I did not know of the backstory of After until “after” I had watched it. Turns out this started life as a novel by Anna Todd and it was basically some kind of fan fiction that really caught on. I went in, thinking it was going to be some kind of chick flick, but even then, I was left with a rather meh feeling once the credits started to roll.
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The Movie Review
The main character is a young girl called, Tessa who is played by Josephine Langford. Tess has just started her freshman year at college and she is pretty naive in every aspect. She has a kind of awkward, nerdy, but friendly vibe going on and she is very likable within the first ten minutes that we get to know her.
Her roommate is the more “experienced” and feistier, Steph who is played by Khadijha Red Thunder. Steph and Tessa could not be any more different in their personalities and their life experiences. We also have another main character called Hardin and he is played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. He is British and super cute, mysterious and a bit of a bad boy.
One evening at a party, Tessa and Hardin have some kind of connection and they eventually get together. This happens despite Tessa’s mother who is played by Selma Blair saying she will cut her off if she does not ditch him. Also, the fact that Sela Blair is now at an age where she plays the mother of a college student makes me feel super old!
The movie is basically about how Steph loves Hardin, even though is not quite what he seems. There is a plot twist that you can see coming from a mile away, but I just did not care! I know that sounds really harsh, but the whole movie for me had a massive anti-climactic feel to it.
The reason that I say this is because our two main characters Step and Hardin do not show much depth. What we know about Hardin, we pretty much learn from his tattoos. We know he has not had the best/easiest life, but they could have done a better job in showing us this. Steph comes across as nice and due to her naivety, you do feel, sorry for her, but there are not enough stakes here for you to truly care about what is going on.
I said the phrase, chick flick at the start of this review, and I did not mean that in a derogatory way. After to me does not feel like a chick flick, it feels more like a movie that is aimed at teenage girls and teenage girls only. Even then, I find it hard to believe that many people will strike up a real connection with Steph.