After (2019 film)
After is a 2019 American romantic drama film directed by Jenny Gage with a screenplay by Gage, Susan McMartin and Tamara Chestna based on the 2014 new adult fiction novel of the same name written by Anna Todd. The film stars newcomer Josephine Langford as Tessa Young, a college student who begins a toxic relationship with "bad boy" Hardin Scott, played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jenny Gage|
by Anna Todd
|Music by||Justin Burnett|
|Edited by||Michelle Harrison|
|Distributed by||Aviron Pictures|
|Box office||$69.5 million|
The film was released in the United States on April 12, 2019, by Aviron Pictures. It received unfavorable reviews from critics, who criticized the depiction of romance and the slow plot. A sequel is in development.
Tessa Young moves into her dorm with assistance of her mother and her boyfriend, Noah. She meets her roommate, Steph, and her girlfriend, Tristan. Her mother is displeased, thinking that they are bad influences for Tessa, and demands for a room change. However, Tessa assures her that nothing will distract her.
The next day, on Tessa's first day at college, she befriends Landon. Tessa meets Hardin Scott in her bedroom, having an embarrassing encounter as she gets out of the shower naked, with only a dangling towel wrapped tightly around. Steph invites her to come to a party with her friends, but Tessa declines. The next day, she sees Hardin in a coffee shop. She encounters Steph again in the library and is persuaded to attend a party in a frat house. She meets up Steph's friends Zed, Molly, and Jace along with Hardin, who convince her to drink.
In a game of Truth or Dare, Tessa is revealed to be a virgin and dared to 'make out' with Hardin. However, she refuses, leaving everyone surprised, including Hardin. She calls Noah, but he judges her for drinking and partying. Frustrated, she ends the call and roams around the frat house, where she accidentally ends up in Hardin's bedroom without realizing it. Wandering in the bedroom, Tessa finds the book Wuthering Heights and bumps into Hardin. He attempts to kiss her but Tessa soon leaves. In Literature class, Tessa sits beside Landon and gets into a debate with Hardin about Pride and Prejudice. Landon reveals that he and Hardin are going to be related as his mother is engaged to Hardin's father.
Hardin approaches Tessa and insists they start over, inviting her to come with him to a lake. While they swim, Hardin tells her he cannot be just her friend and the two kiss. After this, they head to a diner and encounter Molly and Zed, which infuriates Hardin and he asks Tessa to wait in the car for him but she insists she will be by the bar waiting for him. Tessa tells Hardin that she intends to tell Noah about them, but Hardin tells her not to as he does not date, disappointing Tessa. Noah surprises Tessa with a sudden visit and she brings him to the bonfire.
In a game of Suck and Blow, Jace purposely fails in order to kiss Tessa, causing a fight between him and Hardin. While Noah is asleep in her dorm and Tessa lying awake, she receives a call from Landon and she leaves to check on Hardin, who destroyed the house while drunk. She comforts Hardin and they reconcile and kiss. The next day, Tessa goes back to her dorm to check on Noah, who finds out about her relationship with Hardin and he leaves heartbroken. Tessa's mother is informed about their breakup. She and Hardin finally decide to date, but Tessa is threatened by her mother to be cut off if she continues her relationship with Hardin.
Hardin finds a new apartment for the both of them and they both attend the wedding reception of his father and Landon's mother. Hardin reveals that his father was a drunk and his mother was assaulted by a group of men he messed with while drunk. Tessa comforts him and the two head back to their apartment where Tessa decides she is ready to have sex. The next morning, while they are in the bathtub together, Hardin writes ‘I love you’ on Tessa's back, when she asks what he wrote, he does not respond.
Meanwhile, Tessa is bothered by a series of text messages Hardin has been receiving from Molly. She tries to confront him, but he dismisses her and leaves, asking if she trusts him. She leaves the apartment after receiving a text from Jace saying he knows where Hardin is, and spots Molly, Zed, Steph, sitting at a table and ends up telling them about how they are living together and in a relationship when Hardin and Jace walk in. Molly reveals Hardin's original intentions in pursuing Tessa, showing her a video she recorded after Tessa refused to make out with Hardin at their previous party together. It's revealed he began pursuing Tessa only as a challenge to make her fall in love with him and break up with her. Tessa, shocked and heartbroken, runs away from Hardin. He follows her and tries to explain that it was before he knew her and that he truly loves her. Tessa goes home to reconcile with her mother and Noah, who both forgive her.
During Literature class, Professor Soto gives Tessa work that had been done by Hardin, believing that his essay was about her. As Tessa reads it, seeing that Hardin truly did fall in love with her, she goes back to the lake where she and Hardin first kissed. Hardin narrates his letter saying, “You once asked me who I loved the most in the world. It’s you.”
- Josephine Langford as Tessa Young 
- Hero Fiennes-Tiffin as Hardin Scott
- Khadijha Red Thunder as Steph Jones
- Shane Paul McGhie as Landon Gibson
- Samuel Larsen as Zed Evans
- Inanna Sarkis as Molly Samuels
- Dylan Arnold as Noah Porter
- Swen Temmel as Jace
- Pia Mia as Tristan
- Meadow Williams as Professor Soto
- Selma Blair as Carol Young
- Peter Gallagher as Chancellor Ken Scott
- Jennifer Beals as Karen Scott
In 2013, writer Anna Todd posted the first chapters of a fanfiction titled After on Wattpad. Her original story was based on Harry Styles and Zayn Malik from the band One Direction, portrayed as students at Washington State University. The story follows Tessa Young, an "innocent good girl" who gets caught up in a love affair with "bad boy" Harry Styles.
Within one month, Anna Todd and her first novel in the four book series, After, had 544 million readers on Wattpad. Anna Todd then landed a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster and the After series of novels were published in 2014. In the published version, the lead male character's name was changed from Harry Styles to Hardin Scott. The books gained media attention and became a New York Times bestseller.
In 2014, Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to adapt After to the theaters. Susan McMartin, who until then was After's screenwriter, left the project in mid-2017 and Paramount Pictures rights were discontinued. CalMaple Media and Offspring Entertainment then acquired rights to the After film and Tamara Chestna was hired to update on McMartin's script. Director Jenny Gage was also responsible for the final revisions of the script.
Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon of CalMaple Media, Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment, author Anna Todd, Aron Levitz of Wattpad, Meadow Williams of Diamond Film Productions and Dennis Pelino are Producers on the film. CalMaple, Voltage Pictures and Diamond Film Productions financed the film. Swen Temmel, Nicolas Charier, Jonathan Deckter, David Dinerstein, Jason Resnick, Scott Karol, Ian Brereton, Eric Lehrman, Adam Shankman, Brian Pitt and Vassal Benford are Executive Producers. Aviron Pictures will distribute the film domestically, with Voltage Pictures handling foreign distribution. On November 28, 2017, Anna Todd announced that Jenny Gage would be the director of the feature.
On May 8, 2018, Julia Goldani Telles and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin were cast in the main roles of Tessa Young and Hardin Scott. The actors were picked by Anna Todd herself, who fell in love with their chemistry together.
In July 2018, Telles announced her exit from the film due to scheduling conflicts. In the same month, Josephine Langford was cast as Tessa Young. It was later revealed that once Todd saw Langford, she knew right away that was "Tessa".  Pia Mia plays Tristan, a character previously male in the books. Executive producer Swen Temmel was cast as Jace. Shane Paul McGhie and Khadijha Red Thunder were cast as Landon Gibson (Liam in the Wattpad version of the book) and Steph Jones respectively; Samuel Larsen plays Zed Evans, and Inanna Sarkis plays Molly Samuels. Additionally, Meadow Williams was cast as Professor Soto, another previously male character in the books. On July 27, Peter Gallagher and Jennifer Beals were cast as Ken Scott and Karen Gibson, Hardin's father and Landon's (Liam in the Wattpad version of the book) mother. On July 30, Selma Blair and Dylan Arnold were cast as Carol Young, Tessa's mother, and Noah Porter, Tessa's high school boyfriend.
Principal photography was due to begin filming in June 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. In early July, producer Jennifer Gibgot confirmed that shooting would begin on July 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia shortly after they had cast Langford as Tessa. Most scenes were shot at Emory University. Production was completed on August 24.
After has grossed $12.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $55.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $67.2 million, against a production budget of $14 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Hellboy, Little and Missing Link, and was projected to gross anywhere from $3–12 million from 2,138 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $2.9 million on its first day, including $550,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $6.0 million, finishing eighth at the box office. In its second weekend the film dropped 58% to $2.5 million, finishing 11th.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 15% based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 3.65/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars.
In May 2019, it was announced a sequel was being planned, with Langford and Fiennes-Tiffin both returning to their roles.
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