After We Fell continues the story of Tessa and Hardin, the world’s most boring couple.
If you’ve seen After and After We Collided, you know the story of Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin). You know that Tessa has an alcoholic father and that she met and fell in love with Hardin during her first semester of college. You know that Hardin is a British bad boy with a lot of really lame tattoos but he also really likes The Great Gatsby. Hardin’s from a wealthy family and he’s a recovering alcoholic. Hardin may come across like a sullen jerk but that’s just because no one but Tessa understands who he truly is. Blah blah blah.
Hardin and Tessa spent the first two movies having a bunch of boring relationship problems and that’s pretty much what they spend the third movie doing, as well. There’s a lot of tastefully filmed sex scenes but no one’s going to mistake these films for Fifty Shades of Grey. Whenever Hardin and Tessa have sex in After We Collided, there’s a close-up of Hardin grabbing a condom. The one time that Hardin doesn’t grab a condom, it leads to one of the film’s few plot developments. It’s the rule of Chekhov’s Condom. If a condom is used in the first act, a condom will not be used in the second act, and there will be consequences in the third act.
There’s not really much of a plot to this one. Tessa takes a job in Seattle. Hardin doesn’t want her to go to Seattle. Tessa’s drunk dad shows up. Hardin bonds with the drunk dad. Hardin’s mother gets married so the film’s action moves to London.
When Hardin and Tessa visit his mom, Hardin’s mom says, “I set your bed up, Hardin.”
“I was expecting to stay on the floor,” Hardin replies.
OH, SHUT THE FUG UP, HARDIN! JUST SAY THANK YOU FOR ONCE!
The After films wouldn’t be so bad if Hardin wasn’t such an annoying douchebag. And it would help is Tessa actually had a personality that went beyond her relationship with Hardin. They’re a boring couple. Whatever chemistry Fiennes-Tiffin and Langford had in the first two films is totally missing in After We Fell. When they have phone sex, you feel bad for whoever at the NSA is having to transcribe their conversation. They have no interests outside of each other and listening to middlebrow music. Hardin continually fears that Tessa is going to leave him but Tessa wouldn’t exist if she wasn’t half of a couple and neither would Hardin. They’re not individuals. They have no personality outside of worrying about each other, fighting with each other, and talking about each other. One gets the feeling that they are the couple that everyone tries to avoid at a party. “Don’t get stuck in a corner with those two unless you’re ready to spend the entire night listening to the story about that time Hardin was reading The Great Gatsby in the student union….”
The film ends with the promise of “To be continued.” I’m looking forward to After The Divorce.