It was the book series that took the world by storm. Now Fifty Shades Darker, the adaptation of E.L James’ saucy second story and sequel to 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, will be steaming up our screens in time for the most romantic day of next year: Valentine’s Day 2017!
As we’ve already seen, Ana and Christian’s relationship is anything but conventional, and Fifty Shades Darker promises even more illicit antics than we’ve seen before. Ooh-er!
As you prepare to come over to the dark side once again, here are 7 deadly sin-ema romances that, like Ana and Mr Grey’s, are anything but conventional…
1. The Joker and Harley Quinn
The movie: Suicide Squad
Relationship status: This highly unconventional romance between two of the antiheroes of 2016’s Suicide Squad, played by Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, could really be considered as 'Fifty Shades of Green' (see what we did there!).
Starting out as a relationship between Doctor and patient, Harlene Quinzel soon became obsessed with the clown prince of crime, surrendering herself and her state of mind to him. The Joker undoubtedly inflicts huge amounts of pain on Harley and his motives are very questionable, but it is hard to deny how much he cares for her, and seemingly he would do anything for her.
With an unwavering devotion to her "puddin", Harley proves to be just as crazy as he is, so despite the beginnings of this relationship being a little on the uncomfortable side, together they are an absolute force to be reckoned with. This is one badass, loved-up duo that we would not want to mess with!
2. Calvin and Ruby
The movie: Ruby Sparks
Relationship status: Before forming an equally unconventional relationship with Daniel Radcliffe’s corpse in this year’s Swiss Army Man, Paul Dano starred in this off-beat and quirky romantic comedy, as a struggling writer who is shocked to find his latest literary creation literally springing from his pages.
What begins as a rather sweet relationship between Calvin (Dano) and his creation Ruby (Zoe Kazan), takes a rather more sinister turn later as he realises that whilst his perfect girl is perhaps not so perfect after all, he can rectify this by simply writing down however he wants her to behave, say, and do. In one particularly memorable scene, Calvin has her barking like a dog, running into imaginary walls and calling him a genius over and over again. Eek.
Ruby Sparks is a really interesting take on the romantic comedy, and shows that you need to accept and embrace each other’s flaws rather than trying to make someone be how you want them to be.
3. Theodore and Samantha
The movie: Her
Relationship status: Online dating as you’ve never seen before! In this futuristic and thoroughly modern love film, we meet Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a shy and reserved man who struggles to connect with people in the real world on an emotional level.
After downloading a new operating system with a rather pleasing voice (Scarlett Johansson), Theodore forms a rather intense relationship with 'Samantha', and finds he is able to connect with her in ways that he has struggled to before.
Their relationship is surprisingly touching in places and leads us to question our relationship with technology, and in the age of online relationships, it is something which surprisingly doesn’t feel too far off reality! All is not as it seems though as Theodore experiences the crushing blow of realising that perhaps his relationship is perhaps not as exclusive as he is lead to believe.
Her is easily the most touching film you’ll see about a man in a relationship with an operating system!
4. E. Edward Grey and Lee Holloway
The movie: Secretary
Relationship status: Nope, not that Mr Grey – there’s another one! A full 13 years before Fifty Shades caused a steamy sensation, there was Secretary. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Lee Holloway, a young, unstable woman who takes a job as a secretary for James Spader’s demanding Mr Grey.
You can probably tell where this one is going, but their relationship quickly turns from employer-employee to Lee discovering the world of BDSM through her many encounters with Mr Grey. Whilst the submissive-dominant theme of this jet-black comedy is undoubtedly at the centre, and it is very questionable that Mr Grey takes advantage of someone who was clearly unstable when they first met, it does also have a happy ending, as the bondage turns into genuine affection.
For fans of Fifty Shades this is definitely a movie to get you in the mood for more of Ana and Christian’s fiery relationship.
5. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen
The movie: Twilight
Relationship status: E.L James’ novels famously began as an erotic take on Twilight fan-fiction, so it’s only right that the star-crossed Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) make an appearance here.
Whilst this modern movie match is undoubtedly romantic it is sometimes difficult to forget that Edward is a vampire, who is first attracted to Bella because he thinks she’d make a pretty tasty snack!
Whilst he is able to sufficiently control his bloodlust, there is still that underlying threat that he poses to Bella, which makes for a completely irresistible and incredibly compelling couple! One way ticket to Forks, please?!
6. Mickey and Mallory Knox
The movie: Natural Born Killers
Relationship status: The modern day Bonnie and Clyde, Micky (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) love each other just as much as they love killing! They’re as crazy as each other, crazy about each other – hardly a conventional Hollywood love story, but they’re undoubtedly one of the best crime couples seen on screen.
Their love for each other, and their crazed love for what they do, mean that they’re one of the most intensely watchable pairings in this truly unforgettable and endlessly inventive film.
7. Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski
The movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Relationship status: A movie that defines the notion of opposites attract, Eternal Sunshine tells the story of Joel (Jim Carrey), a shy, withdrawn and cautious man, who meets Clementine (Kate Winslet), an impulsive, free-spirited and adventurous woman. The personality traits missing in one person are present in the other, and despite their differences they seem like they’re absolutely perfect for each other.
The twist in the tale is that they had already met two years previously, and fallen in, and subsequently out, of love with each other, following which Clementine had her memories of Joel erased.
This devastatingly offbeat romance from the brain of Charlie Kaufman will not only shake up the way you see movie romances, but might just change how you view love as well: could you ever face the idea of erasing someone completely? It’s an uncomfortable thought, and this movie definitely explores some darker sides of love that make for an interesting and different take on the romantic genre.
Have these movie matches got you in the mood to watch Christian and Ana steam up the screen again? Which ones have we missed out? Tweet us your own suggestions @Cineworld.
Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.