Originally released in cinemas in April 2019, After is the teen romantic drama that has spawned a whopping five movies to date, with more planned in the future.
Directed by Jenny Gage, After is based on the 2014 new adult fiction novel of the same name by Anna Todd. Her original story was One Direction-inspired fan fiction.
The film stars Josephine Langford as Tessa Young, a studious and dedicated college freshman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she becomes entangled with the mysterious Hardin Scott, played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin.
The movie explores themes of love, self-discovery, and the complexities of relationships, drawing a diverse audience, particularly among the younger demographic.
What Is After About?
After follows the well-trodden path of when a lovely, rather innocent young woman falls for the bad boy. The bad boy in question is Hardin Scott played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. And yes, I'll save you from googling him, he is the nephew of actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes.
Tessa is venturing off to college as a freshman. She arrives with her high school boyfriend Noah and her over-protective mother in tow.
Her dorm-mate is older and clearly more adventurous and soon Tessa is on her first night out where she meets Hardin.
Almost instantly the chemistry between them crackles on the screen. And it never stops. Not once. From the initial cat-and-mouse chase to the falling deeply in love phase, Langford and Fiennes-Tiffin are the epitome of every 15-year-old girl's dreams.
He is the teenage fantasy. Sullen, moody, deep in his thoughts and covered in tattoos but with a heart of gold if only he could find somebody to love him.
And he works the steamy lingering looks incredibly well. So when Tessa arrives on the scene you know exactly where this story is going.
But the path to true love never runs smoothly. Between Tessa's mother and a very jealous Molly (who has her eyes on Hardin), somebody's heart is about to get well and truly trampled on. Or is it?
After Official Trailer
Is After Worth Watching?
There are some small differences but the core tales are as old as time, which is probably why they work so well.
Stories of first love always have a demographic and After is no different. The compelling chemistry between the leads, Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, are standout features of the movie.
Thankfully it also benefits from a supporting cast that adds depth and diversity to the narrative. Plus the visual storytelling captures the emotional intensity of the characters’ journey.
However, After could have benefitted from a better script. Despite its relatively decent box office success, it's all so predictable and certain plot points felt rushed and underexplored.
And if I were to be really critical, while After isn't too bad, the following films in the franchise are loaded with toxic behaviour. I mean seriously, end the relationship already, it is just not worth it!
After Movie Cast
Josephine Langford as Tessa Young, a young woman in college who starts to date Hardin.
Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Hardin Scott, a rebellious student with a complicated past who enters into a relationship with Tessa.
Khadijha Red Thunder as Steph Jones, Tessa’s roommate and friend who introduces her to Hardin.
Shane Paul McGhie as Landon Gibson, Hardin’s stepbrother and Tessa’s friend.
Selma Blair as Carol Young, Tessa’s overprotective mother.
Peter Gallagher as Chancellor Ken Scott, Hardin's dad
Dylan Arnold as Noah Porter, Tessa's high school sweetheart
How Many Films In The After Series?
This is the relationship that never ends and so far we have FIVE films in the After series from Diamond Film Productions.
And while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, that is all we are getting. Frankly, after all this time, I really thought fans deserved a better ending but hey ho, we got what we got!
Tessa Young, a dedicated college student with a seemingly perfect life, has her world turned upside down when she meets the mysterious and rebellious Hardin Scott.
Despite their contrasting personalities, the two are drawn to each other, embarking on a turbulent and passionate relationship that forces Tessa to question her values and discover who she truly is.
After We Collided (2020)
Following the revelations and tumult of their initial relationship, Tessa and Hardin face further challenges and obstacles.
As Tessa begins to find her footing in the professional world at Vance Publishing, Hardin’s past and their conflicting aspirations test the strength of their love.
After We Fell (2021)
The third instalment in the series sees Tessa making significant life decisions and Hardin struggling with his inner demons.
Despite their enduring love for each other, external forces and their own insecurities challenge their commitment.
After Ever Happy (2022)
Despite everything that has happened, Tessa and Hardin are still together. This time around Hardin faces the dark secret about who his real father is.
With his anger and substance abuse issues, Tessa returns stateside only to discover her father has died.
Deciding they need time apart, Tessa moves to New York with Landon and Hardin finally gets the help he needs. However, time apart does not heal the wounds and we leave the couple permanently broken up.
After Everything (2023)
Not content with how things ended, Hardin is determined to rekindle their love. Throw in an ex-girlfriend who pops up and pressure from the publishing company who want his next novel and things begin to get very tricky for Hardin.
That and Tessa tells him to move on so he does sort of, by trying to apologise to Natalie.
Whether or not he can ever get Tessa to come back is a mystery, and one that will not be solved as Tessa and Hardin go their separate ways in the fifth and final movie in the series.