High Point University

‘After We Collided’: A disappointing sequel

The relationship between Tessa and Hardin, played by Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, is one of the primary reasons fans love the movies and novels so much. Photo by International Business Times

By Rebeka Ogren

Staff Writer


As is said for many popular book-to-screen series, “The book is always better.” This idea holds very true for the “After” franchise that has grown in the hearts of millions.

Shortly after its release in 2019, “After” received even more fans that obsessed over the steamy smut and sexy main characters — or should I say sexy main character, Hardin Scott, played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin. Let’s be honest: He’s the only reason half of the human population even watches the series.

Unlike the first film in the series, the sequel hasn’t made its way to Netflix just yet. However, it has premiered on other plat- forms like Amazon and OnDemand.

After many delays due to COVID-19, fans finally got to see Hardin and Tessa, the two main characters, again in mid-October with “After We Collided.”

Having read all of the books, the idea that the movie could possibly switch up some of my most beloved moments was very apparent. Little did I know, however, just how much would be changed. It is clearly understood that not everything would remain word for word, but deleting crucial scenes and moments from Tessa and Hardin’s relationship is detrimental to the film’s success. Quite frankly, it left me disappointed in this year’s release.

The first difference I immediately noted was Tessa being pulled to Seattle by Christian Vance, her boss, on the second day of her very prestigious internship. There are a few things wrong with this scenario.

As a student seeking internships, like many other HPU students, I know the weight that is held in the label of a paid internship. Internships are few and far between, automatically making the concept of Tessa having one as a freshman in college very unlikely. If, hypothetically, this was a common circumstance, what are the odds that on the second day of said internship, the owner is so impressed that he sweeps the intern up and takes him or her to a neighboring city for the weekend without notice? Not very likely.

I am understanding of the fact that the film is based on a fiction novel, and my idea of fiction is to create something that is not pre-existing. This being said, the book depicts a real girl in modern-day society. Some things, like internships, should have accurate representations, fiction genre or not. Additionally, the internship opportunity in the film series doesn’t unfold in the book’s manner. In the book, Tessa worked months at the publishing office prior to Vance asking for her accompaniment, a very important detail that the film’s producers seemingly disregarded.

As the film progresses, the awkward entanglements between Tessa and Hardin become worse and worse. The film is understandably R-rated for the amount of intercourse the couple has, but the rating also implies a certain level of sexiness and allurement that is just not there.

A perfect example is on Tessa’s birthday. Hardin tells Tessa that she can get whatever she wants, so after a day filled with adventure, they end up in none other than an acro-yoga class. This is the same yoga class that, in the book, is a part of Tessa’s class schedule. It is a course that the couple decides to take together, instead of it being a one-time fix.

In the class, the couple fawns over one another while being in short proximity to their classmates. It is uncomfortable, to say the least. The promiscuity that shortly follows the acro-yoga scene was almost worse. A mix of soap, wet clothes and a phone call from Tessa’s office allows for the moment to be very much ruined.

Other missing details and cringeworthy moments mixed into the 1 1⁄2-hour long movie made for quite the interesting watch. It’s impossible to look away from the drama and toxicity of the couple’s relationship.

Left on yet another cliffhanger, the film described as “the story of a girl exploring her independence” was cliché yet addicting. For fans filled with intrigue and inquisition, the series’ third installment, “After We Fell,” can’t come soon enough.

But beware of the probable confusion of feelings that will surely come with it, as the series thus far has done the exact same.