I'm just going to come right out and say it: 365 DNI is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. And that’s despite a male lead who just may be the most perfectly chiseled human I’ve ever seen in my life. Not even he could hold this dumpster-fire movie together.
Let me start with a brief synopsis: The movie highlights the lives of two main characters, one a fiery hotel executive who lives and works in Poland and an Italian mafia boss who kidnaps her with the hope she’ll fall in love with him. (If this doesn’t already have Red! Flag! written all over it for you, keep reading.)
The movie incorporates hints of Fifty Shades of Grey’s BDSM and kink scenes and combines them with similar themes of Beauty and the Beast—as in, the lead character literally has 365 days to fall in love with her gangster kidnapper. If she doesn’t in that period, then she can be released (how cute?). There are foreign accents. And murder. And gangsters. And drugs.
Netflix officially released the erotic film this week, but clips from the movie have been circulating around TikTok’s For You page the past few weeks—mainly, one particular scene that made shower sex actually, dare I say, look appetizing? It looked hot.
So when I watched this movie yesterday, I had originally pitched it with the thought that I’d write up a cutesy lil article today about all the best sex scenes. But as much as I wanted to enjoy it (trust me, I love a sexy lil BDSM plot just as much as the rest of you), 365 DNI romanticizes an extremely toxic relationship, which is never okay. It also perpetuates the stigma around BDSM affairs all together—and why that’s so harmful and toxic is what needs to be written about. Allow me to explain with spoilers ahead:
Massimo, the Italian gangster who kidnaps the Polish executive, Laura, literally thinks he’s entitled to her love and body just because he saw her right before his father was murdered. It’s messed up, twisted, and, I’m pretty positive, not how “fate” is supposed to work, despite him calling it that. He even has a picture of her hanging in his house because of it and says multiple times throughout the movie that he had been searching for her ever since his father passed. I’m sorry, Netflix, is this movie supposed to be classified under “romantic” or “unsettling”?
Also, the dude never apologizes, and personally, I have an issue with any guy (no matter how great his abs are) who can’t utter the words “I’m sorry” over the course of a two-month “relationship.” I’d say there was definitely room for an “I’m sorry” in his script—maybe when, I don’t know, he completely stripped her of her life and career in Poland because he wanted to bang her? Or when he pushed her off a freaking boat?
Another troubling moment: Massimo insinuated that had Laura not dressed “like a whore,” he wouldn’t have had to “create conflict” with his fellow businessman for sexually assaulting her. (Conflict = shoot off his hands.) Even despite the fact that Laura called Massimo out for saying this, it’s still not enough. Massimo never apologized or acknowledged that what he said was royally effed up—and what’s even worse is that Laura actually apologized to Massimo for “disobeying him.” (If you’ve never known what the word “gaslighting” means, this is a prime and true example.) Oh, and what anyone wears does not ever warrant a rape or sexual assault. Ever.
Now, perhaps the part that made me more pissed off than anything: The sex scenes. When engaging in any form of sex, no matter how “vanilla” it may be, it’s important to talk about boundaries, what you want, hard limits, etc. But it’s even more important to do those things, especially when engaging in BDSM.
And yet, certainly not to my surprise considering the other red flags that led up to this moment, Massimo tied up and restricted Laura without her consent, establishing a safe word, or having any sort of conversation about boundaries and limits with her. (This is where Fifty Shades majorly trumps this trash.)
For a movie that has multiple young viewers, it’s extremely harmful to show BDSM sex scenes without highlighting the proper precautions to ensure a safe, healthy, and consensual environment in the bedroom. Massimo’s first BDSM scene with Laura was rooted in fear and manipulation and under the pretenses that she wanted to watch him with another woman while being tied up. Showing these scenes is extremely problematic and, to be quite frank, disgusting.
It says volumes about his manipulative and controlling behavior, which is later shown again when Laura asked Massimo if she could invite her best friend to be a part of their wedding. He “gave her permission,” but this is extremely controlling, manipulative behavior that should not be shown to young viewers as seemingly okay. Actually, I’d encourage Netflix to publish a disclaimer to this movie as something that “you should not to do in a healthy relationship.”
So, yeah, the movie is troubling, to say the least.
365 DNI ended with a bit of a cliff-hanger, which makes me think producers are setting it up for the potential sequel to follow. But if the second one promotes the same toxic relationship it did in the first, then say it with me now: I. Don’t. Want. It.
Now, I realize ev-er-y-one is watching this movie right now, so look, I get it if you still want to watch it regardless of what I just wrote. But if I may suggest one final thing, I’d say don’t waste your time watching the whole thing.
If anything, fast-forward to the sex scene that, admittedly, could cause PornHub to lose viewers for the next week or so. It begins at 1:08:38 and goes for, like, five minutes. This way, you can compartmentalize what is just sex and use the scene to aid your own solo sessions. But don’t waste nearly two hours of your time allowing movies like this one to show you the wrong way of loving someone. It’s troubling, damaging, and not worth it, you guys. I cannot stress this enough.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.