There was not a dry eye in the theater. The audience clutched their tissues and dabbed at their wet eyes. Tears rolled down their smiling cheeks as they laughed at the cringy horror that was displayed on the screen.
With movie theaters finally reopening after the months-long shutdown, film fans are rushing to the big screens to catch new movies and munch down on some popcorn. Unfortunately, pickings are slim, as the film industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After We Collided” premiered in theaters on Oct. 23. The film starred Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford and Dylan Sprouse. This fan fiction-based movie was originally created for lonely twelve-year-olds, and it is safe to say it would have been better left that way.
The Wattpad original film is based on fan fiction revolving around Harry Styles, a member of the former boy band One Direction. First written by Anna Todd, the original names of the characters were changed and adapted for the screen by director Roger Kumble.
“After We Collided” is the sequel to both Todd’s first work in the series and the movie “After.” The film is a love story between two college students with toxic habits, emotional damage and horrible taste in fashion. The story has little to no plotline and follows characters Hardin and Tessa as they prance about aimlessly in their college town.
“After We Collided” is sure to elicit emotion. Whether those feelings are sadness, anger or disgust, however, is completely up to the viewer.
Scenes intended to be romantic and sexy become cringy and hard to bear. “After We Collided” is full of sexual content that is more likely to make viewers cover their eyes than desire a relationship. Hardin and Tessa spend most of their time arguing and bickering with one another, and the few scenes when they’re not at each other’s throats, they’re instead having steamy, intimate moments with absolutely no buildup.
Viewers are unsure that producers even understood the plot of “After We Collided.” There isn’t much context given to the audience as to what exactly is going on and who the characters are.
One of the few facts that can be pulled from the film’s plot is that Tessa is an intern. She spends a lot of time in a tiny office wearing dresses straight off the racks of Forever 21. She reads books for a publishing company and gives her opinion to her boss on which pieces should be printed.
Before beginning her job, Tessa is told that the boss of the publishing company fires interns easily. But Tessa, having only completed one year of college, is somehow a literary genius and is not fired; instead, she’s the boss’s favorite employee —totally probable, and not at all cliche.
“After We Collided” promotes toxicity and emotional abuse. Hardin battles a serious alcohol addiction and often initiates violence with others. Rather than using this as an opportunity to tell audiences about the importance of professional help, producers suggest that the love Tessa feels for Hardin is a cure-all to solving the problems he faces.
Additionally, Tessa and Hardin’s relationship is anything but healthy. They fight often and throw malicious words at one another every other sentence. Tessa does not seem to have any friends she can talk to about this issue. Instead, she keeps to herself, and once again her love for Hardin overcomes the borderline emotional abuse she receives.
Random characters are frequently brought in and out of “After We Collided.” They add little substance to the plot, and instead, the characters vanish about as quickly as they appear.
Two of these characters are Tessa’s ex-boyfriend, Noah, and her mother. Tessa attempts to leave Hardin and goes home to her mother, but she quickly finds out Noah is in a relationship with her mother. Surprise, surprise, Tessa goes back to Hardin after this disaster.
Another random character is Santa Claus. Yes, you read that right, the big bearded guy. Hardin and Tessa take a painfully awkward Christmas photo together sitting on Santa Claus’ lap. The scene gives the audience secondhand embarrassment and adds absolutely nothing to the plot of the film. It would have been better left for a post-credits scene.
Dylan Sprouse plays a large role in the movie as Tessa’s nerdy coworker, Trevor. Trevor is extremely kind to Tessa; he even goes as far as to find her a car. But staying on-brand with the film’s theme of toxicity, Tessa neglects Trevor and flocks to Hardin.
Whatever acting coaches Sprouse had during his time on the popular kids show “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” probably found new day jobs after seeing the performance he gave in this movie. The former Disney star would have been better left washed-up than part of the cringe-worthy film.
Despite its 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “After We Collided” did relatively well in the box office during the pandemic, grossing over $400,000.
“After We Collided” is full of awkward moments and embarrassing scenes. I would not recommend going to see this film.