Movie review: After We Collided

by H. E. Smith
Hardin and Tessa almost kissing in bed.

As I’ve been struggling with creativity for WEEKS, I’ve decided to write about my guilty pleasures, mundane items and anything else that doesn’t stir up resentment and frustration within my soul.

Like After We Collided, the movie. I am STILL living for it like the true Afternator that I am.

Yes, that’s what members of the fandom are called. No, I don’t actually consider myself one cos I don’t think I’m dedicated enough to the cause. Not gonna lie though, I have thought more than once about starting a separate pseudo-Instagram account so I can comment, stalk, like and share all things After.

Whilst I haven’t actually gone that far, I think it’s fair to say I’ve been quite vocal when it comes to my obsession with the books and movies. I’ve only recently admitted to myself just how unhealthy my fixation on it might be. Not only did the books consume me,¬† but the movies and the build up to the release of the sequel … this is when the Afternator in me came out. I would catch myself acting like an obsessed fan. Stalking social media, finding articles and comments that might indicate the lead actors are dating … Why would I care about that, I hear you ask? I HAVE NO IDEA. MY BRAIN IS BROKEN.

For those of you who missed it, I basically got a God damn private screening of the After sequel when it came out a couple of months ago and it was just the best. And this is why:

  • It was hot AF.
  • It was cringeworthy.
  • It was overacted in parts, Oscar-worthy in others.
  • It made my inner teenager squeal with delight.

LOOK AT THE HOTNESS.

The plot

I reviewed the book After We Collided (which you can read here) so you read the plot and basic premise there. Or have a quick look on Google. LET’S BE REAL: The only people who have read this far are people who know what the movie is, so can just get to the good stuff.

The things I loved in the movie …

  • First of all: May we all bow down to Roger Kumble, director of Cruel Intentions and creator of high-tension, sexual masterpieces. He’s managed to create something that feels legit and that visually flows well. This movie exceeded my expectations and shit all over the first one (apologies to those involved in its creation – it’s still terribly good in its own way).
  • This movie is rated R in the States. It’s a pathetic M for us Aussies, but it’s still sexy AF. Much more in line with the sexiness of the books this time around. I read somewhere that people had commented there was too much sex … Those folks need to zip the lip because THAT IS THE POINT.
  • Stand out performances go to: Josephine Langford (Tessa) and Louise Lombard (Trish). Josephine carried the movie, let’s all be real. When she cried, she really cried. She had me convinced of every emotion. And she’s an Aussie so I’m not even biased.
  • What the first movie lacked in actual, real-life occurrences, this movie definitely helped make up for. Actual swear words were used. There were references to drugs and alcohol. There were punches and catfights (not so realistic, but you get me).
  • The original score by Justin Burnett. That spine-tingling music makes me feel all fuzzy (and you can play it to your heart’s content on Spotify).
  • Did I mention, the hotness? See below.
hardin and tessa kissing in bed

This is THE scene. This is it.

The things I didn’t love …

Look, I don’t like speaking ill of anyone’s creative work. As a writer, it terrifies me. But I do feel like I need to share some honest truths:

  • The script could’ve been better. I know they were working with a particular storyline, but some of the lines were SO clich√© I wanted to die.
  • Some of the acting was bit … how’s it going. Again, I don’t want to shit all over a project that had people pouring their heart and soul into it but … I’m sure those who have watched it/will watch it will agree that there are some moments that make you want to slap your hands over your eyes with embarrassment.
  • The soundtrack was bleh. Let’s not even beat around the bush. I’m sure it’s a hard job to pick good songs to go with a movie, but dramatic love songs that try and tie in with the mood of certain scenes is just not my thing. MAY I JUST REITERATE: This does not include the After score mentioned above. I am specifically talking about using boppy songs with lyrics like, “I love you, but I hate to love you, you broke my heart and I don’t wanna be a good girl tonight”. Bah.

Despite any hang-ups I might have about this movie, I can honestly say, it helped me get through some dark moments in 2020.

Having something mindless and wholesome to look forward to and focus on this year, really helped my overall state of mind. Yes, I may have been obsessed with a work of fiction for reasons that only my inner thirteen-year-old would understand, but I’m okay with it. In a year that has been draining in so many ways, it was nice to switch off.

This movie will always be a source of comfort and light for me. In a time that was mentally and emotionally dark and difficult, this movie and all the corny hype around it, was a beacon of much-needed light. That reason alone means it gets a heap of stars.

Leonardo Dicaprio clapping in Wolf of Wall Street

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