I thought it'd be funny.

I regret thinking that.

I needed a movie to review this week, and the other two options (The 15:17 to Paris and Peter Rabbit) didn't appeal at all, so I figured I would review Fifty Shades Freed as a bit of a laugh. But I'm not laughing.

First, things started out where the terrible weather caused me to walk into the theater at 11:18am for an 11:20am showing. Then, I had to stand between two large families in line to see Peter Rabbit and speak up to say "one ticket for Fifty Shades, please".

The whole time, I'm wondering, "oh god, what are they thinking of me? A 20-something man going to a matinee showing of a Fifty Shades movie ALONE?" I might have been imagining it, but I'm pretty sure I got one or two dirty looks. I do have to give the cashier props, though, because he didn't bat an eye.

Then, I had to hurry in to the theater and find a seat, because of course I was running behind. To my dismay the place was pretty well attended, meaning I had to sit much closer to other people than I would have wanted for a film like this.

Fifty Shades via YouTube
Fifty Shades via YouTube

Things only got worse when Fifty Shades Freed started. Obviously there's a whole lot of sex, and it just made me profoundly uncomfortable. Disappointing as well, because I've seen this franchise built up as this weird bondage series, and less than half of the numerous sex scenes actually featured anything that could constitute that kind of behavior.

Look, I get it. I'm not the target audience for this type of movie, and I also haven't seen the other films or read the books. But I'm going to be blunt and say that I feel this cannot be the peak of romance as seen on screen. In fact, I just saw a movie where a woman falls in love with a fish-man that portrays a more realistic romance!

Did you know that "Fifty Shades of Grey" actually got its start as a "Twilight" fan fiction? If you don't know what fan fiction is, it is where someone takes a world and characters of an established work, and creates their own work based on that. The precursor actually saw Edward Cullen and Bella Swan falling in love, and then having unconventional sex; when the book was reworked for publishing, Edward became Christian Grey and Bella became Ana Steele.

Fifty Shades via YouTube
Fifty Shades via YouTube

It's funny, because even in the movie adaptation of the third book, I can totally see the Edward and Bella factor in the Grey's relationship; that is to say, it is full of unnecessary misunderstandings and incredibly frustrating for the audience.

I'm not going to review Fifty Shades Freed beyond that, because I know I'm not who this movie is made for. It wouldn't be fair for me to say that it is good or bad in that respect. I will say that I didn't enjoy it personally, but if you like the other films you certainly might; the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it well enough.

Speaking of the rest of the audience, even after the film was finished my experience seeing it wasn't over; I had somewhere to be, so I had to rush out, and to feel the whole theater's eyes on me was absolutely mortifying. In one respect I get that, since in a way I was intruding on their space.

But I do have to say, what a way to spend a Friday afternoon.

See the trailer below.


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