Hannah Steele (Kali Hawk), an awkward student, goes to interview Christian Black (Marlon Wayans) at his Black Enterprises office building for her school newspaper. Despite the fact that he made his money through shady means including a stint as a male stripper, she falls for him, but discovers he’s not looking for romance.
Fifty Shades of Grey was a pretty unintentionally silly film. It had a lame story, bad dialogue, and boring characters. If you thought it couldn’t get any worse (or better), here comes Fifty Shades of Black, a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey. Imagine the Scary Movie series or the “insert name here” movie parody series as inspiration for this one. The story here, more or less, follows the plot of Fifty Shades of Gray (mild spoilers if you are one of the few who haven’t seen Fifty Shades of Gray) in a more accelerated fashion going from the first meeting of Hannah Steele (Hawk) and Christian Black (Wayans), formally Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, to their eventual difference from opinion at the end (mild spoilers complete). It does this by accelerating the original film’s major plot points and avoiding some of the lesser stuff. The film has a relatively short running time at 90 minutes and that was a good thing because I don’t think I’d be able to handle anything longer. The comedy here comes from highlighting the ridiculousness of BDSM culture, ethnic jokes, and making fun of Hannah’s appearance. They achieve this though dialogue, some physical comedy, and some sight gags which border on the crude, untasteful, and the offensive. In that regard, the film definitely takes advantage of its 18A/R rating and fully deserves it. What I liked about this is how it retold some of the film’s most boring parts in a funnier, more exciting way. It felt like they were saying what I was thinking. Like I said before, some (probably most) won’t find it funny because they’ll be too busy being offended but I wasn’t. I may not have been laughing the whole time but I didn’t completely hate it either. The acting in this was okay. Hawk as Hannah was okay, she didn’t seem out of place and had some funny moments. She seemed to follow Dakota Johnson’s performance in the original and then take the character in another direction, in line with the film’s silliness. Wayans’ Black was okay as well, bringing some charisma to the role and also having some funny moments (he co-wrote the script so I would hope he had). Jenny Zigrino was annoying as Hannah’s sex-obsessed roommate Kateesha, inspired by Kate Cavanaugh. Affion Crockett was kind of useless as Christian’s brother Eli, inspired by Elliot Grey, who’s purpose seemed to be having a comically long appendage. There were also some surprising roles here including Jane Seymour as Christian’s racist mother Claire and Florence Henderson as Christian’s “teacher” Mrs. Robinson. I don’t want to give anything away here but I was also surprised when I learned that Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t they only film parodied here but it did have kind of a meta moment which was funny. This isn’t a great film, or even a good film, it’s terrible but that’s not the point as this wasn’t it’s attention. I liked how self-aware it was, trying to be something it’s not. Overall, this was a decent parody film with decent lead performances but which could have been better if it wasn’t for some lazy writing. It’s kind of sad but I liked it a little better than Fifty Shades of Grey.