Adam Banks is horrified by the latest demands by Jamie and Patrick. “They are monsters,” he whispers in shock, “I can handle them being proud of what they’ve made. But this is just greed. We need something on them, Rod. Some scandal that will let us fire them.” With that he orders Rod back to the set with a scandalous new member of the cast.
Jamie looks deep into the eyes of Leighton Vanderschmidt, cast opposite him as the Ghost of Christmas War. Apparently when Banks heard about the demand for a ghost he insisted that Leighton be cast, which was fine by them… she is by all accounts boffo box office. The spooky character is meant to evoke the fleeting nature of life and love, but Jamie isn’t yet sure the message is getting through. Mostly they’ve just done a whole bunch of kung fu and made out. Nice. Looking around Jamie starts to think that perhaps it is getting through because everyone on set looks truly horrified. Likely due to existential dread. With shooting done for the day he turns and runs directly into Patrick, who spills a half-eaten cake onto his costume. “Jeez Louise, my costume is ruined,” Jamie snaps, stamping his foot. “Here let me help with that,” Leighton chimes in. How charming. She escorts him to her trailer and proceeds to help clean up all the cake. Jamie notices just how scandalous this must look, them alone in Leighton’s trailer, him pantsless, ruined cake everywhere. Gee, he sure does hope that no one is conveniently taking pictures at this moment through the open window, because that would be quite the scandal. But he waves off the eerie feeling… he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it. That’s right! We’re watching the 2019 teen romance After, based on a book that started as One Direction fanfiction. It tells the story of a goodl girl who just can’t resist the mysterious bad boy in town (who also can’t resist her). Oooo, forbidden love. It had me at One Direction fanfiction. Let’s go!
After (2019) – BMeTric: 46.5; Notability: 18
(Tumbling quite nicely. Didn’t open that high as well. On a nice streak for the Notability. Shows how a lot of the bad movies you find in the late 2010s end up being those films with relatively few famous crew. Makes sense from a business perspective, throw a flier out there using a shoestring budget.)
RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “After” opens with some narration about how certain moments in life seem to define a person, and from there, the clichés pretty much don’t stop. If there’s a defining moment in the life of Tessa Young (Josephine Langford), it’s either meeting, initially being annoyed by, falling in love with, being heart-broken by, or reuniting with Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin).
(Ha! Pretty solidly destroying the entire concept of the film there. I am not looking forward to this though. Seems like it is going to mostly be frustrating.)
(DRAMA. That is what they should have called the movie: Drama and Rain: The Movie. So much rain and drama. It is making me all excited, but in that special BMT kind of way.)
Directors – Jenny Gage – (BMT: After; Notes: She produced and directed a documentary called All This Panic about girls coming of age in Brooklyn. Makes sense she would be tapped for this adaptation.)
Writers – Tom Betterton (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: Gage’s husband. I’m sure this was part of some rewrites, but he seems to have worked alongside her quite closely throughout her career.)
Tamara Chestna (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: Seems to be working on a similarly themed film for Netflix called Moxie. Was an assistant to a producer (I think) on Last Holiday. Seems to have bounced around across a bunch of production studios.)
Jenny Gage (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: The director. Her and her husband probably were able to rewrite the script once she was put on board.)
Susan McMartin (screenplay by) – (Future BMT: Son in Law; BMT: After; Notes: A very successful television writer, she wrote 58 episodes of Mom and 15 episodes of Two and a Half Man along with being a producer on both shows.)
Anna Todd (novel) – (BMT: After; Notes: This film was created as a fanfiction involving One Direction. It was the first book she ever wrote.)
Actors – Josephine Langford – (Future BMT: Wish Upon; BMT: After; Notes: Younger sister of Katherine Langford who we have not seen in a BMT film yet.)
Hero Fiennes Tiffin – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Private Peaceful; Bigga Than Ben; BMT: After; Notes: Nephew of Ralph Fiennes which is why he was hired to play a young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter. Went to school nearby where I currently live in London which is amusing.)
Khadijha Red Thunder – (BMT: After; Notes: Doesn’t seem to even have a wikipedia page … well she’s slated for the sequel, so maybe she’ll get one soon. Very weird.)
Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $12,138,565 (Worldwide: $69,497,587)
(Solid worldwide success. Much like horror films it is pretty easy for teen romances to make money since you don’t have to pay much to make them.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (6/35): Tepid and tired, After’s fun flourishes are let down by its generic story.
(Uh oh. Usually I like something like “An unmitigated disaster that is more laughable than sexy” … those are usually more entertaining. Hopefully it is indeed very laughable and not very sexy. Reviewer Highlight: The real problem with After is that it’s a lifeless slog of thinly written clichés, one that’s missing the charismatic spark of the actual One Direction boys. – Caroline Siede, AV Club)
Poster – Teen Romance Sklog-daption (2019) (A)
(My god, it’s beautiful. Not only is it actually a fine example of a poster (interesting font, overall color scheme, and sexy spacing to really let us know we’re in for a steamy ride), but it’s like a romance novel front cover on steroids. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.)
Tagline(s) – After Your First, Life is Never the Same. (B)
(First… love? God I hope they mean first love. But you know they’re implying virginity. I think this is fine. Could be more clever, but it has a cadence to it and it feels right.)
Keyword – high school senior;
Top 10: After (2019), Superbad (2007), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), Varsity Blues (1999), Central Intelligence (2016), The Girl Next Door (2004), 21 Jump Street (2012), Project X (2012), 17 Again (2009), The Spectacular Now (2013);
Future BMT: 27.4 Senior Trip (1995), 17.6 Varsity Blues (1999), 15.8 Inventing the Abbotts (1997), 13.2 Tuff Turf (1985);
BMT: After (2019), Project X (2012)
(Not much here, and honestly not many good keywords for this one yet. Project X is a very high school senior thing, but this one … aren’t they in college in After? Whatever.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Selma Blair is No. 3 billed in After and No. 3 billed in Down To You, which also stars Freddie Prinze Jr. (No. 1 billed) who is in Summer Catch (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jessica Biel (No. 2 billed) who is in Valentine’s Day (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 1 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 22. If we were to watch Feeling Minnesota, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 18.
Notes – Hardin’s copy of Wuthering Heights is the copy that Anna Todd has had since she was a teenager.
Was originally a One Direction fanfiction on a website called Wattpad. (Oh my, that’s excellent)
The original After trilogy gained over 1 billion reads on Wattpad. (No!)
Josephine Langford admitted in an interview that she read the first few chapters of After on Wattpad several years before being cast as Tessa. (Oh don’t admit that! Say you tried to read it, but it was incomprehensible trash. How are we going to have seen multiple fan fiction adaptation for BMT. How did this happen?)
The rights to the film were originally sold to Paramount. However, Anna Todd wanted more freedom when it came to adapting the film. The rights were then given back and eventually sold to Aviron.
Josephine Langford only had about a week or so to prepare for her role as Tessa Young. She read the book(s) and the script while on a plane. (Cheap as ffffffff)
Before being a novel, After was a fan fiction on the website Wattpad where some of the characters’ names were based on the members of One Direction: Hardin = Harry Styles; Zed = Zayn Malik; Landon = Liam Payne; Nate = Niall Horan; Logan = Louis Tomlinson.
The full After series includes After, After We Collided, After We Fell, After Ever Happy, and Before (HA! Before takes the cake)