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After Ever Happy review: Continuing the saga of packaging toxicity as undying love

The fourth instalment in the After film series features Tessa and Hardin at their insipid best.

After Ever Happy review: Continuing the saga of packaging toxicity as undying love

Last Updated: 06.59 PM, Sep 30, 2022



After the shocking discovery of Christian being his biological father, Hardin(Hero Fiennes Tiffin) struggles to come to terms with the news and starts going down a path of self destruction. Tessa’s(Josephine Langford) attempts at calming him down do little to help and the duo decide to spend some time apart. However, when Tessa’s world is rocked by a personal tragedy, Hardin realises just how much she means to him. But will he be too late to win back Tessa?



After Ever Happy continues Tessa and Hardin’s toxic love story, in an instalment in the After saga that beats its predecessors in terms of insipidness.

As expected, Tessa and Hardin’s love story is faced with yet another roadblock when the latter discovers that Christian is his biological father. In his usual way of handling difficulties, Hardin decides to go on a spiral of self destruction and his relationship with Tessa bears the brunt of it again.

Despite the duo’s numerous breakups, keeping in line with the After franchise pattern, Hardin’s tantrums do not last long. When Tessa has to go through a painful personal tragedy, the young man rushes to his beloved’s side. But it seems that his attempts at salvaging the relationship comes too little too late, as Tessa finally starts to assert herself, realising just how tumultuous their union actually is.

Despite its numerous thinly veiled depictions of toxic masculinity as a young man’s passionate intensity in the name of love, the After film series has found itself a dedicated fan following. It seems that this has instilled a certain sense of complacency in the writers, which is painfully evident in After Ever Happy.

The film follows the same formulaic premise as its predecessors, with the same old tiring thread of Tessa and Hardin’s on again off again relationship and how the two try to navigate the same. Hardin is at his infuriating best, his entitlement and toxicity seemingly so ingrained into his characterisation that even the film’s attempt at giving him a growth arc falls woefully short. Stepping all over Tessa seems to have become so habitual to the young man that even the way he tries to redeem himself only comes at a cost to his partner.

Tessa’s characterisation witnesses a sliver of growth, as she finally puts her foot down and decides to take a step forward in her life that does not revolve around Hardin. But unfortunately, the writers’ begrudging attempt to provide her with an atom of self respect comes undone disappointingly swiftly.

The uninspired writing is also bluntly obvious in the way cliches have been given free rein in the script. Melodrama is a constant companion in the After film series, and the fourth instalment is no different.


As formulaic as ever, After Ever Happy is yet another infuriating instalment in the After series, continuing its predecessors’ pattern of confusing toxicity with passion. Tired tropes, a cliched script and uninspired writing makes the film a tedious watch from start to finish.


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