to make the rating R but will be included in the dvd version so i am hoping that the pool scene is in the DVD

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  27. I think many of the problems in the 2nd movie come from just trying to cover too much in too little time. You want to really SEE the progression of the Ana/Christian relationship and just wallow in it. And the lack of time also means you lose characters, namely Flynn, that I think are REALLY important to the stories as a whole.

    And by trying to get in as much of the memorable scenes that readers loved from the book, you leave NO time for transitions OR to even fully “live” in each scene. So the readers know where the movie is going, but movie critics that haven’t read the book are just blasting the movie due to the choppiness and not understanding where something is going (ESPECIALLY when so many scenes CLEARLY got editted due to time).

    But part of the problem comes from the way Christian was presented in the first movie. There are MAJOR differences between the book and the movie. In the movie, Christian literally IS completely closed off and unwilling to connect emotionally with Anastasia. You see her sleeping in the submissive bedroom. You don’t have Christian making unscheduled visits to her apartment the way it is in the book.

    In the first book, Christian RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING violates ALL his rules. After seeing the movie, I went back through the book to see if Christian ever even ONCE had Ana sleep separately, and it really isn’t there. He realized from the beginning about how much he LOVED having her sleep with him, both because he recognized the “benefits” to waking up with Ana and that she kept the nightmares away (BIG important thing that got LOST in the movie in order to present Christian as completely “devoid” of real emotion or willingness to connect to people).

    And that was one of the things that I LOVED most about the book–right away, Christian takes Ana to restaurants and does things with her and can’t stick to his rules at all, which he even comments about.

    But by playing Christian as basically without a heart in the first movie, you expect to be able to dwell on the MANY ways he has changed in the second. BUT THERE IS NOT TIME for it, even with all the cuts they made. So everything HAS to be rushed, JUST to get to the plot issues. BUT ALL THAT FALLS SHORT when you can’t have emotional relationship reveals, sex scenes, AND character plot scenes consistent with the book to occur ALL in less than two hours. So you end up selling EVERYTHING short. Sigh.

    I wish they could just do a Fifty Shades miniseries, like they did with Pride and Prejudice back in the 90’s with Colin Firth. THEN, you have 8 hours or so for just ONE book. You can get everything in. But Fifty Shades could NEVER be done on television successfully, so it isn’t an option. Sadly.

    Hopefully, the DVD will have the FULL unedited movie, with all the scenes that were reportedly filmed. Here’s hoping.

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  28. Spot fuckin on! It was a little better than the first, but I still left disappointed…twice. The ‘second chance earrings’ scene in the dressing area just before the gala was another problem for me. It was a tender moment in the book, but not in the movie. But the start of this whole fuck up with the franchise so far, is all E L’s fault. She should’ve gone with a cable network like Diana did with Outlander. This could easily have been a 3 season show, with plenty of time to show all the key scenes. Damn….where’s a DeLorean when you need it?!
    PS- L.O.V.E. your FF stories.

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  29. Loved the books but movies have left me feeling blah and wanting better for the characters we know and love. I read your review before I watched it and was hoping Darker would be better than the first movie in the series but throughout the film I kept thinking “darn the book was much better” or the characters don’t fit their descriptions from the book. Ana a good match but I’ve always thought CG should have been taller with piercing gray eyes and copper hair. Elena should have a sleek bob with a domineering personality vs long stringy hair with a subdued persona. Where the heck was Flynn…MIA from too many scenes.

    I imagine its hard fitting a book into a movie but they left out so many pivotal scenes. I think they tried adding more sex instead of substance.

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  30. Loved your review…

    Just watched the movie yesterday and I was like “Why is everything happening so fast?!!!”

    I’m disappointed and felt betrayed too 😦

    I couldn’t agree more with you on the ‘Christian Submissive’ scene. It’s one of my favourite scenes and, I believe, one of the most important scenes in the book…
    This scene was ONE WHOLE CHAPTER in the book and we only get about 2 minutes.
    And yes, in the book, Christian started crying when Ana was touching him but in the movie he doesn’t even flinch!

    The helicopter crash… After he returned home, he didn’t explain anything. And why did everybody have to leave immediately when he was comforting Ana. I did not understand that…

    And they left out the alley kiss but I know it was shot so maybe it will be in the DVD along with the pool scene.

    Where is Dr. Flynn? Wasn’t Hugh Dancy cast as John?
    I wanted to see him in the dance auction bidding contest between him and Christian. That would have been fun but the dance auction was missing.
    Moreover, Ana was supposed to give Christian his birthday gift before meeting Dr. Flynn so that Christian would know that no matter what Ana loves him for who he is and nothing was going to change that. I seriously missed that part.

    And as you said Christian never said I love you. 😦
    Remember this line in the book?:
    “I can’t bear to hurt you because I love you.”
    That was really sweet and I wished it was in the movie.

    Taylor…. I seriously love him in the books. In the movie, he was more like a driver or ?… I wanted to see him beat Jack… Some good kicks and punches. Guess we’ll have to wait for Freed to see Jack get beaten to a pulp.

    Moving on to the sex scenes, I too felt like they just shoved them in because of the previous complaints.
    I would gladly trade half or more of the sex scenes for more time on the emotional scenes.

    Like you… It will take some time and several sessions of rewatching it for me to be able to love it.

    But I loved all scenes involving Jack Hyde. It was wonderfully done.

    I loved the jokes.

    I really enjoyed watching Christian chop that pepper: it was hilarious, as if he was brutally murdering the poor thing.

    I loved the supermarket scene, the fight scene in front of Esclava on the street, the lipstick scene, the silver balls scene, the boathouse proposal…

    The scene on The Grace was my most favourite. It was so cute, funny and adorable. And then the big house and Christian’s joke about the seawidow. 😀
    Little does Ana know that it’ll become their house someday.(dreamy face :))

    I loved Christian’s flashbacks.

    I loved Mia, Kate, Elliot, José, Grace, Ros, Mrs. Jones. I basically love all characters.

    I loved Christian’s small speech when he announced his engagement with Ana and how he started: “Ladies, gentlemen, MIA”… I started laughing.

    I loved Elliot’s playful nature, Kate’s sisterly affection, Mia being Mia and Grace in mama bear mode.

    And, of course, I loved Jamie Dornan (swoon) and Dakota Johnson. They are the perfect Christian Grey and soon to be Anastasia Grey. 😉

    I loved the ending. The ending was perfect.

    Having said so much, I know that in the end I’m gonna love the movie. It’ll just take me some time to process and accept…

    After all, I’m Fifty Shades of Obsessed, Possessed and Addicted. 😉

    And I love your fanfiction. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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