“After,” is about a teenage girl, Tessa Young, who is entering college and experiencing life on her own for the first time. The movie is based on the best selling book “After,” written by Anna Todd. Tessa thought she had her life figured out when stereotypical bad boy, Hardin Scott, makes her rethink who she really is and what she wants to be. I tend to gravitate toward cheesy teen romance movies, so “After,” was definitely on my watch list.
The main character, Tessa Young, is portrayed by Australian actress, Josephine Langford. Love interest, Hardin Scott, is played by British actor, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin who may be recognized from his role as young Tom Riddle in “Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince.” Other stars featured in the film are Peter Gallagher, Jennifer Beals, Pia Mia and Instagram influencer Inanna Sarkis.
When going to see a film of this nature you have to go in with the understanding that it will in no way alter your views on life but should still amount to be a good source of entertainment. It is important to know that there is such a thing as a good bad film, and this is what I had thought this movie would be. I had expectations that I would most likely cringe during it, but I was in for a rude awakening. The beginning of the movie set the tone for the depthless content I was about to consume.
The main issue I had with “After,” was the lack of a plot. Also, there were many scenes in the trailer that were not included in the actual film. The movie was choppy and lacked any sort of flow, making you believe you were missing a massive piece of information. It was impossible to gauge how much time was intended to be passing by, since within the first five minutes of the film it felt like the two leads had already fallen in love.
The whole point of the movie was that a sweet, innocent girl was falling for a dangerous, complicated boy, but Hardin Scott was relatively kind and simple throughout the majority of the film. There was nothing complex about either of the characters or barely any reason as to why they fell for each other at all. It seems like there was a lot more information that they did not have time to add. Maybe this story would have been better adapted into a Netflix series.
The movie consisted of an abundance of montages with mainstream pop music in the background which brought you out of the film so many times it was almost laughable. There were so many slow motion scenes that it would be fair to say that they consumed it entirely. Moreover, unnecessary scenes that added nothing to the plot had a very large presence.
I knew this movie would be juvenile, but I still expected it to have proper writing, character development and to hold my attention for its entirety. It is unfortunate to say that “After” failed to achieve any of these things. There was an extreme deficit in the writing, it was lazy and simply not good. Throughout all of the film, I felt as though I did not know anything about the characters.
We were offered glimpses into their pasts, but it made me question why they even bothered mentioning them because it had no impact on the storyline. The relationships between the characters did not feel genuine and every interaction between them appeared very forced. There is nothing that separates this film from other generic teen romance movies. No amount of good acting could cover up the terrible script.
“After” could be summed up as two pretty people on the big screen kissing from time to time. The whole premise of the movie is extremely similar to 1999 film, “Cruel Intentions,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe but falls short of its character development.
The ending of the “After” brought extreme frustration to the entire theatre. The crowd was filled with comments such as, “Are you kidding me,” “You’ve got to be joking,” “I am so confused,” and the occasional “What the f–k .”
There are two types of movies — one where you become so immersed in the film that you feel a part of it, and the other where you’re counting the minutes until it is over. This film, unfortunately, was the latter. The beauty of these types of films is that they are intended to be an easy, mindless watch but this film brought more aggravation than any form of entertainment.