After is a 2019 American romantic drama film directed by Jenny Gage, who co-wrote the screenplay with Susan McMartin, Tamara Chestna, and Tom Betterton, based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Anna Todd. It is the first installment in the After film series. The film stars Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Josephine Langford and follows a young woman who begins to romance a mysterious student during her first months of college. The cast includes Selma Blair, Inanna Sarkis, Shane Paul McGhie, Pia Mia, Khadijha Red Thunder, Dylan Arnold, Samuel Larsen, Jennifer Beals and Peter Gallagher in supporting roles.

A young man and a woman, both white, hold each other in a near-kiss embrace.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJenny Gage
Screenplay by
  • Susan McMartin
  • Tamara Chestna
  • Jenny Gage
  • Tom Betterton
Based onAfter
by Anna Todd
Produced by
  • Adam Silver
  • Tom Betterton
Edited byMichelle Harrison
Music byJustin Burnett
Distributed byAviron Pictures
Release dates
  • April 8, 2019 (2019-04-08) (The Grove)
  • April 12, 2019 (2019-04-12) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$14 million[2]
Box office$69.5 million[2]

After premiered at The Grove in Los Angeles on April 8, 2019, and was released in the United States on April 12, by Aviron Pictures. Despite negative reviews from critics, who criticized its screenplay and narrative glamorizing abusive relationships, it was a commercial success, grossing over $69 million worldwide against its $14 million budget.

A sequel, After We Collided, was released in 2020.

Plot edit

Tessa Young begins her first year of college by moving into her dorm room with the help of her mother, Carol, and her boyfriend, Noah. During this process she meets her new roommate Steph and Steph's girlfriend Tristan. The day after, Tessa shares a brief encounter with Steph's friend, Hardin Scott.

The following day Steph persuades Tessa to attend a party where she meets Steph's other friends: Zed, Molly, and Jace, and meets Hardin for the second time. The group play truth or dare, which reveals Tessa's virginity; she is dared to kiss Hardin but refuses. Later on at the party Hardin attempts to kiss Tessa, but she rejects his advances and leaves.

The following day Tessa meets with Landon, a classmate she met on her first day of classes, who reveals to her that he and Hardin are soon to become stepbrothers, with his mother engaged to Hardin's father. Following a class debate Hardin again approaches Tessa and insists they start over, inviting her to a nearby lake.

While they swim, Hardin kisses Tessa, saying that they cannot remain only friends. Later, the two encounter Molly and Zed at a diner, following which Tessa promises to tell her boyfriend about the kiss she shared with Hardin. He tells her not to do so, saying that he does not date, disappointing her.

Noah surprises Tessa with a visit, and the two experience an evening together around a bonfire. In a game of 'suck and blow' at the bonfire party, Jace purposely fails in order to kiss Tessa, making Hardin jealous and leading to a physical confrontation. While Noah sleeps in Tessa's bed after the party, she leaves to check in on Hardin, who has destroyed the house in a drunken rage. She comforts him and they kiss.

The next day Tessa returns to her dorm to check on Noah, who discovers her affair with Hardin and leaves her, heartbroken. Tessa and Hardin finally decide to date, but her mother threatens to cut her off financially if she continues the relationship, believing Hardin to be a bad influence.

Hardin finds an apartment for them to live together and they attend his father's wedding reception. Hardin reveals that his father was a drunk and that his mother was assaulted by some men his father provoked while intoxicated. Tessa comforts him, and they head back to their apartment where she loses her virginity to him.

Later, Tessa grows concerned about the text messages sent to Hardin by Molly; she attempts to confront him, but he dismisses her and leaves. After leaving the apartment searching for him, Tessa finds him at a diner with Molly, Zed, Steph, and Jace. Molly cruelly shows Tessa a video from the first party they attended, revealing that he pursued her as a challenge and intended to make her fall in love with him before breaking her heart. Hardin attempts to convince Tessa that his intentions changed as he got to know her, but Tessa ends their relationship.

A heartbroken Tessa returns home to reconcile with her mother and Noah, who both forgive her. In the weeks that follow, she cuts ties with Steph and her group of friends, eventually interviewing for an internship at Vance Publishing. Before Tessa leaves college at the end of the semester, her lecturer hands her an essay written by Hardin, in which he confesses his love for her; after reading it, Tessa returns to the lake to meet Hardin.

Cast edit

Production edit

Development edit

In 2013, author Anna Todd posted the first chapters of a fanfiction titled After on fanfiction- and fiction-publishing website Wattpad.[3] The fanfiction's original storyline was based on the boyband One Direction, and featured the band's members Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik, portrayed as students at Washington State University. The story followed Tessa Young, an "innocent good girl" who becomes involved in a relationship with "bad boy" Styles.

Within a month of publishing the first chapters, the story had acquired 544 million reads; Todd later landed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish novelizations of the series, with the lead male character's name changed to Hardin Scott;[3] the novels were subsequently released in 2014. The books gained media attention and became New York Times bestsellers.[4]

In 2014, Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to adapt After for film;[5][6] before the expiry of the company's rights to the film production in mid-2017, the project was headed by screenwriter Susan McMartin. Following this, CalMaple Media and Offspring Entertainment acquired the filming rights, with writer Tamara Chestna hired to rework McMartin's script, and director Jenny Gage overseeing the script's final revisions.[7][8] McMartin, Chestna, and Gage all received final script credit. CalMaple Media's Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, Offspring Entertainment's Jennifer Gibgot, Wattpad's Aron Levitz, Meadow Williams of Diamond Film Productions and Dennis Pelino were all credited as producers on the film, alongside Todd herself. The film was financed by CalMaple, Voltage Pictures and Diamond Film Productions, with executive production by Swen Temmel, Nicolas Charier, Jonathan Deckter, David Dinerstein, Jason Resnick, Scott Karol, Ian Brereton, Eric Lehrman, Adam Shankman, Brian Pitt and Vassal Benford. Aviron Pictures distributed the film domestically, with Voltage Pictures handling foreign distribution.[9]

Casting edit

On May 8, 2018, Julia Goldani Telles and Hero Fiennes Tiffin were cast in the main roles of Tessa Young and Hardin Scott respectively. The actors were selected by the production team, including Todd herself, who was present at the castings and contributed to the casting decisions.[citation needed]

In July 2018, Telles announced her exit from the film due to scheduling conflicts. In the same month, Josephine Langford was announced to play Tessa Young. Todd would later state that once she saw Langford, she "knew right away that was Tessa."[10][11] Pia Mia was cast in the role of Tristan, a previously male character in the books.[12] Executive producer Swen Temmel was cast as Jace,[10] Shane Paul McGhie and Khadijha Red Thunder were added as Landon Gibson and Steph Jones respectively,[13] Samuel Larsen was set as Zed Evans, and Inanna Sarkis played Molly Samuels. Producer Meadow Williams was additionally cast as Professor Soto, another previously male character in the books.[14] On July 27, Peter Gallagher and Jennifer Beals were announced to play Ken Scott and Karen Gibson, Hardin's father and Landon's mother, respectively,[15] with Selma Blair announced for Carol Young, Tessa's mother, and Dylan Arnold announced for Noah Porter on July 30.[16]

Filming edit

Principal photography was due to begin in June 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.[17] In early July, producer Jennifer Gibgot stated that shooting would begin on July 16, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia shortly after Langford had been cast as Tessa.[18] Principal photography was mainly conducted at Emory University, and production was completed on August 24 of the same year.[19]

Release edit

After premiered at The Grove in Los Angeles on April 8, 2019,[20] and was released in the United States on April 12, 2019, by Aviron Pictures.[21] The film was released in Latin America on April 10, 2019, by Diamond Films, ahead of its North American release.[22]

Box office edit

After grossed $12.1 million in the United States and Canada and $57.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $69.7 million against a production budget of $14 million.[2]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Hellboy, Little and Missing Link, and was projected to gross $3–12 million from 2,138 theaters in its opening weekend.[23] The film earned $2.9 million on its first day, including $550,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $6 million, finishing eighth at the box office.[24] In its second weekend, the film dropped 58% to $2.5 million, finishing 11th.[25]

Critical response edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 18% based on 39 reviews, with an average rating of 3.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tepid and tired, After's fun flourishes are let down by its generic story."[26] The film has a weighted average of 30 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on eight critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[27] 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.[24]

Critics found the screenplay at fault, with Owen Gleiberman of Variety writing that After was an "innocuous teen pulp soap opera that flirts with 'danger' but, in fact, keeps surprising you with how mild and safe and predictable it turns out to be."[28] John Fink of The Film Stage echoed this sentiment, commenting that "the talented cast is burdened by a dead on arrival screenplay that waters down what could have been an intoxicating tale of first love," though he noted the film was "beautifully shot" and "occasionally aesthetically pleasing."[29]

Accolades edit

After won the 2019 Teen Choice Award in the category Choice Drama Movie[30] and the 2019 E! People's Choice Award in the category The Drama Movie of 2019.[31]

Sequels edit

In May 2019, a sequel was announced, with both Langford and Fiennes Tiffin returning to their respective roles.[32] After We Collided released September 2, 2020, with costars Dylan Sprouse, Charlie Weber, Rob Estes, Louise Lombard, Candice King, Karimah Westbrook and Max Ragone.

A second sequel, After We Fell, released September 1, 2021. A third sequel, After Ever Happy, has been completed and was released on September 7, 2022.[33] Another sequel and prequel are in development.[34] But in 2023, Voltage Pictures announced that After Everything is fifth and final chapter of franchise.

On August 24, 2022, it was announced that a fourth sequel titled After Everything has finished filming. Langford and Fiennes Tiffin are both set to reprise their roles. The fifth and final installment in the After film series, it will be the only film to not be based on a book in the series.[35]

References edit

  1. ^ "After". British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on July 30, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "After (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Krishna, Rachael (November 23, 2018). "The "After" Movie Trailer Is Out And People Have A Lot Of Feelings". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on December 27, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Alter, Alexandra (October 21, 2014). "Harry Styles of One Direction Stars in Anna Todd's Novel". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 16, 2014). "'After' Movie: Paramount Acquires Rights To Wattpad Book By Anna Todd". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  6. ^ "Harry Styles Fan Fiction 'After' Is Becoming A Hollywood Movie". Capital FM. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Cubria, Kaitlin (November 29, 2017). "The After Movie, Based on One Direction Fanfiction, Finally Finds Its Director". Clevver. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  8. ^ Guimond, Natasha (April 5, 2018). "Interview with Screenwriter and Producer Tamara Chestna". Screencraft. Archived from the original on November 14, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (May 8, 2018). "Julia Goldani Telles, Hero Fiennes Tiffin to Star in Romance 'After'". Variety. Archived from the original on May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr (July 9, 2018). "Josephine Langford Set To Star As Tessa In 'After,' Movie Adaptation Of Anna Todd's YA Phenom Novels". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Ryan, Áine (November 23, 2018). "Get to know Josephine Langford, the breakout star of 'After'". 9Honey. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  12. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 11, 2018). "Exclusive: YouTube Star Pia Mia in Talks to Join Anna Todd's YA Movie 'After'". Collider. Archived from the original on November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 18, 2018). "'After': Shane Paul McGhie, Khadijha Red Thunder Cast In Film Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  14. ^ Ellenbogen, Rachael (July 19, 2018). "'After' Movie Cast: Meet Landon, Steph And Professor Soto". International Business Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 27, 2018). "Peter Gallagher And Jennifer Beals Join 'After' Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  16. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 30, 2018). "Selma Blair Set To Co-Star In 'After' Film Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  17. ^ McNary, Dave (May 8, 2018). "Julia Goldani Telles, Hero Fiennes Tiffin to Star in Romance 'After'". Variety. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  18. ^ D'Aluisio, Alexandra (July 6, 2018). "Julia Goldani Telles Drops Out of After Movie Days Before Filming Begins". Clevver. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  19. ^ "Holy crap. IT'S A WRAP 🎬 #AfterMovie". August 24, 2018. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2018 – via Instagram.
  20. ^ Anna Todd [@annatodd] (April 6, 2019). "Shhh but the premiere is at the grove (LA) Monday night so come see us and show your support (with screams&hugs)" (Tweet). Retrieved September 25, 2020 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 23, 2018). "'After' Movie Based On Anna Todd's YA Books Seals Aviron Pictures Deal, Gets 2019 Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  22. ^ "Película – After: Aquí empieza todo (2019) – Diamond Films". Diamond Films. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  23. ^ McClintock, Pamela (April 11, 2019). "Box Office Preview: Will 'Hellboy' Get Singed by 'Shazam'?". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  24. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 14, 2019). "'Shazam!' To Hit $100M Before Friday; 'Little' Mighty With $15M+; 'Hellboy' Extinguished; 'After' Works Overseas – Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  25. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 21, 2019). "Lowest Easter Weekend At The B.O. Since 2005 Despite $26M Purse Of 'La Llorona' – Saturday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 20, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  26. ^ "After (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  27. ^ "After (2019) reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  28. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (April 12, 2019). "Film Review: 'After'". Variety. Archived from the original on September 29, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  29. ^ Fink, John (April 12, 2019). "'After' Review: An Uninspired Teen Drama at the Intersection of EL James, Nicholas Sparks, and Freeform". The Film Stage. Archived from the original on October 23, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  30. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2019: Here's the full list of winners". Business Standard India. August 12, 2019. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  31. ^ Malec, Brett (November 11, 2019). "People's Choice Awards 2019 Winners: The Complete List". E! Online. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  32. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 19, 2019). "Voltage Heats Up 'After' Sequel; Josephine Langford & Hero Fiennes Tiffin Returning – Cannes". Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  33. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 8, 2020). "'After' Sequels 'After We Fell' & 'After Ever Happy' Going Into Production; Castille Landon To Direct – Updated". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  34. ^ "'After' Franchise Expands with Prequel & Sequel; Castille Landon Set as Director & Writer". April 19, 2021. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  35. ^ Fuentes, Tamara (August 24, 2022). "Everything We Know About 'After Everything,' the Fifth Movie in the 'After' Franchise". Cosmopolitan. Archived from the original on August 24, 2022. Retrieved August 25, 2022.

External links edit