At last, the agonizing wait is over. The final installment in the Fifty Shades of Grey series has finally hit theaters. I've honestly been anticipating this moment ever since the credits rolled on Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed did not disappoint. The film trilogy's finale is certainly climactic, delivering plenty of action and, of course, tons of hot sex between newlyweds Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).
In between dramatic car chases and contentious meetings with their absurdly attractive model-turned-architect, the two manage to find plenty of time to get it on. Ana and Christian get intimate on their honeymoon, hook up in a car, and even experiment with ice cream as foreplay. Ironically — or perhaps as an intentional nod from the director — the spoonful of Ben & Jerry's that Ana purposely drips on Christian's bare chest happens to be vanilla. But arguably the best sex scene in the entire movie is actually the very first one. Warning: Major spoilers ahead. Are you ready for this?
Fifty Shades Freed begins with a montage of Ana and Christian's wedding, and then moves straight into their honeymoon. While in the French Riviera, they spend time off the coast of the Mediterranean, at what happens to be a topless beach. Ana wants to take off her bikini top, but Christian says no, because he's worried about paparazzi snapping photos of her for the tabloids. In true Ana style, she does what she wants, anyway. And in true Christian style, he gets mad. Cut to the couple at their honeymoon suite, where Christian uses a serious pair of handcuffs to punish Ana for defying him.
After this clip ends, he pushes her onto the bed and they have sex. This encounter has all the classic Fifty Shades elements: domination, handcuffs, and a safe word. Yet Fifty Shades Freed kicks off with Ana seeming more like Christian's equal than in the previous films. She pushes back by "forgetting" their safe word and goes against his wishes by taking her top off in the first place.
Despite this defiance, both the wedding and honeymoon scenes show the couple very much in love. They're happily married and jetting off to beautiful locales. The movie's initial sex scene works to establish the fact that Ana and Christian's married sex life is still kinky and exciting, but it has also matured along with their relationship. Somehow, knowing this makes the hookup even hotter.
Watching an erotic movie in theaters is bound to be eventful, especially one that tends to go from steamy to laughable in 60 seconds or less. There will always be that audience member who snickers at the most immature moments, but overall, seeing Fifty Shades Freed for the first time with a large group makes the whole experience much more fun. The collective reactions to Ana and Christian's acts were priceless moments that only made the film more memorable.
So far, critic and audience reviews have been mixed — which means headline writers everywhere are having a field day over pleasure and pain puns. But if you enjoyed the first two films in the franchise, you'll likely find the conclusion satisfying. Many who went to see Fifty Shades Freed took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
No one expects Fifty Shades Freed to win Best Picture, but the third installment in the saga serves its purpose well. It effectively wraps up Ana and Christian's journey in a thoroughly entertaining two-hours. More than that, though, the film provides a welcome escape from a reality that is far less sexy. When the lights come on, you just might find yourself wishing for a few more minutes of onscreen bliss.
Above all, I'm a fan of any movie that might inspire people to turn up the heat in their own lives. Speaking of which, I'm sure I will allow Jamie Dornan's butt to once again grace my screen when I watch this for a second time... but until then, I'll be busy trying to recreate Ana and Christian's R-rated romp with my own Mr. Grey. Laters, baby.
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