Like 50 Shades of Grey, the series that followed was also the result of enthusiastic fan fiction. Twilight may have inspired 50 Shades, but After started as a fan of fictional One Direction. That’s right: this writer is hot for Harry Styles. And now we have a film adaptation of the series. That feels like YES in tone but is fully R-rated for s*xy time. After We Fell’s threequel, now available for rent via the VOD service. It continues right where we left off After We Collided.
The last time we saw the Tessa as (Josephine Langford) and Hardin as (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin). They took on Tessa’s long-lost (and very drunk) father, Richard (Atanas Srebrev). After our fall, Tessa helped her dad clean up. And they talked about why she hadn’t heard from him in 9 years. The defender, Hardin, constantly threatens Richard. But the two then bond when they walk up to the bar. And start throwing their hands to protect Tessa’s honour. Richard left shortly after, but not without promising beforehand that he would not go this time.
Meanwhile, Tessa and Hardin face their problems;
Tessa is now fully ready to move to the Seattle for her dream job. While Hardin doesn’t understand why she’s so happy to leave him. He didn’t want to move to Seattle because there wasn’t anything else for him, which led to their breakup. The two keep arguing about pretty stupid stuff (like Tessa might be in love with her old partner while she’s not even with Hardin).
And all the s*x and makeup in the world can’t solve their problems. Tessa’s move turns out to be a good thing for both of them, and they seem to be on their way to a pretty healthy relationship. When Hardin decides to take her to London for his mother’s wedding. What begins as an enjoyable journey soon turns full of disappointing revelations that can change things forever.
Even at a little over 90 minutes, After We Fell feels like forever. Like dragging its way through gritty s*x scenes set to a B-pop tracklist and minimal actual conflict. Usually, I wouldn’t say I like panning, but the After franchise deserves it. The funny thing about shows like 50 Shades of Gray is that they’re so bad, they’re good, they’re almost kidding, and they have some great cast.
The franchise doesn’t handle this except for occasional appearances by artists like Selma Blair, Peter Gallagher, and 50 Shades, who is Ariel Kebel herself. But most of all the supporting actors in the first film (and some in the second) have been reworked. So if you’re having a hard time, you’re not alone. And without that, knowing who the characters are doesn’t matter.
Once We Fell feels like a gaping sequel to After We Collided:
As I picked up exactly where it stopped and continued at such a slow and steady pace, I kept checking how many minutes I had left. After We Fell repeats the same emotional beats as its predecessor and spins in circles that make Hardin angry or jealous, Tessa has the same tearful reaction until the two end their s*x relationship where it is most comfortable. This is not a movie. From a half-hearted attempt to s*xually shake things up to The Frays’ bizarre use of hit.
“Never Say Never (Don’t Let Me Go)” as the final dramatic song (there’s a 0% chance some of the romantic hosts on Once We Fall Know Who They Are) The Fray), nothing makes sense. And here, too, there’s no natural heat, so it’s barely worth looking at just for the subtle and s*xy stuff. Save time and set 50 colours instead. You get all the toxic relationship content you crave and a little bit of confidence, which is so much more than any of the movies that followed it.
Once We Fell is complete bullshit, nap party over a s*xy teen food experience that will likely only please the franchise’s most ardent fans (and they may even be disappointed).