Fifty Shades of Grey will never attain a truly respectable PR image. That's just the truth of things when your source material is Twilight fan-fiction, but there is a right way and a wrong way to manage a property that will eternally be sneered at by a general public, and it seems the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey decided to do them both!
The average movie goer now has a pretty solid idea of what these movies are like, so perhaps the adaptation of EL James' second novel Fifty Shades Darker should seek to throw the audience a curve ball. Here are a few tidbits of advice for Universal Pictures and the arbiters of Fifty Shades of Grey, because they clearly need my help, what with the movie only being the fourth highest grossing film of this year! Disgraceful!
Ease up on the creep factor
The stalkery element to Fifty Shades of Grey is bemusing. It makes vocal critics of the movie sound boring and repetitive, and ardent fans of the book completely impossible to understand. Surely they must know this is an element to the story, and surely they must like it! What with beats like Christian tracking Ana with a GPS without her consent, and keeping watch on her the moment she starts having fun that doesn't involve him, it's clearly an overt element of the text! Dialing back on the stalker elements in Fifty Shades Darker would at least make the characters more empathetic and positive.
Amp up the creep factor
You know those re-dubbed trailers that make initially cute movies seem like horror films? Fifty Shades of Grey is more ripe for that treatment than anything else. If Fifty Shades Darker actually addressed some of the more troubling aspects of Christian and Ana's relationship, or even played them up, there would be an exhibition of self awareness. There would be no tonal dissonance to audiences who weren't interested in the books, and the entire movie could be enjoyed as a schlocky thriller while still adhering to the original story.
Adapt all of EL James' dialogue!
The dialogue from the original efforts in EL James' first novel has developed notoriety. For many audience members, the Fifty Shades of Grey movie was a slight disappointment in that a clean-up job had been done, supposedly in efforts to make audiences take the movie more seriously. What the filmmakers didn't realize was that they were adapting Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel that many people enjoy purely for its ridiculousness! Again, adapting Fifty Shades Darker more directly would make it laughable in a good way to some viewers, while still maintaining the original text that many love.
Make Fifty Shades Darker an art film!
Fifty Shades of Grey had a challenging structure! It had the longest middle and shortest ending of any movie I've seen, and it's genuinely a bizarre experience. What if, for Fifty Shades Darker, the filmmakers stopped focusing on creating a conventional narrative, and instead made things more self-aware, trippier, and indulged the lurid sex scenes to their full extent much as a stereotypical stereotypical European art film would?
Will any of these suggestions be heeded when it comes to the production of Fifty Shades Darker? Almost definitely not, but it's fun to imagine just what a more interesting film world could be like! For more on Fifty Shades, you can check out my articles right here!