Fifty Shades Freed (James Foley, 2018)

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Fifty Shades Freed, the latest and supposedly final entry in the continuing story of a young beautiful sub and her filthy rich dom, sees the happy couple finally married but finding the bonds of marriage significantly more uncomfortable than the handcuffs they use in their tepid sex. Ana’s mad that the architect designing their new home has the hots for Christian and struggles to fit in at a new job (that he gave her) which doesn’t seem to involve any actual work (except for the part where she tells someone to “increase the font size two points”). Christian doesn’t really want kids but he seems to do very little else but think about screwing his wife, which tends to have certain results. You can see where this is headed. They go on several vacations and eventually the creepy stalker boss from the last movie turns up and some kidnapping hijinks ensue. In very occasional spots, with Christian’s servants adjusting to their new mistress and the young bride adjusting to her secretive, paranoid husband, it almost resembles a wannabe poptimist Rebecca, only with a completely uninvestigated, bizarrely aspirational streak. As if we were expected to find it really romantic that the new Mrs. de Winter secretly hoped Maxim would eventually shoot her too.

As mainstream sexploitation goes this series is mostly inadequate, serving up more lifestyle porn than actual sex, let alone anything that any decent pervert would consider outré. It’s sadomasochism described by someone who wouldn’t even dream of being tied up in bed. One wonders if the alleged kink on display is meant to ground the wealth of these incredibly rich blanks in something supposedly relatable or if their wealth is meant to make the kink seem in some small way exotic. Either way, it’s kind of amazing that a woman who can’t even handle someone flirting with her husband and a man who suspects he’s being abandoned after a few missed phone calls could somehow manage the serious trust required for a sexual relationship in which someone asks you to hurt them while you fuck.

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