“After” Launches Romance Franchise


Haley Hoskin

Tessa and Hardin spending time with each other reading.

Haley Hoskin, Sting Editor

After is based on an adult romance novel written by Anna Todd that came out in 2014. The movie is the story of a beautiful college girl who thinks she’s still going out with her cuddlebug high-school boyfriend back home until she meets Hardin. At one point, Tessa’s mom, played by Selma Blair, shows up and catches Tessa making out with Hardin, and she says: “Can’t you see? You’re throwing your college career away! I’m cutting you off!” She’s speaking from experience (Tessa’s dad abandoned the two of them when Tessa was young).
Tessa Young (Josephine Langford), the heroine of After, arrives for her freshman year at Washington State University. She can be described as a sweet and wholesome goody-two-shoes. At a frat party, Tessa, in an outfit so modest that one girl snickers at it as if it were a sackcloth, gets drawn into a game of Truth or Dare, where she reveals that she’s still a virgin.
Then there’s Hardin Scott, the moody British boy played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. “Hardin is complicated,” someone warns Tessa. And that’s not all he is. Hardin is deep. Hardin is trouble. Hardin thinks that Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, “needs to chill.” He also has some daddy issues. They come out at a pre-wedding reception for his father, played by Peter Gallagher, and the father’s new bride, played by Jennifer Beals. Then the movie’s dark secret is revealed.
Hardin takes Tessa to a remote lake where the two can have a private swim, and this is the first time he takes off his shirt in the movie. The funny thing is, letting us glimpse those tattoos, one by one, over time is as close as the movie comes to character development. He’s got a rose on the back of his hand, a flock of birds on his forearm, King and Queen of Hearts on his middle and ring fingers, and a mystical game board on his back. The closer one examines his skin, the more this college bad boy looks like a lost angel in a leather jacket.
This adaptation of a piece of adult fiction is great for people who are into romance and lots of drama. This is a rated R movie due to some of the inappropriate actions throughout this movie. It is not recommended for people like Tessa who are lost when it comes to this kind of stuff. There are multiple more movies in the series. The movies, in order, are After (2019), After We Collided (2020), After We Fell (2021), After Ever Happy (2022), and After Everything (2023). After Everything came out this past year. It was a great ending to the franchise and we finally get to see Hardin and Tessa ending. The only difference that sets After Everything apart from the rest of the series is that there is no book to go with it. So for anyone who is into 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight, or Five Feet Apart, this would be a great series to watch. They are all streaming on Netflix, as well for anyone who is bored and just wants to binge watch them all.

Film Review: “After”
Production: An Aviron Pictures release of a Calmaple Media, Voltage Pictures, Wattpad, Diamond Film Productions, Offspring Entertainment production. Producers: Mark Canton, Jennifer Gibgot, Aron Levitz, Dennis L. Pelino, Courtney Solomon, Anna Todd, Meadow Williams. Executive producers: Vassal Benford, Ian Brereton, Nicolas Chartier, Jonathan Deckter, David Dinerstein, Scott Karol, Eric Lehrman, Brian Pitt, Jason Resnick, Adam Shankman, Swen Temmel.
Crew: Director: Jenny Gage. Screenplay: Susan McMartin, Tamara Chestna, Jennifer Gage. Camera (color, widescreen): Tom Betterton, Adam Silver. Editor: Michelle Harrison. Music: Justin Caine Burnett.
With: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Pia Mia, Inanna Sarkis, Samuel Larsen, Dylan Arnold, Swen Temmel, Meadow Williams, Selma Blair, Peter Gallagher, Jennifer Beals.