Christian Grey is leaning over, his hands braced on a table, with his back to Anastasia Steele. It’s the emotional climax of Fifty Shades of Grey: Christian and Ana have enjoyed a passionate and tumultuous romance, but it has led them both up to this point of insurmountable conflict. Ana is upset, questioning him, demanding to know why he can’t have sex like a “normal” person.
Without looking at her, Christian replies, “Because I am fifty shades of f***ed-up.”
A short silence follows: the sound of 200 people holding their breath. It’s two days after Fifty Shades of Grey first hit theaters and almost all the seats are filled. Someone breaks first. The silence is filled with a single stifled, disbelieving snigger; and then, as if given unspoken permission, the rest of the theater is joining in and the collective laughter is drowning out whatever Ana says in response to Christian’s dramatic declaration.