Added: Nehemiah Springs - Date: 15.12.2021 08:06 - Views: 14204 - Clicks: 4562
After is a new romantic film based on a romance novel by Anna Todd. The book itself began as fan fiction based on One Direction, specifically band member Harry Styles. The problems within the story are the abusive behaviors exhibited by the male lead, and the fact that these behaviors are shown time and time again as acceptable for women to put up with.
The movie tells the story of Tess Young as she enters her freshman year of college. There she meets bad boy Hardin Scott.
After the two find they have a lot of chemistry, Tess ends up cheating on her still-in-high-school boyfriend and enters into a relationship with Hardin that is all about sexual awakening and chemistry. Now, there is nothing wrong with these kinds of stories, and young women absolutely deserve to be able to tell and engage in stories about their sexuality. Wish fulfillment is definitely a big part of fanfic, and there is something to be celebrated in that, too. However, the troubling thing about After is how Hardin acts and the kind of messages it sends to teens and young women.
He loves to read classic novels such as Wuthering Heights. He treats others around him poorly and is too cool for everything. At the start of the movie, the first time Tess meets Hardin is when he is in her room waiting for her roommate. She is in a towel and asks him to leave, and he ignores her request. There are many minor examples like this of Hardin not respecting her boundaries.
He later pushes and pushes to get her to go swimming with him, despite her being uncomfortable with the suggestion. These types of behaviors are common in romantic movies, including rom-coms, and reward men for being pushy and persistent as opposed to respecting boundaries. When these types of messages are repeatedly shown to young women, it becomes normalized, and this is a big problem.
The film brings to mind other extremely popular sensations such as Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. Both franchises which are notorious for portraying somewhat abusive and controlling behaviors as sexy. Funnily enough, After also takes place in the state of Washington, too. When Tess arrives to help Landon, Hardin ends up breaking a bottle of whiskey in front of her, and she is left to console him.
When people break things in front Bad boy to good girl story you aggressively, this is often a big warning flag of an abuser, yet the movie portrays this as a romantic act.
The two end up cuddling together. Overall, this movie portrays an age-old sexist trope that a good woman can help emotionally repressed men and save him from himself. At the end of the film, in a very weird and not realistic at all move, Hardin turns in his English term paper and makes it all about how much he loves Tess and includes a drawing of her. The English professor than gives the paper to Tess. This is not only extremely creepy but is definitely not realistic in any way. Read: Game of Thrones season 8: Our wishlist for living female characters.
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