After Ever Happy is scheduled to arrive in theaters this September, meaning fans will finally get to see the conclusion of Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) and Tessa Young’s (Josephine Langford) love story. The Wattpad-sensation turned bestselling series has reached the final installment of the film saga, bringing the young couple’s journey to a close. The two have been through difficult breakups, uncomfortable family situations, and general hard times, and it’s time for them to figure out if they have what it takes to be together in the long run.
The film is based on the book of the same name, which details what happens after Hardin’s mother’s wedding and where both their lives lead in the future. While it’s the shortest book in the series by page count, it has the most action of the first three. From returning from London, moving to New York, and flash-forwards to their thirties and forties, there’s a lot to pack into the film. But, there are a few things we think should make the cut.
The Breaking Points
Fans of the After series are used to the ups and downs of the couple’s relationship, with each step forward seemingly bringing them two steps back. From finding out the real reason their relationship began to argue about where they want to live, the two have been pushed to the brink. That will be further tested, considering the revelations of After We Fell and what Tessa finds when she returns home from England.
Without spoiling it for those who haven’t read the book, Tessa experiences a personal tragedy from which she has trouble bouncing back. She left Hardin in London after yet another fallout, only to find another piece of her life shattered. In the books, Zed helps her bounce back from that. However, the films haven’t utilized Zed in the same way based on the released stills. It looks like that job will go to her best friend, Landon. Seeing more of Landon and Tessa’s relationship always brings a great dynamic.
That doesn’t mean Hardin’s out for the count. In the book, when she finds out what’s happened, she flies back to the United States to take care of Tessa, only to find someone else doing it and that she wants nothing to do with him. It takes some time, but the two almost make up before Tessa goes on her next life adventure: following Landon to New York. This sequence should be in the film, right from Hardin realizing what he needs to do to Tessa’s decision. It wouldn’t be the same if these events didn’t happen because they really shape her next adventure.
Part of the fun of reading After Ever Happy is Tessa taking the bull by the horns and going to New York without a real plan. She secures a job as a waitress at a restaurant, a familiar character reappears, and it’s interesting to watch her life really become her own. It isn’t something audiences have seen since so much of adult life up to that point was so entangled with Hardin’s. Watching Tessa take on a new adventure that is all her own and not in some way associated with Hardin will be a breath of fresh air to viewers.
A significant portion of the final book are scenes of the future: Tessa graduating from college, Landon getting married, and Tessa and Hardin reuniting and finally living the life they were destined to have. The only question that remains is whether these scenes will be included in the adaptation. It would be great if they were. They don’t need to take up as much space as they do in the book, as that could ruin the flow of the film and make it feel like two separate pieces, but it would be nice to have a highlights / montage reel at the end.
It’s unlikely they’ll be able to fit every flash-forward scene into said montage, so let’s break down the most important ones. Tessa graduating from college is a great one to include since much of the film saga has been about her experience in college. It would make sense for viewers to see her accomplish that goal. It would also be good to include one or two of the scenes between Tessa and Hardin before they officially reunite, simply so it doesn’t seem to come out of the left field. Landon’s wedding would also be an excellent flash-forward to include because it’s the culmination of so many storylines in the series.
The Next Generation
The book ends with an epilogue, showing that Hardin and Tessa started their own family. Will the film include it? We hope so! With the news that After We Fell and After Ever Happy director Castille Landon is planning a sequel following their children, it would be wise to include a sneak peek at what viewers can expect in future films. It may be odd for fans to see Fiennes Tiffin and Langford as adults adults with a teenage child, but it would set the stage perfectly for the planned sequel.
It also gives audiences the happy ending they’ve been craving for the last three films. Just when it looks like Tessa and Hardin are in a good place, something ruins it, sending them spiraling again. Seeing that all their heartache and effort was worth it in the end, even if it took some time to get there, puts a nice bow on the initial film series, especially in the event the planned additions don’t pan out.
While there are still a few months before After Ever Happy hits screens, you can rewatch the first three films or read the books if you’re impatient to find out how the young couple’s story ends.