Are you lost, baby girl? Till this day, every time we hear that line, a sharp shiver runs down our spine. In 2015, the “50 Shades” film series was certainly a cultural anomaly. Harnessing all the angst and sexy teen drama of the “Twilight Saga” to craft a distinctly more gratuitous story of love, power, sex and BDSM. Unlike films like “Fatal Attraction” though, it failed to illicit any greater value beyond some cheap naughty thrills. The dialogue was nauseating, the performances were lacklustre and the premise problematic. We had hoped that after 2018’s “50 Shades Freer”, we’d be done with terrible smut films parading as cinema. Then comes 2020 out of nowhere with “365 Days”, a film that takes the worst elements of the “50 Shades” films and amplifies them by the power of ten.
Throughout the film, we found ourselves wildly oscillating from hysterical laughter to deep, deep discomfort, all unintentional by the way. Two years later, Netflix has saw fit to gift us with its sequel, “365 Days: This Day”. Will the film redeem the sins of its predecessor, or should we just brace ourselves for an onslaught of mildly titillating clownery? Let’s find out.
Last we left off, Stockholm-Syndrome-victim-turned-bride Laura was seemingly kidnapped by a rival crime family. She enters the tunnel but does not come out the other side. Now, if this was a sane, normal film, we’d be picking up with Massimo frantically searching for Laura. Or perhaps Laura being held somewhere against her will. Nope, the film seems to have just brushed off the entire thing. In fact, the first very line out of Laura’s mouth is “I don’t have panties”. A random, out of the blue, sex scene happens and that’s it. We hear a bit of exposition on how she was found and how the baby was lost.
So let’s get this straight: you were seemingly attacked by a rival criminal organisation and lost your baby. You return back to Massimo and the first thing you do is resume the banging? Clearly, Laura, and the writers, have their priorities set straight. From then on, the film devolves into what is essentially a very well shot porno with a ton of generic love songs blaring in the background. Ah yes, excessive musical montages. The cornerstone of every bad movie trying to quickly show character development.
At the very least, we were holding out hope that “This Day” would deliver some mildly interesting crime drama. Maybe Massimo goes full John Wick and saves Laura. Then the jarring love-making scene at the beginning would make some semblace of sense! Anyway, the plot ends up being a messy love triangle between Laura, Massimo and a sexy gardener named Domenico. Domenico is everything the megalomaniacal Massimo isn’t. He’s simple, charming and gentle with Laura…or is he? In any case, don’t expect him to sound any more smarter than anyone else in the film.
Much like the previous film, there’s something so painfully awkward and hilarious about the dialogue delivery in “This Day”. Right some context. Laura speaks Polish but Massimo speaks Italian, but at no point do any of them converse in the other’s native tongue. The logical choice would be to have one of them simply speak in Polish or Italian, right? Instead, both Laura and Massimo speak to each other in fragmented English. Compound that with the fact that the lines given to them were probably written by an algorithm trying to learn pillow talk and what you get is an utter joke.
There were so many times, we had to pause the film just to laugh out loud. Needless to say, this severely undercuts whatever dramatic or sexual tension the film was trying to build up. Equally laughable is the editing in the film. It’s the year 2022 and we still have fade-in transitions! Nearly every time the film cuts to a fade-in, there’s another sex scene waiting for us, set to some awful soundtrack in the background. So every time the camera goes black, like Pavlov’s dog, we’re primed to expect another poorly-shot, claustrophobic mashing of flesh.
Now some of you aren’t exactly watching “365 Days: This Day” for its riveting plot. And hey no judgment here, but trust us when we say that it’s just not worth the wait. Even filthy degenerates like you shouldn’t have to endure the agony of the mindless chatter and gross creative choices. Furthermore, there’s no real mystique or steamy build-up to them. They’re just handed to you in the most unflattering and explicit manner possible. If you’re into that, then good for you. Those who came in expecting a little more panache and taste, or a movie for that matter, will find nothing more that an assault on the senses.
Next to this, the performances in the “50 Shades” films are downright magnificent. Michele Monroe’s Massimo is meant to be seen as this powerful, yet sympathetic, man who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. A man looking for release who fell in love. Well, he wasn’t very endearing in “365 Days” and he certainly isn’t here. The only difference this time around is that he seems a little more tamer, whereas in the previous film he came off as rather rapey. Anna-Maria Sieklucka’s Laura is still the same agentless, love-sick moron being ferried off from one bad relationship to another. Newcomer Otar Saralidze as Domenico is the first somewhat likable character we’ve seen in the past two films but easily the most forgettable one out of the lot.
Netflix’s “365 Days: This Day” is a giant, gapping hole. The plot is devoid of any meaningful stakes or emotional weight. The characters live only to be erotic meat-puppets or obligatory plot devices. There’s no heart, or soul or wit to be found throughout its nearly two hour runtime. There are films that don’t need to exists and then there are films that shouldn’t exists. This is the latter. If you came in expecting cheap thrills and bad dialogue, you’re better of getting a VPN and calling it a day.
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Netflix's "365 Days: This Day"
Netflix's "365 Days: This Day" is a giant, gapping hole. The plot is devoid of any meaningful stakes or emotional weight. The characters live only to be erotic meat-puppets or obligatory plot devices. There's no heart, or soul or wit to be found throughout its nearly two hour runtime. There are films that don't need to exists and then there are films that shouldn't exists. This is the latter.
- Netflix's "365 Days: This Day"