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Alternatives to Fifty Shades of Grey

Mr Grey doesn't have to see you now, we've got plenty of other saucy film suggestions

Alternatives to Fifty Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson stars in Fifty Shades, but there are other film choices out there

Fifty Shades of Grey may be the film on everyone’s lips, but your hands aren’t tied to the romance du jour. Here’s our choice of films to check out if your feelings about this latest bonkbuster are more ‘meh’ than ‘oh yeah’.

The Dreamers
Starring Michael Pitt and Eva Green, and set amid the Paris student riots of 1968, The Dreamers is clever and disarmingly sweet, centred on a love triangle involving an exchange student and a pair of twins who explore and discover sexuality in its various forms. The soundtrack’ll serve to rile you up further, as it mirrors the film’s shock factor with a clash of traditional French and counterculture sounds.

Y Tu Mama Tambien
Alfonso Cuarón’s reimagining of the road trip movie focuses on Mexico’s geography and culture and centres on a couple of teenagers travelling with a woman in her late 20s. After meeting her at a wedding and inventing a trip to a fictional beach, the pair are caught out when she decides to join them on a journey that leads to new discoveries in friendship and sexuality.

A light-weight film that takes itself less than seriously: Ben has insomnia after a bad break-up, so takes on a job at a local supermarket to do something with his increased waking hours. Gently erotic and light-weight, director Sean Ellis plays with reality and imagination as the development of the relationship between Ben and co-worker Suzy becomes interesting when Ben develops the ability to freeze time.

Henry and June
A biographical retelling of the affair between Henry Miller, his wife June, and Anaïs Nin. Loosely based on Nin’s book of the same name, the film is one of only two Oscar-nominated films to hold an NC17 rating. The love triangle begins as Nin seeks more than the life she has with her husband Hugo, before seducing the Millers in a film that’s steamy, captivating and seductively real life.

9 Songs
Controversial because of its uncompromising content, 9 Songs contains footage of the two leads having unsimulated sex and oral sex, as well as a scene including ejaculation. The film is tied together by the titular nine songs performed by eight bands, including Franz Ferdinand, Elbow and Primal Scream, the couple’s turbulent sex life mirroring their stormy relationship.

Fifty Shades of Grey

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 125 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Jennifer Ehle
  • UK release: 13 February 2015

Despite its troubling gender politics and distinct lack of plot, the likeable Johnson brings nuance and charm to a paper-thin character; Dornan manages to offer a hint of humanity; and given the many constraints, this sleek, fairly trim and occasionally sensual adaptation is the best imaginable outcome.


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