If you went through a Wattpad phase in 2014, you must be familiar with the hit YA novel After by Anna Todd. Some of the characters in the story were based on One Direction members, but names were changed later on in the ~official~ version.
The romantic novel turned into a four-part series that revolves around a girl named Tessa who met a frat boy named Hardin who would eventually change her life (for the better or worse seems to be the question among viewers). In 2019, it was adapted into a film after its huge success and you heard it right, they are releasing the sequel this year.
If you finished the four books, you'll know that the main characters in the story have a dramatic and complicated relationship that made some readers (including One Direction fans) criticize the series for "romanticizing abusive and toxic relationships," as well as casting Harry Styles' name in a bad light. The series has been referred to as the teen version of 50 Shades of Gray. (It's interesting to note that hit movie franchise The Kissing Booth, another Wattpad film adaptation, has also been criticized for reinforcing toxic masculinity as seen in Elle and Noah's relationship.)
In response, loyal fans defended the piece, with After stans saying the movie actually helped them. Here are some reactions to the trailer:
the scariest thing about this movie is that it mostly appeals to young girls who don't yet understand that this is NOT how men should be treating them. this is a small part of a much bigger problem which leads to young girls staying in abusive relationships.— chloe (@theirishkingnjh) August 5, 2020
You’re telling me you still think about Harry knowing you turned such a sweet soul into that het borderline abuser you call a main character? At least tell me you bought wms.— 1-800-????????????????????????????????????.? ????? (@ERSKINERCRDS) August 5, 2020
This book has absolutely no plot, glorifies abuse and it’s overall badly written, how do ppl actually like it and call it a masterpiece like?????— demeter (@skiamachiaa) August 4, 2020
Can someone stop me cause I dream of after we collided since two days now and that shit need to stop help me please— ???????????????????? (@langfordgolden) August 5, 2020ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
That was much more than I expected, they have exceeded all my expectations, I am very excited to see after we collided pic.twitter.com/NIE6qMVDbi— Sherlyn VIO A SHAWN ???? (@sherlynmendes_) July 27, 2020
I've seen tweets saying that it's glorifying all of these things when actually I can say with 100%confidence that it's doing the opposite thing, yes it's bring light to those type of life problems but in literally the best ways possible, it's personally helped me out of an— Abbie Dowling (@AbbieDowling5) August 4, 2020
This book showed to me that NO ONE is perfect, we make mistakes. But we ALL change, we are trying to be the best of ourselves... we need to love ourself first to love others. This broken guy became a WONDERFUL father, and amazing writer and a im(perfect) man.— anaz ∞|AWC SOON (@whoanaz) August 3, 2020ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
In the movie, Hardin is played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin, who also played young Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Tessa is portrayed by Josephine Langford who played Darcie Chapman in the film Wish Upon. Josephine is also the sister of 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford.
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