Okay, I’ve said this four times this year so far, but this has gotta be the worst movie of the year. First, I said it for Captive State, then I said it for Hellboy, then The Challenger Disaster, and now, we’ve wound up here at After. How exactly did this movie come to be made?
For those who don’t know, this is based off of a One Direction fan fiction created on Wattpad (Which has previously given us movies such as The Kissing Booth) which eventually spun off into a five book series including one installment called After Ever Happy. So, somehow this turned into a movie starring Selma Blair from Cruel Intentions for a whopping five minutes and that kid who played Tom Riddle in The Half Blood Prince. There is no use in prolonging this any longer, let’s get into After.
So starting off with what I – wait… looking at my notes, there isn’t a single thing about this movie that I liked. I don’t think that’s ever happened! I can usually find something that’s somewhat positive to say about every movie I see, even my least favorite movie ever made, Leprechaun 4: In Space. After looks like it is the exception as I didn’t like a single thing about this movie. I guess I should start with what I disliked the least, and that would probably be the acting. Some of the performances really are terrible, for example, Pia Mia (sigh…) and Inanna Sarkis are really bad in the film, so awful and bland that I seriously couldn’t tell them apart until over halfway through the film.
That may be on me, but not only do the characters look incredibly similar, they also are playing pretty much the same person. We also get terrible performances from actors and actresses such as Peter Gallagher, Dylan Arnold, and Josephine Langford. There isn’t a single good performance and only one average one given by Selma Blair. Besides that, it’s terrible on all counts of acting.
Next, I want to talk about the characters, or I should stereotypes, as that’s who occupies this film. Every single character is so two dimensional that I’m surprised this film wasn’t hand drawn animation in the style of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. We can have a checklist of basic teen romance film archetypes that we can just go through right here. Good girl who always studies and gets obsessed with a boy. Check, and bonus points for missing a parent.
Mysterious handsome guy with a British accent and a “dark secret” which we’ll get to later, check. Roommate who tries to liberate her new roommate with drugs and other not very appreciate recreational activities, check. Honestly, it’s like the film is compiled of characters that good movies didn’t want so they just threw them in here. Like when they were writing Vox Lux and they made a character that everyone on the production team hated and they said “Too bland, put it in After!” The overwhelming blandness of the film’s characters is too much to bare.
Finally, it’s time to talk about the story. Well, lack of story. I really just want to bring up one big thing here, and that would be something that happens at the end. You see, the plot synopsis of the film on IMDB describes After as “A young woman falls for a guy with a dark secret and the two embark on a rocky relationship.” What is that dark secret? Well, I won’t spoil it, but I did have fun when it comes to saying things that not only would have been better story wise, but also just more interesting.
I’ll pull out my list and… let’s see, leader of a cult, killed someone, robbed a bank, shoplifted one time, has an unpaid parking ticket, or jaywalked once. Another thing those all have in common is the fact that they are darker than the actual secret he has. I also should mention the snails pace of a story, as well as the various unconnected subplots which are extremely boring, but the twist at the end is enough for me.
So that wraps up my thoughts on After, which is a film I hope is my worst of the year, because if it isn’t than I am scared for what comes next. Overall, this is a film that is not only bad, but one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life. The cardboard cut-out characters, an extremely boring story, as well as atrocious acting combine to make an absolute mess of a movie that after seeing it myself, I would not even recommend to my worst enemy. It’s that bad, people. That bad.