Everything You Need to Know If You Didn't Actually Read Fifty Shades Darker
SO WHO'S THIS CHRISTIAN GUY & WHY SHOULD I BE IN LOVE WITH HIM?
In literature, there are knights in shining armor … and then there are nightmares in grey neckties. We'd say Christian Grey is the latter in Fifty Shades of Grey, a love story about the ties that bind (both literally and figuratively) that introduces us to a misunderstood mogul (played by Jamie Dornan) who's equal parts sexy, successful and troubled by his painful past. That dark side comes out in the bedroom, which is a safe-for-work way of saying that some of Grey's interests involve trips to the hardware store for rope.
GOTCHA. SO WHO'S THIS ANASTASIA GIRL?
We had a feeling you were wondering who was at the receiving end of said silk tie. Enter: our doe-eyed 21-year-old damsel in distress, Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson), who might just have what it takes to turn our complicated protagonist into the kind of boyfriend who thinks cuddling up on the couch to Netflix is just as entertaining as, say, putting those hardware store purchases to use.
OKAY, I SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING – SO HOW'D THEY MEET?
Like all the great love stories, Anastasia and Christian's almost didn't even happen: Our heroine, a college senior at the time, only met the well-accessorized entrepreneur when she had to fill in for her best friend Kate, a writer for their campus newspaper who started feeling sick when her coveted interview with Mr. Grey was scheduled. And you thought we were going to say Tinder.
SO … WHEN DO THINGS GET … DIFFERENT?
The budding Sherlocks among us probably knew Christian Grey wasn't your average Romeo long before he showed off his whip collection. The first major hint: Grey's suggestive purchases – masking tape, rope and cable ties – from the hardware store Ana worked at.
AND EXACTLY WHERE DOES HE PLAN TO USE THOSE NEW … THINGS?
Christian's Red Room of Pain. Need we say more?
OKAY, SO HOW DOES ONE GET TO THIS SO-CALLED RED ROOM? #ASKINGFORAFRIEND
You'll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, as one does.
IS IT HOT IN HERE OR IS IT JUST ME?
Early reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey teased at least 20 minutes of make-you-blush action — and boy, were those critics right.
SO, WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SEQUEL?
Fifty Shades Darker picks up almost immediately where Fifty Shades of Grey leaves off. Anastasia breaks off her contract and subsequent relationship with Christian, leaving the mogul heartbroken and determined to win back the college graduate after their bitter breakup at the end of the first film.
IS THE SEQUEL REALLY THAT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST FILM?
Kind of, but not really. Christian, who is quick to tell Anastasia he can't live without her, makes it his mission for a good chunk of the film to prove he's worthy of a serious relationship. He also promises to tone down his, err, intense hobby. So there's that.
WHY IS KIM BASINGER GRACING US WITH HER PRESENCE?
The 63-year-old actress plays Elena Lincoln, a lover from Christian's past, who also happens to be good friends with Mr. Grey's mom. She also provides Anastasia with key details about her former beau's past.
OKAY, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Well, aside from there being plenty of R-rated (literally) scenes, Fifty Shades Darker promises to have a little more adventure than its predecessor. The pair are confronted with someone from Christian's past — not Elena — threatening the couple's relationship and Anastasia's life. Dun, dun, dun.