Love doesn’t guarantee a happily ever after. Adapted from Anna Todd’s best-selling novel, the After film series delves into the lives of Tessa Young (played by Josephine Langford), a studious and innocent young woman, and Hardin Scott (portrayed by Hero Fiennes Tiffin), a dangerously rebellious character. Together, they navigate a passionate but tumultuous relationship. Now a sensation, the After series delves deep into the challenges of maintaining the spark in a relationship.
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After Movies in Chronological Order
After introducing Tessa Young, a high school graduate embarking on her first day at Central Washington University as an undeclared economics major, we see her surrounded by her loving mother, her unconventional yet controlling boyfriend, Carol Young, and her high school sweetheart, Noah Porter. Upon arrival, Tessa is warmly welcomed by Steph Jones, her roommate, and Steph’s girlfriend, Tristan. While Tessa is known for her studious nature, Steph and Tristan are drawn to the party scene. Surprisingly, Tessa finds herself getting along with her new friends and settling into her dormitory.
Steph extends an invitation to Tessa for a frat house party, and though she hesitates, Tessa reluctantly agrees. It’s at this party that she meets the rest of Steph and Tristan’s group, including the enigmatic Hardin Scott, whom she previously encountered in her dorm room. As the night progresses, the group suggests playing Truth or Dare, and Tessa is dared to share a kiss with Hardin. She firmly declines, making her escape from the party, albeit unintentionally wandering around Hardin’s house. A chance encounter ensues between Tessa and Hardin, resulting in a lingering moment before Tessa departs.
Over the next few days, Hardin gradually persuades Tessa to accompany him to a lake house. In this scenic setting, their flirtation deepens, culminating in an underwater kiss. However, their passionate connection proves fleeting, and as the film unfolds, it becomes apparent that Hardin is resistant to the idea of a committed relationship. Heartbroken, Tessa initially distances herself from Hardin, but her resolve softens when she witnesses his emotional outburst at home.
Despite the warnings from her friends to take things slowly with Hardin, Tessa chooses to disregard their advice, continuing her seemingly perfect romance with him. Everyone had always cautioned her about Hardin’s intentions, and while she initially brushes aside their concerns, Hardin, succumbing to peer pressure, eventually confesses that he had dared to make Tessa fall in love with him, ultimately intending to break her heart. It dawns on Tessa that her relationship with Hardin had been built on a foundation of deception.
After spending some time back at home, Tessa returns to college and applies for an internship at Vance Publishing. She immerses herself in her studies and coursework. One day, when she turns in her English essay, her professor discreetly hands her an essay that Hardin had submitted, seemingly intended for her. Later, Tessa and Landon sit on the campus grass. Tessa reads the essay, discovering it to be a heartfelt letter from Hardin expressing his true feelings for her.
After We Collided (2020)
After We Collided kicks off with Hardin lost in a dream of Tessa, only to abruptly wake up, alone in his car, feeling frustrated by Tessa’s lack of response to his texts. As he steps out of the car, a homeless man, desperately searching for someone, unexpectedly approaches him, leading Hardin to dismiss him. Meanwhile, over at Vance Publishing, Tessa embarks on her first day as an enthusiastic intern. However, things take a turn for the worse after an awkward encounter with her new co-worker, Trevor Matthews. Tessa is warmly welcomed by secretary Kimberly, whose romantic interest in the company’s founder, Christian Vance, is revealed.
One eventful night, Tessa joins her co-workers at a nightclub in an attempt to impress a potential investor. However, as the night progresses and the drinks flow freely, things take an unexpectedly steamy turn. From dancing with strangers to an accidental kiss, Tessa, in her inebriated state, gleefully calls Hardin, reveling in the excitement of the moment. Suddenly, Trevor discovers her, and the two retreat to their hotel room. In her tipsy state, Tessa spills wine on Trevor’s attire and, somewhat hazily, asks him to undress so she can tackle the stains. Abruptly, Hardin storms into the room, furious at the sight of a half-naked Trevor, and forcefully escorts him out. Yet, their anger quickly transforms into passion, culminating in an intimate encounter.
However, their brief respite from turmoil is short-lived. Tessa soon grapples with the complex web of her professional life and confronts her true feelings for Hardin. Matters become even more complicated with the arrival of Hardin’s family, as his mother, Trish Daniels, suddenly appears in the States, forming an unlikely friendship with Tessa. Additionally, Tessa embarks on a quest to locate her long-lost father, whose surprising appearance in the film’s climax leaves viewers astounded.
After We Fell (2021)
In After We Fell, Tessa and Hardin find themselves in what seems like a content and harmonious relationship. However, lurking beneath the surface are profound insecurities that continue to haunt them. Tessa is presented with an enticing job offer from Vance Publishing’s Seattle office, a prospect that fills her with enthusiasm and hope. Yet, Hardin doesn’t quite share in her excitement. His fear of the challenges that a long-distance relationship may bring casts a shadow over their happiness, setting the stage for a series of trials. To complicate matters further, Hardin initially entertains the idea of bringing Tessa to London after their graduation.
Nevertheless, Tessa seizes the opportunity to move to Seattle, a decision that stokes Hardin’s jealousy, particularly given Tessa’s proximity to Trevor. Meanwhile, Tessa grapples with her own set of challenges. She embarks on a quest to reconnect with her estranged father, whom she hasn’t seen in nearly a decade. In a surprising twist, Hardin, initially hesitant and concerned about Tessa’s emotional well-being, unexpectedly finds himself forming a bond with her father as they connect over shared experiences with alcoholism.
Everything appears to be going smoothly until Hardin takes Tessa to London for his mother’s wedding. Initially hesitant, he fears Tessa’s judgment of his past and origins. Encouraged by Vance, Hardin extends an invitation to Tessa to join him at the wedding, hoping for the best. However, the joy is short-lived. On the eve of his mother’s wedding, Hardin inadvertently stumbles upon Vance engaged in an intimate encounter with his own mother. Kimberly, Vance’s romantic partner, discovers his infidelity and rightfully vents her fury. Matters take a darker turn when Vance reveals a long-concealed secret to Hardin, sending shockwaves through their lives.
After Ever Happy (2022)
When Hardin stumbles upon his family’s ominous secret, he plunges into an abyss of despair, seemingly trapped without an escape route. Tessa, wearied by her relentless efforts to rescue Hardin from his misery, reaches a breaking point. In a surprising twist, she realizes that it’s Hardin himself who holds the key to his redemption. To Hardin’s dismay, Tessa eventually suggests that they take a hiatus from one another. At first, Hardin’s fury simmers at the thought, but in time, they part ways, each embarking on a quest to unravel their true aspirations in life.
As destiny weaves its threads and their paths intersect once more in the future, they stand at a crossroads. The choice looms before them: to rekindle the flames of their passionate yet tumultuous relationship or to fall back into the familiar patterns of the past. Can their fervent passion alone sustain the bonds that tie them, or is this the final chapter for Tessa and Hardin?
After Everything (2023)
After Everything delves into the aftermath of Hardin’s heart-wrenching breakup with Tessa, a period marked by his deteriorating mental well-being as he grapples with the painful absence of Tessa in his life. Simultaneously, his creative work suffers, burdened by the weight of a stubborn writer’s block. Fueled by a desire for closure, Hardin embarks on a journey to Lisbon, Portugal, with the intention of making amends with Natalie. However, his reception in Lisbon isn’t as warm as he hoped for.
As Hardin’s journey unfolds, fate once again weaves the threads of his life with Tessa’s, bringing them back into each other’s orbit. Yet, it remains uncertain whether this reunion will ignite the embers of their past love or if time has altered the course of their destinies.