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Fifty Shades Darker: Romance or Just Plain Sex?

With the sequel set to be released early 2017, fans of the Fifty Shades trilogy are excited to see how Fifty Shades Darker will be portrayed on the big screen. The first film was a box office success despite the mixed reviews. Will the second installment follow in its footsteps?

The Fifty Shades Trilogy

Picture Credit: Screenshot from the video "Fifty Shades of Grey Official Trailer #2" taken from the YouTube Channel of Movieclips Trailers

Picture Credit: Screenshot from the video “Fifty Shades of Grey Official Trailer #2” taken from the YouTube Channel of Movieclips Trailers

Written by English author E.L. James, the Fifty Shades series comprise of the following: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. The series mainly revolve on the relationship of college graduate Anastasia Steele and young business magnate Christian Grey. The pair first met in Fifty Shades of Grey, when Ana took her sick friend’s place to interview the wealthy entrepreneur. Things began to escalate when Ana and Christian engaged in a contractual relationship involving sex with BDSM. The first book was adapted into a film with Dakota Johnson as Ana and Jamie Dornan as Christian. The film was released on February 9, 2015. It grossed a worldwide of $571 million worldwide, in contrast to its $40 million budget.

The next book in the series, Fifty Shades Darker, will be released on February 10, 2017. Dornan and Johnson will reprise their roles as Christian and Ana respectively. The plot follows Ana trying to move on over Christian while the latter does his best to take Ana back. Although Ana gives Christian a second chance, the latter’s past was soon exposed and began to threaten their relationship.

Is it really romantic or just sex?

The trilogy was received with mixed reviews. Fans have positive reception while critics were more on the negative side. In an article from CNN, Princeton professor April Allison wrote, “Though no literary masterpiece, Fifty Shades is more than parasitic fan fiction based on the recent Twilight vampire series.” Jesse Kornbluth wrote in The Huffington Post: “Fifty Shades of Grey is a sad joke, puny of plot, padded with conversations that are repeated five or six times and email exchanges that are neither romantic nor witty.”

However, an article from Indie Wire cited that the book, and its film adaptation, have romantic roots. Writer Anne Thompson pointed out, “The movie starts out well enough, establishing their intense mutual sexual desire. ” In addition to that, the article also cites that romantic cliches like a sweet, innocent girl trying to tame a handsome yet emotionally troubled young man who is struggling against his dark past and lingering attraction to her.

What do you think? Is the Fifty Shades trilogy romantic or plain erotic?


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