Monday, April 15, 2019

Movie Review: After

I have to post my review of this movie.  If you've followed me for awhile, you'll remember how about three years ago I got sucked into and fell in love with the After series by Anna Todd.  There had been talks about a movie for a long time, and with that came a lot of fan casting.  Honestly, in the end, I was completely satisfied with the final casting, well, for the main characters at least.

Before I do too much reviewing, let's revisit my love for this book series.  My second tattoo was for this movie.

My arm is on the right of the picture, next to the author's arm!  I went to Apollycon in 2017 just to meet her, well, she was my top unicorn author.   And it was so neat to meet her!

I devoured these books in like a week, and they are huge books, I think all of them are right about 500 pages or more.

My favorite quote above!  I own them all as both the books you see above, as well as the audiobooks, because I began the series by listening.  Of course now I have that male narrator's voice as what Hardin should sound like, and Hero Fiennes Tiffin doesn't quite have the deep voice.  Also, that narrator is Shane East, who I now can't hear on other audiobooks without hearing Hardin.

Also, loved the trailer for the movie, definitely kept me excited for it to come out.

Now to the reviewing.  First, let me clear up one thing, as much as my review is going to seem negative, I went to see the movie opening weekend.  I will probably go see it at least one more time in the theaters. And, I will go see every single movie they make after this, that they hopefully will make all the rest of the series.  So that being said, let me give you my sadness after seeing the movie.

1.  The same complaint I had with the first Twilight movie, they leave so much out, conversation, events, etc. that if you don't already have the experience of reading the book, it's hard to understand why they fall in love.  And so many of the author's lines and conversations that are what sold me on the series, gone, just not there at all.

2.  As much as I do love Hero as Hardin, I had some issues with his portrayal. First, he smiled too much!  Wasn't mean enough to Tessa.  All the reasons that make it such a enemies to lovers romance.  Missing.

3.  Changing the bet!  A lot of that probably had to do with changing the movie to PG-13.   Changing the bet made Zed's part in the story completely null and void.  Zed is a big part!  Also, this led to the ending being different from the ending of the book that had me reaching immediately for book two, not being able to stop as I was sobbing so hard from how it ended.

4.  Changing some of the characters appearances and such.  Look, it's probably going to make me sound bad, but that cannot be Landon.  It felt like they changed him just to check the boxes off on having more diverse characters.  That can't be Landon though, because it totally changes his ex-girlfriend Dakota's role.  He now is the same as she is, which defeats their purpose together.  I actually liked the Steph change, thought that was good, EXCEPT, it now makes her role that you find out as you read all the way through the stories, not as big a deal with Hardin.   Oh yeah, Noah was not what I expected, I didn't even think he was cute at all. But that's probably just my own taste. 

5.  Finally, and this goes back to #3 above, change it to PG-13.  The sexy stuff is part of what I loved about the book, also part of why I won't get the books for my high school library.  But now that they movie doesn't have that, I'll have students wanting the books, and I still don't feel right putting them in my library, because the books are LOADED with that stuff.  Sue me, I love the sexy smuttiness of the story. 

To round out on a higher note though, I still want to support this movie franchise.  And if you haven't read the books, and are looking for a teen romance, you might enjoy it.  I know lots of other people who have read the books and loved the movies still.  I guess it is just that the books and characters are so carved into my heart and brain, I mean I read at least four times in the last two years, if not technically more, that I missed a lot of things that made the stories my stories.

Don't take my negativity to stop you from seeing it.  Maybe the next movie can add back in some of the stuff that was missing in this one.  Maybe it just needs fan support to get more and get better.  So to help with that, as I mentioned earlier in this post, I'll probably go see it in the theater again.