13 lingering questions about Fifty Shades of Grey

The third movie in the Fifty Shades saga—really, this is a saga—comes out February 9, just in time for ironic Valentine’s Day plans. Thus, I—an entertainment writer and self-respecting lover of terrible movies—have decided it’s high time to finally watch them, taking on Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker in the weeks before the finale comes to theaters so that I’ll be ready when things finally… climax.

If you’re unfamiliar, Fifty Shades of Grey (based on an online erotic story turned mainstream bestseller) follows college senior Anastasia Steele, who substitutes for her roommate at the last minute to interview 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey. The two of them have chemistry, and go on a few dates, but Grey is kinky, with an interest in BDSM, and Ana is a virgin who veers a little prudish. He buys her a laptop and a car and shows up at random locations in her life to woo her. She experiments with his dominant proclivities, but is ultimately a little uncomfortable with it when he spanks her and she realizes how much he enjoys it. She leaves his apartment. Fin.

That’s it! That’s the whole plot! Two attractive, white twentysomethings who toy with the idea of dating but ultimately suffer from misaligned sexual preferences. And although Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan looked famously miserable during their press tour, lacking what most people would call “chemistry” or “basic human emotion” (the vibe is like polite acquaintances stuck in an elevator), I have to say I sort of loved Johnson’s performance: like she can’t believe this is a movie either.

The truth is, it’s not a bad movie. Really! It’s aggressively fine. Its cardinal sin is that there’s hardly enough movie to go on at all: it’s like a romantic comedy minus all of the contrived shenanigans and also minus the comedy. And so I didn’t hate it… but I did have some questions, such as:

Why did Ana borrow her roommate’s car?

Ana’s roommate is writing an article for the college newspaper about Christian Grey, but she was sick on the day their interview was scheduled so Ana agreed to go and interview the businessman using the list of questions her roommate had ready. That’s a little strange; as someone who interviews people professionally, I would never send my non-reporter roommate to go talk to a source. Why wouldn’t they send another reporter from the newspaper? Or reschedule the interview? Or do it on the phone? Or do it via email (which they end up doing anyway because Ana does such a terrible job)? But the real weirdness is a brief throwaway line as Ana leaves to talk to Christian: “You can take my car,” Ana’s roommate says. And Anastasia does. She drives her roommate’s car to Seattle to see Christian. But… why?

Source: ew.com