Friday, February 24, 2017


Welcome to another installment of SIDE BY SIDE, where we dissect the differences and similarities between two films, be it a remake/reboot with its original, a sequel with its original or two similar movies. So, with Fifty Shades Darker coming out recently, I thought I'd make this edition of Side By Side Fifty Shades-themed by comparing FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with it's spoof, FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK. 

Fifty Shades of Black pokes fun at the controversy of Fifty Shades of Grey. It's not supposed to be taken seriously, as everything about it is over the top. For instance, the name of the character who is satirizing Christian Grey is Christian Black, who, of course, happens to be black. They also changed Ana's name to Hannah. It's just these little changes that made it funny.

Marlon Wayans, who played Christian Black, had great comedic timing, while Jamie Dornan was more dark and mysterious. The contrast between their characters show how different both films are. However, both films do have essentially the same plot.

Fifty Shades of Grey is about a troubled yet intelligent young businessman named Christian Grey who becomes involved in a unique sexual relationship with an inexperienced college student by the name of Ana Steele. Their relationship is troubled from the start because of Christian's past.  Fifty Shades of  Black is about a recent college graduate name Hannah (Kali Hawk) who becomes involved sexually with the wealthy Christian Black. The biggest difference between these two films is that Fifty Shades of  Grey is meant to be taken seriously while Fifty Shades of Black is not.

Fifty Shades of Black uses societal stereotypes to its advantage. For instance, Christian's white mother (Jane Seymour), who only adopts children of other races to seem charitable. Then there's Hannah's oversexed roommate Kateesha who becomes involved with Christian's well-endowed brother, Eli.

I enjoy films that make fun of sometimes clich├ęd films such as Not Another Teen Movie or the Scary Movie franchise. Don't get me wrong, I love a great drama, but sometimes I need a good dose of comedy to lighten the load.

Two of my favorite scenes were the infamous elevator scenes. In the first scene between Ana and Christian, the sexual tension was smoldering. However, in the same scene with Hannah and Christian, it wasnt sexy at all. It was just a trainwreck, albeit a funny one. And the last elevator scene in Fifty Shades of Black when Hannah kept getting her head stuck was comedic gold.

Neither film boasted significant critical reception; but I enjoyed both. I believe they're better than what Rotten Tomatoes makes them out to be. Both films would be great choices for a night in with that special someone.

Lisa's Scores:

Fifty Shades of Grey: 8.5/10
Fifty Shades of Black: 7/10

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