|Directed by||:||James Foley||Produced by||:||Michael De Luca, E. L. James, Dana Brunetti, Marcus Viscidi||Based on||:||Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James||Starring||:||Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden||Production company||:||Perfect World Pictures, Michael De Luca Productions, Trigger Street Productions||Distributed by||:||Universal Pictures|
Fifty Shades Freed: Last gasp of a decrepit phenomenon
Some years ago, an acquaintance of mine made a film that did not achieve everything it set out to achieve. Oh, let’s not mince words. It stank.
Afterwards, I consulted another pal in the foyer. “What can we say that’s positive?” I wondered. “How about: ‘I’m delighted it’s over’?” he suggested.
We can say one positive thing about the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. They’re over. We’re done with them.
My negativity may, of course, be premature. Fifty Shades Freed, the third film in the trilogy, will not be press-screened until 24 hours before its release on Friday. It is possible the distributors are holding back because they fear reactions may be so positive the picture will struggle to meet subsequent expectations. Anything’s possible. Donald Trump is president of the United States.
It’s easy to make fun of the continuing spanky series. It would be better to compose a piece explaining why Fifty Shades is a good thing.
We could point out that it serves a largely female demographic still too often ignored by Hollywood (on its opening weekend, the first film skewed 70 per cent female). We could argue that EL James, author of the source books, proved that it’s never too late to become a sensation. We could suggest that the success has taken some of the shame out of reading erotica. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson aren’t bad in the main roles. The films could have been even longer. Will this do?
It really isn’t worth the effort. As bad things go, the 50 Shades things are very bad indeed. When the first book emerged in 2011, more than a few commentators raised eyebrows at the apparent celebration of an abusive relationship.