Director: Roger Kumble
Genre: Drama, Romance
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Main Cast: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Louise Lombard, Dylan Sprouse, Candice King, Charlie Weber, Shane Paul McGhie, Inanna Sarkis
Plot: Set just a few months after the original movie After (2019), when Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) have broken up. Tessa is getting on with her life, about to start her internship at Vance Publishing while Hardin is struggling to stay afloat without her.
My Thoughts: We’re getting a really slow trickle of new movies into cinemas in the UK and this was one of them. I’ve never heard of it before but my bestie text me the night the tickets were released was like, we NEED to go and see this, and well, who am I to say no? I had to give myself a crash course in the movie, it’s prequel, and the books the movies are based on so let me tell you what little I know. There are 5 books in the After series, written by Anna Todd. They were originally published on Wattpad as Harry Styles fanfiction. Man, where did I go wrong? I wish teenage Allie knew she could have made a career out of writing fanfiction!
I’ll admit, I caught up on the original movie on Netflix and I quite liked it. It was easy, guilty pleasure watching for me. Full of every cliche known to man in the genre but for me it was movie evuivalent to comfort food. I was quietly looking forward to the sequel and clearly a lot of people are because the screen was busier than the opening night of Tenet at our local! We um…kind of hated it. The first 20 minutes at least felt like a blatant rip off of Fifty Shades Darker (2017) but for a teenage audience. Which was, of course, also based on fanfiction…of Twilight. (Is everything leading back to Robert Pattinson for me right now?). Wild, right? I lost count of the sex scenes eventually and the whole experience was just a bit…awkward.
The whole movie is so choppy, one minute Tessa and Hardin are together again, next they fall out, then they’re together again, then they fall out again. Back and forth, over and over again. Maybe we’re just 10 years too old for this series, maybe our teenage selves would have fallen head over heels in love with Hardin but the reality is, Hardin is messed up, he’s no good for Tessa and the two of them need to stay apart. Will we be back for the 2 already confirmed sequels? Yes, we’re committed to this car crash now (sorry Steph).
Best Bit: I can’t help but get sucked in to the drama, so when Tessa agreed to go along to the New Years party at the frat house and got her own back on that total bitch Molly? I was there for it. Yas, Tessa!
Worst Bit: You know who I haven’t mentioned yet? The adorable, geeky Trevor (Dylan Sprouse). He works at Vance Publishing, is a shy, beautiful nerd and is clearly in love with Tessa. He tries to make a move on her so many times and every single time I wanted to shake Tessa and tell her what a blind idiot she is. #TeamTrevor
Fun Trivia: Roger Kumble directed Cruel Intentions (1999), a film with a plot often compared to the one of Anna Todd’s After. Selma Blair, who plays Carol Young, also starred in Cruel Intentions as Cecile Caldwell.
My Rating: 1 pair of Victoria’s Secret undies. I’m dying to know how much that product placement deal cost, it was painfully obvious!