This film has been named one of the worst movies on IMBD. Which I looked at on the last day of the 2020. Looking at it when I am writing right now. It actually shot up a lot and it is no longer the number one. I think that people who enjoyed this film a lot also voted. For me I am going right out and say it, this wasn’t the worst movie of the year. For me it was this one. I know, I shouldn’t name or shame but that film really didn’t do it for me. And even worse I bought a ticket. Seeing a movie now a days is expensive. But it is fine, sometimes you go to the movies and discover a gem and sometimes you do not. Speaking of going to the movies when After we Collided came out I really wanted to go see it. I wasn’t able to in the first week or so and then lockdown happend. I would have gone with mum, just like the first one as I appreciate her company. I feel in a sense very fortunate that this didn’t end up happening. I would have been absolutely mortified if I saw this movie with my mother in the cinema. Even now on my own in my bedroom I felt quit flustered and embarrassed (there I a dutch word that covers the feeling a bit better but alas this is all we have in English). I will get into why I felt this way a bit later in this post. Now I am going to totally transparant about this film. Like I said in my last review, I know the source material. With this I do not only mean the book the movie was based on. I mean the books that clearly inspired the original fan-fiction and I even read the fan-fiction itself. So the source material, I am not a fan. I said this last time but was trying to be nice and darting around it a lot. Because I do not like to be mean and I enjoyed the film enough to not make a fuss. As well as the fact that I did think it was cool that someone could make a fan-fiction and be really popular and then go on to get a movie deal. I think that is something incredible. As I see fan-fiction as a great way for people to read and write more and I think this is so important for children to learn. The ability to write clearly, to read more and to value what you read. Those skills carry you through adulthood and are so important to have. So I had written about the film and I was positive, after a while I took this post down as I felt that people might read the book because of the film. Later on I put it online again as I thought that if people do that, I would probably not have made the difference. Yet, for myself, for own sake I do want to make my stance clear on the books. So that I can look at my own posts and be proud of what I promote. Because I might make a difference and that is huge responsibility. So let’s start with the source material.
I do not mind fan-fiction, I even wrote some fan-fiction myself. Honestly it was bad and I knew that it was bad. I just had a lot of fun with. Granted it got even more cringe over time, but man it was bad from the beginning. Now I let it sit for many years because I wasn’t that bothered. Until I felt it on my heart to delete the cringe which is what I did. Having said this, there is nothing wrong with writing fan-fiction. Their is nothing wrong with getting a lot of fews, it’s not even wrong to get a character you like look-wise and portraying them in a way that suits your story not themselves. In most fan fiction, the autor will take a person/character from a movie or a film or someone that is real like a singer or actor and this person is on of your main characters. Usually the second main one is the autor himself/herself (especially when there is a love story). Most writers are young and trying to write their first book. This is not the case for everyone, I think it doesn’t matter much. As long as people write and read I think it is a good thing.
The origin story
Everyone and their mum has heard that After started as a Harry Styles fan fiction. And that this made people mad. What a lot of people do not know is that this isn’t the whole story. I can see how only knowing it was based on someone’s look can seem like such a mundane problem. This however isn’t the problem dare I same most have with the story. I have heard that people didn’t like the mature content of the story which is fair enough. That isn’t my problem with the story. Oh no, my problem is bigger than that. I think it is important to know that just because a story get a lot of reads. Just because a lot of people buy a book. Just because people do enjoy a certain books does not mean that the book is good necessarily, or that they give off a good message. And that I precisely my problem. I already here you say it; a story doesn’t necessarily have to give off a good message. However when your main demographic is vulnerable teens, I think caution is needed. The autor of this book is probably a really nice woman. She probably didn’t mean harm. And being open and honest here I do have some cognitive dissonance with this book as I enjoy the story. Some bits are a bit weird which make me laugh. But the flow of the story is done well (although the chapter cuts are weird but this is what a fan-fiction gives you). The story truly isn’t half bad. Having said this, I am not 13 or 14 or even 12. I am not a young boy or girl in my room reading/watching/listening to this story and thinking that this is what love is. That true love shows itself the way this material is trying to make it seem. And I know that this book has mature content and I know that you might say that children will therefor not read it. But honestly, has that even slowed you down? Besides this, it all depends on your maturity their might be 25 year olds out their waiting for a love like this. Love, and I want to make this very clear. Love shouldn’t be like this. No one on this whole planet should ever treat you the way these people treat each other (the book is far worse than the film). I know that a lot of people say that even though there is fighting, cheating and lies that at the end of the day they are meant to be together. This is all fine, as it is a story. If someone treats you this way, no matter your age, no matter how long you have been together. You have to know, this is your sign; YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER. It doesn’t matter if ‘they bring out the worst in each other’ this isn’t funny. Children should always know, that they deserved to be treated well. This is, in my opinion not a story that teaches that. It teaches the complete opposite. And I personally belief this to be harmful. You can obviously disagree (respectfully), but I can’t not stress enough that you are worth it, you deserve to be treated well. You deserve a love story better than this one, everyone does.
When I was reading through my After review, which you can read for yourself here. I can see I was apprehensive to really dive into it. I think this is mainly because I do actually like the actors in this film. I really think they did a wonderful job with the film. I can’t get myself to really be mean to people in general. As well as the fact that I am usually very easily pleased with films and series. My main problem was and always has been the source material. Besides this Josephine Langford who plays Tessa was born in August 1997 and Hero Fiennes Tiffin who plays Hardin is from November 1997 making them both the exact same age as me. Honestly good for them. I can’t imagine a career in entertainment and I think they both (actually everyone that participated in the film) did a wonderful job with the material that was given. I truly think they all did there very best to make the film(s) the best they could be. I want to make clear, I have the up most respect for actors and what they do. They are true entertainers. I really love watching films an I am glad they are made. We will however talk about the story because there is so much to say.
What is this movie about?
I always look at IMBD for information about a film, as I find they usually give a good synopses of any story. I usually add some of my own flair to make it even better. So here I was looking it up for After we collided and it just said. “Based on the 2014 romance novel of the same name, this follows the love life of two young adults”. I found this information here. Honestly that is, pretty bad. The thing is, there isn’t much more you can say. It feels like a ‘filler film’, that when number three comes out you can just skip this one if you want to watch the whole series. Anyway in After we collided: We once again meet Thessa and Hardin where we left off the last time. We follow them through fights and make-ups, until the story ends. Actually I found the start so weird as I thought the story ended (I had seen the first film again right before starting After we collided. And I thought it implied that they where going to talk. But apparently not, I don’t know I felt confused with that one.
What did I think?
Well generally speaking, it was worse than the last one and when a screenplay is co-written by the autor you can’t help but think that has something to do with it (Just going off fifty shades for example which did worse in the box office after the autor came onboard to have more influence). I also belief that watching a film in the cinema makes is that you like it better as you paid money for it (their are multiple psychological theories about thinks like this). So the rating could also have to do with the fact that there are lockdowns all over the world and people can’t see it in the cinema. I think that making a screenplay is so different than writing a book though. People that write screenplays are so interesting as they need to have such a clear few for the film to make it look the best and that the story they are telling still flows well. Whereas a writer has more place to go into the small things, a screenwriter need to pick out the most important things.
When writing a movie review I always try to be nice, besides this I am usually easily pleased with films. I can sit through almost any film and enjoy it. I also remember last time, I tried so hard to be kind. It’s not these actors fault they are in this movie. Especially because I think they might have not read the books or not read them the way you do if you just read a book. It think you walk away with a different view if you know you might play one of the characters. I am not sure but I think it makes a difference. So before I watched this film I watched the first one again to refresh my memory. And Tessa as a character is something.. No matter how lovely Josephine Langford is. There is no saving Tessa, it’s the absolute worst character. And this stands out so much in the film as opposed to the book because in the book Hardin is even more terrible than he is in the film. Actually, I like to argue that movie Hardin isn’t such a terrible character at all. He has problems sure, but he has been trough something traumatic (this doesn’t mean you are allowed treat someone badly, obviously) and has clear mental problems that have to be addressed. Everyone’s character somehow is quit mean, so taking this together Hardin isn’t that bad at all.
Maybe it is me being pretentious or me knowing the story or how bad it’s rated. But two minutes in I had to pause and say ‘What’ to my screen. My mum actually asked what was going on. The film starts off with a sort of summary of the last film. Comparing this story to the Greek stories, to the stories told my Shakespeare, by the Brontë’s. I think this is an insult to great work. Everything is based on something. But that doesn’t mean it’s the same. Tessa wasn’t promised so to speak to Noah she chose him and was happy until she went to college. He was her first love that’s something different than being promised like in the olden days. And her ‘oppressive parent’ as much as I dislike the mum character and she wasn’t much around to begin with. She was reasonable. A bit over bearing but she was a single parent putting all her money into the future of her only child. I don’t live in America but I have heard that dorm rooms are expensive. Tessa and her mum have communication issues. But she is not a vile human being. There is a problem with setting up the story like this, because it could have been the way they start off. You can even argue that in the book this summary was quit good. For me though, it falls quit flat. Alright at 2 minutes and 20 second on the ‘happily ever after” bit I did laugh. It was good. It starts off with Hardin sleeping in his car. It is not clear to me why. Because he has a house right? Or is she living there and he is in his car? He comes from money so you would think he can afford a hotel, or sleep on his friends sofa? I found it a bit strange but alas. I liked that we met the homeless guy right away as people who know the story know is Tessa’s dad, which makes you wonder when he will come up again. This is a good move. When Tessa starts her new job we meet Vance, the owner of the company. I liked this as I thought ‘oh my gosh it’s Frank. It’s Frank from how to get away with murder, I forgot he was in this. What a pleasant surprise”. So in this story line Vance is an ass. Which is why Frank is a great person to play this role (I am sorry Charlie Weber that I keep calling you Frank). I think he makes a great Vance and I liked the way he came into the story. At her job we also meet Trevor. Trevor (her work ‘friend’) is either very sarcastic or also not very nice. Here is the thing at this point I wonder if they try to make everyone be ‘mean’ so that Hardin and especially Tessa don’t seem as terrible in comparison. Or if that just happend to happen and that they didn’t plan it? If they planned it, it’s working. Tessa starts off her first day and falls asleep on the job. No one checked on here? Not even the security? Any office has night security which would have awoken her. Then there is a work trip which si happening on her second day. And I sit there wondering why one earth this is? We know is her second day because they tell us, she fell asleep on her first day and is in her same clothes for her second day. I think this is very fast. I can’t now remember if this happens in the book this fast but even if it did. They changed other things, they should have changed it. It was really weird because it makes the pace of the film feel off. Like for instance with Trevor. Tessa and him had an awkward meeting but now approximately 24 hours later they have banter ? But they don’t know each other ? It seems a bit strange. The author is in this film as well. I do not see the point in this to be honest. It didn’t bring anything necessary to the story. But honestly good for her I know if I wrote a book, I sure would want to be in the movie too. The drunk hotelroom scene was absolutely perfect. It was just as cringe as in the book, I loved it. The problem with this film is that none of the new characters are flushed out. We meet them on Tessa’s first day. On her second day they are fast friends. Which I worked places before, that doesn’t happen that quick. It makes the feel of the film off. I do like Tessa friendship with Trevor even though it is sudden it makes a bit more sense for the story. I also liked Hardin’s mum, that actress (Louise Lombard) is great she really got the cool mum role down. So I was thinking how can the parents be shorter than the son they are acting they have. But I looked it up, you can actually become taller than your tallest parent. Which is funny, as I never truly thought about it. But it makes sense. I really dislike Noah in this one. He was understanding and somewhat kind in the last film and here he is not. For example he said something like her mum knowing something great when she looked at it, which was a hint at their relationship. It’s like I said before. Hardin and Tessa come off greater because everyone else sucks. Honestly the mum is not good, honestly Tessa mum you’re not doing great in this one. And why does the mum curse? That a bit weird, I am sorry it doesn’t go with the persona at all (I really like the actress that plays here, she is very pretty). In this film they show Hardin’s mental state a bit more when he experiences nightmares from witnessing something terrible happing to his mum. This broke my heart.I think mental health and especially Hardin with the drinking is dealt with in such a poor way. Which is the screenwriters faults and and honestly inexcusable. Besides he is right to be angry and to feel upset. He is going on about it in the wrong but he has been harmed immensely as a boy and he hasn’t learned to cope. So we can’t then go on and judge someone for not coping well. Especially in his relationship with his dad. I also see what they try to do with the forgiveness. But Hardin clearly isn’t ready to forgive himself, but the story never talked about that. It focused on forgiveness. for his dad. The problems of Hardin’s mental health has an effect on his relationship. He is angry and maybe he should’t always be. Having said this I wouldn’t like it very much if someone cheated on me to my face. Or when someone had a guy/girl in his/her underwear in their room when we just broke up. Honestly, all of us would be angry. His mental state his anger, in this case doesn’t matter as cheating is inexcusable. They fight a lot and about the same things, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you can’t make up maybe you should stop trying. Also I would like to add, being sorry isn’t really good enough. I know Tessa thinks so but Hardin has been an absolute prick to her in the last film. So I understand she can’t just move on. Like I said, maybe she shouldn’t. She should however make up her mind. Move on with or without him but not making a choice is a choice. Also, it wasn’t made clear in this film that Hardin had other girls he took bets on. So making up with on of his conquests came out of left field. The new-year party is a reminder to us all that if you do not know what you can of cannot handle when it comes to alcohol. You shouldn’t be drinking at all. That catfight, it was f****** pathetic. I don’t know why that was put it. They could have just left it by the mean comments. Maybe it is an American thing but who even does that? Even when drunk, it’s weird. These people are adults, it’s really strange. Maybe this is what happens at Frat parties I am not sure. Something positive though I really like the new Karen (Karimah Westbrook) she is so pretty, I really loved her braided hairstyle. It really suited her. Coming back to this; I really do not understand this job Tessa has. The company is moving and they are paying for Tessa to move with them. She is an intern and hasn’t worked there for long. She can’t be that good? Or maybe she is and that is why they took her on that trip and she is very impressive I don’t know but it feels ridiculous. Honestly the honesty of Trevor though. So Trevor tells Hardin to stay away, which he does. But then he feels bad so he tells Tessa what he did. We love an honest guy. Even if it was a tad late and at a party. Speaking off, I liked the proposal. I really like Frank and his mrs. And the little boy Smid, what a darling. I think that boy is such a funny character and what an actor that little boy is. Honestly great !
Here is the thing, my problem with Tessa. She needs to get off her high horse and learn to be reasonable. She expects someone to change over night. Yes Hardin did bad things in the last movie. If you want to move on and forgive you need to mean it. If you can’t do that, which is fine you should leave. You can’t hold the worst thing someone has even done to you over their head for the rest of their lives. If you can’t live with it (I am not saying she should, she shouldn’t actually) you should just leave. No matter how hard this may be. In this film Hardin did not do anything really bad? He lied to his mum, he wasn’t very nice to Tessa. He stayed out all night. But she cheated on him, which arguably is way worse. He has mental problems what did she expect? This film seems to think that love is enough and that seems great but really it isn’t. It’s not enough and we shouldn’t expect it to be. Also repeat after me: love doesn’t cure mental illness. Tessa is really young and you can tell. The expectation that love is enough even in a film saying or making it seem that if there is love it will work out is just bad. Love honestly isn’t enough. Films maybe shouldn’t pretent it to be. And if they did, the people that are in it, should make it clear.
Giving credit where it is due, this scene was much better in the book.
In this film there was a lot of adult content. I don’t mind some adult scene as this is a part of most people’s adult relationships. It is a part of life so to speak. But in this film, especially the bedroom and bathroom scenes I thought “at what point does it become a porno?”. It made me feel so awkward to watch, and I watched fifty shades (all three of them actually). In the Netherlands they show a lot in films. Backs of everyone and tops off everyone t00. I do get the sex thing because of the source material but God just no. It’s just a bit much. There was a lot of zooming in on the underwear, which made me wonder if Victoria Secret sponsored this film. Also the going down of the camera when they where about too. Well, you know. In the last movie I thought it was done so well and so mature. Where a lot of things where implied and not so on the nose. I really think this is why I walked away from this film with an awkward feeling. I am not really into voyeurism and the way the story was set up it felt as if I was watching someones very intimate moment and that made me feel weird. But that obviously was my personal experience, you might not have this issue. I sure am glad I didn’t watch this one with mum which we would done if the cinemas where open. So bless me, for not experiencing that.
If you want to watch this film it is totally up to you, it wasn’t the worst film. I do hope that they will focus a bit more on mental health in the next films. To give themselves time to do this, I wouldn’t mind if they skipped some of the adult scenes. This review became a rather long one. I hope you enjoyed reading it none the less.
Do you want to know what I feel about other films and series? Click here. Or maybe something completely different click here.