Like The Kissing Booth, which was initially a Wattpad story, and 50 Shades of Grey, which was originally fan fiction, After started off as fan fiction published on Wattpad.
The story, written by Anna Todd, was originally about One Direction band member, Harry Styles, and an original character named Tessa Young. It’s a journey of two young and broken people finding each other and falling in love for the first time. The love story garnered readerships and support from young teens, but along with it came criticism for the book’s tendency to glorify abusive relationships.
Some fans pointed out that it paints Harry Styles in the wrong light. When the story received a publishing deal, they changed the character’s name into Hardin Scott and the book sold 26 million copies worldwide. For the film adaptation, Jenny Gage, the director, and Susan McMartin, the scriptwriter, took After to a different direction.
Last May 2, Reality Entertainment brought MEG to the first exclusive screening of After in the Philippines.
The film adaptation begins with Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) who was raised by a strict and single mom. Tessa starts out as the perfect daughter. But as she begins freshmen year in college, everything starts to change. After is a coming-of-age film where the protagonist realizes that she has to live her life for herself. She meets Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin); the resident bad boy with the daddy issues. Eventually, they fall in love and she starts to explore her sexuality and independence.
Though After is a PG-13 movie, it still manages to show the intimate side between the two characters through Jenny Gage’s directing. It was honest, innocent, and entertaining. Josephine and Hero’s chemistry on-screen is apparent; the intense stares and cinematic direction paving the way to a captivating romance.
Fans of Anna Todd’s novel will surely love the new twist to the story. Though it remains close to the source material, they didn’t adapt to the problematic themes that the romance novel originally had.