‘After’ Film Review: Harry Styles Fan-Fic Adaptation Goes in One Direction — South

  • The Wrap
‘After’ Film Review: Harry Styles Fan-Fic Adaptation Goes in One Direction — South
James Dean quit rolling in his grave out of boredom ages ago. Harry Styles is still alive, but why shouldn’t he start practicing now? “After,” one of the more plastic molds of troubled heartthrob storytelling in recent memory — based on Anna Todd’s popular Harry-inspired fanfic, in which the One Direction singer embodies a brooding college student — is the kind of dispiriting effort that thinks it’s scratching an itch for masochistic young girls, but primarily suggests that romance, desire and sexuality aren’t worth genuinely exploring.

“After,” which wasn’t screened in advance for critics, also falls into that desperately referential category of love story that name-checks Austen and the Brontes as if that automatically places itself in the same lineage of swoon-worthy classics. Except that when straight-arrow freshman Tessa and British bad-boy Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) duke it out in lit class over “Pride and Prejudice” — she calls it feminist and empowering,
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