Hi, it’s me. Franchise guy. You know, the guy who wishes they made another Mummy movie starring Tom Cruise. So you can imagine what a gift the After series has been to all of us. This is already the fourth movie in a series that started as One Direction fan fiction. And it ain’t done! There are (allegedly) three more entries in the series in the works! Did Patrick and I make a wish upon a monkey paw in order to make this dream a reality? No (that was a totally unrelated wish). These are growing organically and we are just lucky enough to pluck them off the After tree. Hopefully those After trees will bear their sweet fruit for many years to come. I want to be watching Hardin and Tessa as forty-something people churning through Hardin’s (latest) mid-life crisis.
To recap, we start right where we left off. Hardin has just found out his dad isn’t his dad and his actual dad is totally boning his mom right before she gets married. He’s real sad and it is not sexy. I’m talking burning down his mom’s apartment in a fit of rage kind of not sexy. Tessa is kinda over it, particularly when he disappears on a bender with his old London friends. Returning home she is shocked to find her addict father dead in her apartment. Not ideal and not sexy. Word eventually reaches Hardin, who rushes back to be by Tessa’s side, but she is still not having him. I don’t blame her, Hardin has, to put it bluntly, transitioned from sexy sad to actually sad. He needs to go to sexy rehab to get his mojo back and stat. Tessa, meanwhile, decides to escape it all by moving to NYC and becoming a waitress. She seems to find some level of peace in her new life (and perhaps a burgeoning romance to boot), but she can’t escape Hardin who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be a new man. And what a new man he is! He’s bringing sexy back and Tessa is all about dat. Unfortunately, after the sexy has been sufficiently brought back, Tessa finds that the real reason Hardin is back is to shop his new book. You know it! It’s After, the meta book! He wrote After! And it’s kinda rude and crude. Hardin’s like “come on, I kinda need this,” but Tessa throws him out cause he’s a rude crude dude. Months later he’s been rocketed to fame as the hot young author and it looks like maybe Tessa and Hardin aren’t meant for each other after all (or are they? (they are)). THE END.
I think the only appropriate thing to do in a situation like this is to assess this film in direct comparison to the other entries in the series. I have fond memories of the first film cause it was kind of a quaint classic college drama. I found that one to be quite silly, but in a good way. The second is actually good… or at least has some good things in it. It is the only entry in the series that had me stop and think “wait, do these films actually have something to say about addiction and the difficulties of young love?” The third was streaming trash that was mostly funny because of all the places they decided to have Hardin and Tessa have sex. Somehow both the most and least sexy film in the series. Finally, this one, which is actually just kind of sad. It doesn’t feel like a complete movie. It’s like they left out all the sexy stuff and are saving it for movie #5. So all you’re left with is a not sexy sad film about a girl and the asshole she loves… bring sexy back, After! Where has all the sexy gone!?
Hot Take Clam Bake! Hardin did the right thing. I think you’re supposed to be conflicted as to whether Hardin did Tessa dirty by writing After. It’s a full blown tell-all and Tessa wasn’t warned about it. But guess what, Tessa (if that’s even your real name) you left Hardin with nothing but his memories. He was at rock bottom and forced to confront his feelings in rehab through art and ever since you met him how has Hardin communicated? Through the written word. There he is with no friends, no prospects, and no girl to have sexy sex with in his sexy gym, car, or hot tub (amongst the many other very normal sexy places he might have sex). What was this guy supposed to do but write a scathing rebuke of your relationship and become rich and famous while you toil away as a waitress? Hot Take Temperature: Mango Habanero.
‘Ello everyone! After Ever Happy? More like Ever More Happy That I Get to Watch After Films for the Rest of My Life! Amirite? I am, because After is my guilty pleasure. Tessa and Hardin are an epic couple. Like Ryan and Marissa, or Romeo and Juliet. That level. Let’s go!
- I’m not joking, I would watch one of these films a year forever. Make it like that show … Degrassi is it? The one where they just rotate out the characters as they age out of the series. Just get different After people forever and ever and ever and ever.
- For real though, why not? This is the only thing Wattpad Studios has going for it.
- The writing! The acting! The complete lack of a plot! This is the BMT triple threat franchise. Nothing in the world even compares.
- Can I even remember what happened in this film? Let’s see. Hardin cries a bunch because his father isn’t his father, so he burns down a house and then parties in East London for a bit. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Tessa’s dad dies from an overdose. Back in Seattle, Tessa learns she is infertile, and then Tessa reveals that she is breaking up with Hardin and moving to New York City as a strong independent woman. Hardin goes to AA and writes the titular After “novel”, which ends up in a bidding war in NYC. This is no bueno though, because Tessa doesn’t want her life put on blast in a bestselling “novel”. She breaks up with him again when he’s like “sorry not sorry, I’m selling this novel, it is like … the only thing I have going for me.” To be continued.
- The To Be Continued is shocking to say the least. Spoilers but there isn’t another novel. There were four books and a prequel called Before. So, in a way they just Part I’d us! They made After Ever Happy Part I without telling anyone they were splitting the final book into two. Sneaky buggers. For real though, I would watch a 50-year-old Hardin struggling with addiction, crying to 50-year-old Tessa in their opulent midtown NYC penthouse, so I hope in 50 years there is an After Ever Happy Part XLI or whatever.
- Wait, should I write After fanfiction? It started as fanfiction. So why not? Then I can have After forever and ever and ever.
- Oh the movie? I will repeat myself: nothing happens, the writing is horrible, the acting is horrible, and you just watch inexplicable wealthy assholes cry at each other for 90 minutes. In other words: inject that right into my veins bro.
- Unfortunately nothing so egregious as Hardin giving Tessa the gift of vertical integration via a Kindle in this one. I’m going to give it a Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC, which if we are being honest, should have always been where Vance Publishing is based, and where Tessa should have always been living. Funny Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the brief shot of a New Years Eve party in NYC. And a Worst Twist (How?) just for the “to be continued” at the end. Definitely BMT, so much so it might be a leader in the clubhouse for BMT winner this year, but I’ll have to look back.
I know you’ve been clamoring for it. A return of Hardin and the Bad Boys with Hearts of Gold. You met them in Bad Boys Assemble: Hearts of Gold. Well, read about the sequel Bad Boys Assemble: Fists of Steel in the Quiz. It gives me some real Empire Strikes Back vibes. Cheerios,