ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

Dakota Johnson is something of a rising star these days. With Fifty Shades of Grey dominating the Valentine's Day box office last year, and How To Be Single grabbing the date night crowd this year, Johnson's got all your Valentines (or Galentines) needs covered. The madcap duo movie has garned favourable reviews so far, and it's still in cinemas if you want to check it out.

The movie features Johnson at her best as Alice, the young and naive woman who just wants to discover who she is outside of a relationship. Which interestingly just makes How To Be Single exist as a sort of mirror image to Fifty Shades of Grey, as instead of liberating herself through a romantic relationship, Dakota Johnson's character liberates herself from the romantic relationship.

Johnson Shows Off Her Comic Timing

In How To Be Single, Johnson is able to step out from the shadow of Fifty Shades Of Grey, and her comic timing has already been praised.

"How to Be Single allows her a good opportunity to further demonstrate her skills as both an engaging comedy performer and empathic lead alike." - Screenrant
Rebel Wilson & Dakota Johnson, How To Be Single
Rebel Wilson & Dakota Johnson, How To Be Single

Hopefully we'll get to see more of Johnson's comedy skills in the future, perhaps even in Fifty Shades Darker: a few months ago the actress commented to Elle Magazine that she would like to see some more humorous moments in the franchise...

"I need Anastasia to be funny. If you can’t laugh during a movie like that, you’re fucked. Literally. You need to have something that everyone can relate to."

Johnson explained how difficult it is for viewers to relate to Ana. After all, not all of us have corporate billionaires to rush us off in private helicopters (and considering what they want in return, I'm ok with that). Her solution? Make Anastasia funny! And that actually makes a lot of sense. The audience needs to sympathise with Ana, but crucially, without a sense of comedy in the films, the subject matter just gets too heavy.

Christian and Ana's relationship is complicated.
Christian and Ana's relationship is complicated.

Dakota Johnson has given us some insight into what we can expect from Fifty Shades Darker, and it looks like the franchise is about to get deadly serious...

Romantic Movie Or Psychological Thriller?

In an interview with The Independent, Johnson talked about how she found the filming for Fifty Shades Darker a lot more challenging than she had expected.

"I’ve never revisited or resurrected a character before. We shot the first movie two years ago, so it’s going to be a challenge to get back into that. But it’s happening and it’s going to be great. The story goes to an interesting place and it’s more of a thriller with new characters, which will be nice."

The new characters Johnson mentions are Christian Grey's former lover Elena Lincoln, and his ex-childhood friend turned nemesis Jack Hyde.

Christian Grey's got a lot on his plate in Darker.
Christian Grey's got a lot on his plate in Darker.

With James Foley directing, it's no surprise that the next film in the franchise will take a turn for the darker, as Ana has to fight for Christian's affections. Here's hoping Johnson can still inject some of her indomitable sense of humour into the role: with what Ana's got in store for her, she'll need to find a way to laugh about it!

Fifty Shades Darker has a tenuous release date of February 2017, and you can catch How To be Single in theatres now.


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