'Fifty Shades Freed': All the Sex, By the Numbers
Fifty Shades Freed would more accurately be titled Fifty Shades Free, because there's no D in this one, either. The last in E.L. James' tawdry little trilogy begins at the wedding of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). After the "I dos," Christian -- who always was a creep, albeit a hot creep, so y'know, don't worry about it -- becomes even more jealous and overly possessive. (He storms into her office hollering, "I tried to email you and it bounced," because Ana didn't immediately change her email address to Anastasia Grey.)
Still, they're constantly horny for each other and never not trying to get it on -- at least when they're not worrying about Ana's unhinged stalker and former boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), exacting his revenge. Freed is the most Lifetime movie-esque of the Fifty Shades, except with better production value and worse writing. That's usually a comparison meant to disparage a female-focused film, but this is literally a Lifetime plot: A too-earnest love story with a way over-the-top thriller subplot and, every now and then, you might ask, "Was that a butt plug?" It's a hoot. And Freed does deliver in one key department: Sex, thus my now-traditional breakdown by the numbers:
4 minutes to the first sex scene of the movie.
8 minutes and 45 seconds till the first BDSM sex scene.
7 sex scenes in total.
(As far as the wildest sex scene in this, it's a tie between Anastasia ending a full-on high-speed car chase through Seattle by climbing onto Christian's lap and humping him in the front seat of the car in a parking lot, and one in which a pint of Ben & Jerry's is used like candle wax and, at one point, I swear to god, it looks like Christian is going to spoon ice cream into Ana.)
3 sex scenes set in the Red Room of Pain, one of which is sad, one is sexy and one is ~poignant.
2 uncomfortable comments made about sibling's sex lives. (At one point Mia, Christian's sister, coyly tells Ana, "I'm at the other end of the house. You can make as much noise as you want.")
1 scene where Ana gives Christian an erotic haircut. (Mostly, she washes his hair and he stares at her boobs.)
1 kidnapped Rita Ora.
Which brings me to a few superlatives:
The Best Part of Fifty Shades Freed: I guess I should provide a spoiler warning here, though if I read what I'm about to write, I'd probably be more enticed to see the movie: There's a bit at the climax of this when Anastasia gets a call from her sister-in-law Mia's (Rita Ora) phone...except it's Hyde! He starts describing the specs of her cell phone's camera -- "28 pixels!" -- and then Ana receives a text message that's just a photo of Mia tied to a chair and gagged with a bandana like a cartoon. When I tell you I screamed...
The Most Confusing Part of Fifty Shades Freed: This is a movie that includes corporate espionage and foster care revenge fantasies and newlyweds that apparently never had a single conversation about children before getting married, yet the plot point I kept spinning on is the fact that Ana's assistant is named...Hannah??? The Fifty Shades franchise has perhaps the most absurd movie names ever -- a character is named Boyce Fox! -- but when it came time to name Ana's assistant, they just ran out?
Biggest Laugh: If you've not seen a Fifty Shades, you're probably not aware of how much these movies concern themselves with Seattle's publishing industry. (Ana is promoted to fiction editor here.) Johnson inadvertently earned the biggest laugh in my theater at the end of a work meeting when she orders an underling, "Increase the font size by two points!"
And a Few More of My Favorite Lines:
Anastasia while Christian braids her hair aboard a yacht in Europe: "How come you always braid my hair?" To which he responds, "Hush...Do you remember your safe word?"
Christian tasking his security team to dig up information on Hyde: "I want to know everything. Where he comes from. His shoe size. Everything."
A sexy architect played by Arielle Kebbel seductively gushing to Christian: "That GQ profile on you-- I love what you're doing in Africa."
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