I am the first to admit that I am a sucker for a love story and the last couple of years I have gotten hung up on young adult love stories, where one is usually struck with a life-threatening disease such as "5 Feet Apart" and "The Fault in the Stars" so I suggested we go see "After" not knowing anything about it except it was based on a YA book.
There is no medical crisis in the movie but there is Tesa, a very good girl who is smart, has a boyfriend who she has known since she was 5, is pretty, follows the rules and is majoring in economics to make a living, though her real love is literature with a leaning towards Jane Austen. Walking into her dorm room this sheltered girl finds her tattooed, noserings, pierced, multi-colored hair roommate, not that there is anything wrong with that, is more than willing to educate the newbie. Tesa is played by Josephine Langford who does a fine job with what she is given to play.
Now you know a good girl like this with a roommate like Steph, played by KhadijhaRed Thunder, will meet the 'bad' boy and he shows up in the hunky body of Hardin, played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin, a nephew of actors Joseph and Ralph Fiennes. He has the looks of the former only more smoldering but not quite the acting talent of the former, though this movie really doesn't give him a chance to show any talent. Trying to make him a combination of Darcy and Heathcliff, and he quotes them both, the director and screenwriters let his character down.
With actors like Peter Gallagher as Hardin's son, Selma Blair as Tesa's mother, Meadow Williams Tesa and Landin's English professor and Jennifer Beals plus the young actors including Shane Paul McGhie, Inanna Sarkis and others the leads get good support but the director Jenny Gage and the script by Susan McMartin let the cast and the audience down.
The movie is agonizingly slow getting the love story started, goes off in a few directions that either lead nowhere or are dropped when they should have been expanded but the biggest letdown is when what motivates Hardin, one regarding Tesa and the other himself, is revealed which should have but doesn't move the audience.
(An aside: Allen and I were the whole audience!)
"After" is not a good movie due to the script and direction.