After playing a supporting role in Zero Dark Thirty, Jennifer Ehle is moving on to another film that combines numbers, the absence of light, and torture, both emotional and anal. Ehle will play Carla, the mother to Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele character, in the adaptation of E.L. James’ multibillion-dollar Twilight fan fiction Fifty Shades Of Grey, which required a mother character to lend its buttplug scenes emotional depth. Hence there is Carla, a “flighty, self-centered woman” who is “easily bored” and has been married four times, giving her the appropriate experience to spout world-weary clichés about trusting men, so that both her daughter and the reader understand that love is always complicated, and sometimes you should just sign a contract to be a wealthy man’s sex slave and/or socket. Indeed, it’s a classic tale as old as Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, the adaptation of which Ehle once starred in before Fifty Shades fixed it.
The casting of the 43-year-old Ehle to play mother to the 24-year-old Johnson—while it does match their characters' age difference in the story that doesn't matter—has already renewed the debate over whether anyone in this film is “right” for their roles, or whether they're just being shoved in there without warning, and oh, they are so cold. And big! Holy crap, we think, as we know we're getting ever closer to true love. But mostly we can all just be thankful that Johnson’s real-life mom Melanie Griffith didn’t get the part, because her excitement about this is already uncomfortable enough.