After is a teen angst movie kicked up a notch or two with college age young man and woman that just brings you to the edge of smoldering without going there. It was a little intense in parts but without the payoff of either explaining the feelings or exploring them, it just set them there for you to see.
The young actors were riveting to watch, full of potential and on the brink of great careers. The broodiness of Hero Tiffin is relevant to the movie and subject matter, but I wish he would have had some other kind of emotion. We understand from the beginning that he is troubled, but at the end of the movie, the same feelings were on the screen and we never moved past it.
These two young folks are in a budding romance with troublesome secrets right from the beginning for someone so young. Young Josephine Langford is beautiful and has a watchable face, but there seemed to be some personality quirks for someone who had never been in those type of situations. She almost waited too long to react to being touched or being kissed that made it a little uncomfortable.
There are all of the red flags, troublesome behavior, pushy friends, away from home for the first time worries, moving off campus — all of these situations were ripe for bad things to happen with seemingly no means of emotional or physical support. There were no adults around to help or talk to.
I usually try to read the book first, but in this case, I didn’t. The screen didn’t make me want to go back and read the book for clarification as the story did not promote anything that I hadn’t already seen. I liked Selma Blair in this though, as the mother, as it made me realize that we are all getting older.
It was a good story of discovery and growth, the ending did leave something to think about, to try to make your own story of how these two turned out. It might we worth a rainy day watch, and it might make you check yourself to make sure you are learning from your experiences. Get the popcorn and maybe a tissue or two.