Monday, November 4, 2019

After (2019)

Movie Name/Year: After (2019)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 105 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: CalMaple, Wattpad, Diamond Film Productions, Voltage Pictures, Offspring Entertainment, Aviron Pictures, 01 Distribution, Belga Films, Big Bang Media, Cinépolis Distribución, Constantin Film, Diamond Films, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Independent Films, Monolith Films, Pancinema, Reality Entertainment, SND Groupe M6, Shaw Organisation, Spentzos Films, VVS Films, Venus Films, Volga, Cinemundo, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Director: Jenny Gage
Writers: Tom Betterton, Tamara Chestna, Jenny Gage, Susan McMartin, Anna Todd
Actors: Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford, Selma Blair, Meadow Williams, Khadijha Red Thunder, Swen Temmel, Samuel Larsen, Inanna Sarkis, Pia Mia, Shane Paul McGhie, Dylan Arnold, Peter Gallagher, Jennifer Beals

Blurb from IMDb: A young woman falls for a guy with a dark secret and the two embark on a rocky relationship. Based on the novel by Anna Todd.

Cat’s Point of View:
I generally get excited when I have an opportunity to review a movie that’s made it onto one of our monthly Top 20 lists. This film was no exception. It landed at #15 of our April 2019 list – under my section.

The trailer had intrigued me, and I was also a bit curious to see how far the talent stretched in the Fiennes family. I can tell you that I wasn’t disappointed in that department – that’s not to say that disappointment wasn’t present.

I’m of two minds with After.

On one hand, it was a solid young adult melodrama with its nearly bipolar roller-coaster of soaring highs and deep valleys of lows. I found the characters interesting, if a bit under-developed in most cases, and the chemistry between the leads was believably palpable. There were several scenes with little dialogue, and yet so much was ‘said’ between the characters through eye contact and body language alone. Get your minds out of the gutter – you know who you are. I’m not talking about the make-out scenes.

I enjoyed the fact that the characters were clearly intelligent and well-read. I enjoyed that the leads were more relatable, rather than falling back to the standard romance tropes of meat-head jocks and vapid sorority girls.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else that stood out as original. I felt like I’d seen most of it before, and there really wasn’t a lot to ‘wow’ me.

The story felt forced in some places, to be honest. I’ve seen some fans of the novels the film was based on have said that there were changes or omissions that threw things out of balance. That’s the risk with an adaptation, though. There are so many reasons that source material doesn’t make it into a screenplay or finds itself on the cutting room floor. I could only speculate – and even then, not very well since I haven’t read the books.

I do find it impressive that the tale originated on a social writing platform called Wattpad. I had never even heard of that app before. It sounds neat in theory. Though, to some One Direction fan-fiction sounds neat, too. I’m not sure I even get how that applies to this film beyond the lead’s accent. (Don’t tell my daughter I am sorely lacking in 1D knowledge.) That’s really how the books started. I’m not kidding. I digress…

I wouldn’t say that I didn’t like the movie – I’m just a bit ‘meh’ overall about it. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 17%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 72%
Metascore – 30%
Metacritic User Score – 5.0/10
IMDB Score – 5.4/10
CinemaScore – B

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Movie Trailer:

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