After is back, Jack! And boy are these jokesters in love. Tessa and Hardin are totally into each other. But now Tessa is moving to Seattle and Hardin is super jelly all the time. Add to the mix some more of their tumultuous personal lives and things are pretty rough. Can they stay super steamy in love with each other before it’s too late? Find out in… After We Fell.
How?! Tessa and Hardin are sticking by each other even though Hardin is an alcoholic and they basically don’t talk to each other. They just f-f-f-f-french all night. Tessa is even keeping secret that she is transferring to Seattle in order to stay in school while taking the job at the Big Publishing House (BPH). When Hardin finds out he’s like “but I won’t have any friends,” and he’s right, he won’t. He thought they were heading off to London, but she’s like whatever, I’m going to Seattle. In the meanwhile her estranged alcoholic father comes and stays with them and strikes up a friendship with Hardin. Before moving to Seattle, Tessa and Hardin go to his Dad’s lake house and it’s real sexy until it’s not sexy at all and they get in a big ol’ fight, but everyone knows they are meant for each other. Tessa moves to Seattle and is a real saddo and Hardin finds a journal she left behind that explains to him just how much of a dick he was. Communication! He spends time bettering himself by making friends and getting into boxing and helping out her dad. Hardin comes and apologizes for all the pain he caused her, but for some reason he can’t get over a nightmare he had of Tessa cheating on him. They talk and have steamy sex and he like “you’re right, dreams aren’t real.” He decides to take her to his Mom’s wedding (which he didn’t even want to go to) and while there finds Tessa’s boss, Vance, totally f-f-f-f-frenching his mom (probably shouldn’t have went). After Hardin confronts his Mom, Vance decides the best course of action is to reveal that he’s actually Hardin’s daddio because that’ll probably help a bunch. Hardin and Tessa kiss because they only have each other and their love. THE END.
Who?! In what will likely be debated for centuries to come, there is a Jeff Bezos lookalike/cameo in this film that has all the bad movie twins abuzz. Patrick wondered how they got Bezos to even appear. I scoffed at the idea that that was Bezos and in fact just assumed they got a random bald man to get people to ask the question “wait, is that Jeff Bezos?” Point in my favor: why would Bezos be in this film? Point in Patrick’s favor: set in Seattle, so maybe? Wrong, filmed in Bulgaria. Conclusion: no way that was Jeff Bezos.
What?! Patrick was reminiscing about his sweet Sainsbury’s that he’s already mentioned. I will concur that it is fun when a product placement isn’t really seen, but is such a staple of a location that the mere mention is enough to transport the viewer from Bulgaria to London. Movie magic. Really the most prominent product placement is for safe sex. Good on Tessa and Hardin practicing it in a variety of ways throughout the film: condom, morning after pill, birth control.
Where?! Much like all romantic films of this era, this film takes place in Washington state. It’s basically the triad of modern romance: Bad Boys, Publishing, and Washington State. Not totally sure how publishing even got in there since this all seems to stem from Twilight where Bella wanted to be a [checks notes] wife of a vampire when she grew up… or I guess never grew up or whatever. Got a dash of London in there. Pretty good. B+.
When?! It appears to take place mostly in the Spring because Hardin eventually attempts to transfer to be closer to Tessa but is told he can’t do it because he is too close to graduating. This is more certain with the context of the previous entry in the series, which took place around Xmas and the New Years, so it would seem Tessa’s transfer does occur after holiday break and most of the events of this film is in that second semester. C
I love franchises! It’s kinda my thing now. I’m the franchise guy who loves franchises. I want Tom Cruise to come back and make another Mummy (have I mentioned that before?). And so when we saw that the After franchise keeps on keeping on I was thrilled. The first one was kinda dumb, but any high school or college rom com/dram has a kernel of fun. The shared experience of youth, etc. etc. And then the second one was surprisingly good. Like all about Hardin being tragic and an alcoholic and everyone (rightfully) telling Tessa that it probably won’t work out and she’s going to be hurt and yet they try to make it work like so many people do. It felt real. After We Fell reverted so fast to the immaturity of the first one that it went all the way past it and became an actually bad movie. Hardin and Tessa don’t communicate and instead have what is best described as fake steamy sex in a series of places that no one actually has sex. A boxing gym, a hot tub, and even using ice cubes as an accoutrement. It was all so cartoonish. He’s getting super jelly all the time in over the top ways, while she gets offended when Hardin rightfully says that it’s going to be hard for him to move to Seattle where he doesn’t know anyone and would only have her and be sad. And instead of working that out he’s eventually like “You’re right, I should move to Seattle and you’ll be my entire life.” Gah! It’s a frustrating film and I don’t really see how the fourth isn’t going to be just as frustrating… oh you didn’t know there is going to be a fourth? There is. And apparently a fifth and a prequel. Nevermind! I’m back in! Franchises! As for Woman in the Window, I’ll keep it brief. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as it was made out to be. Sure it’s tedious and the plot is well worn territory, but the same kind of goes for the book. I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t blow my socks off and I’m not surprised a straight adaptation didn’t surpass it in quality. The movie did have some interesting directorial choices and some good acting, even in the extreme. I guess Patrick is the better judge since he didn’t read the book. I think that may have colored the reviews in some ways. Patrick?
Hello everyone! We got drama! We got bad boys! We got bad boys punching four or five people in the face and being like “I’m so broken, fix me”! Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – You better believe this qualifies … barely. It basically didn’t. It was, in reality, released to a few hundred theaters a few months ago. But for one day only it was expanded to 1200 theaters. This is probably some contractual arrangement, but that’s all you need. You just need a maximum of 600+ theaters and more than five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with <40% average. So here we go again. What were my expectations? Uh … bad sex scenes, bad boys punching people, and me remembering why romdrams aimed squarely for that Wattpad fanfic audience are excellently weird bad movies.
The Good – I can’t really explain it, but I really like the main actress in these films. There is just something about her in that why-isn’t-this-a-CW-show kind of way. And I’m going to be honest, that is the only actually good thing about the films. I enjoy Hardin punching multiple people, which is absurd, but it is in no way a good thing, just highly amusing. Best Bit: Langford and it isn’t even close really.
The Bad – This might be the one that jumps the shark for the series. Nothing happens in this film. They don’t really trust each other, but that was already established. The new bit is that she kind of moves to Seattle. They are both still fabulously wealthy (or inexplicably know multiple people who are fabulously wealthy). And I have to say it, this has two of the grossest sex scenes I’ve ever seen put to film. Having sex in your family’s hot tub? Gross. Having sex (as a house guest) in the home gym? Double gross. Just disgusting. Fatal Flaw: Not only are the sex scenes boring, they are also, routinely, disgusting.
The BMT – Why can’t I quit you weird romdrams? They are my shame. I have to watch all of these now. Wattpad is my new favourite production company. But … this isn’t a very good BMT film. This ain’t no Fifty Shades. This wishes it was that. This isn’t even After. I expect better. So next time, when I definitely watch the sequel next year, I expect more After. I’ll be waiting. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I got multiple punches by a bonafide bad boy. That is enough to sustain me, but I expect more next time from you After. Bring me that drama.
Roast-radamus – Right at the last second a great Product Placement (What?) for Sainsbury’s while they are in London. And a decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Seattle I think, complete with either Jeff Bezos or a Jeff Bezos lookalike at a party for Vance Publishing, they must be a big deal. This is tough … like do I love this film? Do I hate it? It feels like it is a Bad film because it is, in reality, boring with far too little drama to make up for the thinnest of all possible plots.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – This is tough since there is already a sequel and prequel in the works … I think our only option is a BMT Crossover Episode. And this is going to be a special one. I think we need to assemble the bad boy Avengers. Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember, David Elliot from Endless Love, and Kelley Morse from Here on Earth show up just as Tessa and Hardin land from England. “Hardin, I think we’re going to need your help.” They are part of an elite teen romance punching crew, and you know they are bad boys with hearts of gold. They need to infiltrate a fraternity at the University of Washington, and they need Hardin’s experience with both fraternities and punching. He broods a bunch and secretly reads poetry but also drinks a bunch and the frat bros are like “this guy is deep, we need him in the frat.” And he’s in! In the end they find out the frat is a front for a secret society, and what are they hiding in the basement? None other than Luke McNamara, the Nick Fury of H.O.G. (Hearts of Gold). After springing him he calls on The Skulls to destroy the frat, and slips Hardin a note. “I’m going to call on you again Hardin … you have one of the most powerful hearts of gold I’ve ever seen.” Bad Boys Assemble: Hearts of Gold.
Patrick’s IMDb Trivia Section – A new section for those weeks where I haven’t schooled myself in anything! If you’ve ever read IMDb’s trivia section you’ll know that it can get a little weird. He’s my entry for After We Fell. Trivia: When in London Hardin’s mother suggests he go to Sainsbury’s to get something to eat. Sainsbury’s is one of the most popular grocery stores in the United Kingdom with over 1400 locations in all four countries. Other possible places for Hardin to go would be Tesco, which has over 4000 locations, M&S and Whole Foods (given that they are in London). Hardin doesn’t want to cook, so Iceland would be a poor choice as they specialize in frozen foods. God, I love it. I love it so much I’m going to throw in a bonus Goof: When talking with Vance in the hotel bar at the end of the film Vance can clearly be seen drinking a regular US pint of beer. In England you would either have a larger (~568ml) imperial pint, or a smaller half pint. Took me right out of the film.
Bring a Friend Analysis – For the friend this week we watched Woman in the Window. This was a two sided coin for me. On the one hand, I found the film very difficult to get through. It just felt very long and it all felt like very well-worn territory from much better films. On the other hand, as a person who watched Ice Road on a whim, I do like cheesy thrillers. And by the time they do finally get to the big reveal near the end I was pretty interested in seeing the conclusion to the story. One major issue though … I knew what was going to happen literally five minutes into the film. The instant the kid showed up I was like “he’s the killer and her family is dead.” He hadn’t even killed anyone yet! Well, I guess he had in Boston, but I didn’t know that. So I would say it is a decent enough thriller, beautifully shot, with great set design, and some great performances. If you don’t mind it being extremely rote and easy to predict if you’ve seen any thrillers in your life, then I think it is worth a watch B-.