After Ever Happy parents guide

After Ever Happy Parent Guide

Every bit as terrible as the preceding films, this instalment distinguishes itself by the sheer volume of alcohol that floods the plot.

Overall D

Theaters: Tessa and Hardin have been through a lot as a couple, but when family secrets begin to emerge, their love is challenged in ways they never thought possible. (Opens in the USA on September 7th.)

Release date August 26, 2022

Violence C
Sexual Content D+
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is After Ever Happy rated R? The MPAA rated After Ever Happy R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief drug material.

Run Time: 119 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After We Fell saw Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) uncover some shocking family secrets that shook him to the core. After Ever Happy opens in London with Hardin’s devoted girlfriend Tessa (Josephine Langford) trying to help him come to grips with the new information.

Under the influence of a bottle of whiskey, Hardin doesn’t welcome Tessa’s gentle comfort: he wants to take direct action. With his inhibitions washed away by alcohol, Hardin commits a serious criminal act, and sends a heartbroken Tessa back to America.

For Tessa, the grief has only begun. Upon returning home, she is caught up in a family tragedy that brings a contrite Hardin running back to prove his devotion. But Tessa isn’t sure she wants Hardin’s companionship. The drama of their relationship has exhausted her and she says, “I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t know if I can keep fighting against the current to save him instead of myself.” Tessa tells Hardin she needs space and he reluctantly agrees. They head off in different directions, but can they stay apart?

The first three instalments of this franchise were all terrible films and this production is no better. I reluctantly dragged myself to the theater, consoling myself with the thought that this would be the fourth and final film in the series. Then, as Tessa walked off in the rain, I saw three words that chilled my heart – “To be continued.” I managed not to scream out loud and spent the rest of the evening reconsidering my career and life choices. Any job that requires me to sit through a fifth After movie needs to be rethought.

After Ever Happy suffers from the same flaws of all the other films in the series. Hero Fiennes Tiffin still can’t act; he just pouts at the camera or screams in rage when he can’t have what he wants. There is too much breathy sex – although Josephine Langford’s bra always stays on and there is never any explicit nudity. Thankfully, there’s less sex in this film, mainly because it’s been replaced by booze. The movie is awash in alcohol, with Hardin practically pickling himself before he finds a support group for his addiction. The level of profanity remains high, at 45 sexual expletives, and there’s a serious criminal offence which apparently doesn’t have any real world consequences. The level of negative content is excessive and this show is emphatically not suitable for teen viewers.

There is only the faintest glimmer of hope in this movie and it’s that Tessa finally realizes she can’t fix Hardin. She also acknowledges the toxic nature of their relationship and determines to find herself – without Hardin. Should she finally decide that she is better off without her violent, selfish, volatile boyfriend, that would be a happily-ever-after ending. But since there’s a sequel coming, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Directed by Castille Landon. Starring Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford, Louise Lombard. Running time: 119 minutes. Theatrical release August 26, 2022. Updated

After Ever Happy
Rating & Content Info

Why is After Ever Happy rated R? After Ever Happy is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout, some sexual content and brief drug material.

Violence: There is a brief scene of a man knocking over a child and destroying a book. There is reference to past domestic violence involving a couple. A man deliberately starts a house fire in a fit of drunken rage. A man punches a wall and is seen with bruised knuckles. A man attacks another person by pushing and shoving. The body of an overdose victims is seen. Men punch each other in a boxing ring.
Sexual Content: There are frequent scenes and flashbacks of sexual activity which involve removing clothing, passionate kissing, panting and thrusting. There is no explicit nudity. There is reference to infertility. Deception around paternity is a recurring plot point.
Profanity: There are approximately five dozen profanities in the script, including 45 sexual expletives, 11 scatological curses, and a smattering of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A dead body is seen on screen; the man died of a heroin overdose and drug paraphernalia are visible. A main character drinks heavily and is frequently intoxicated. He drinks to manage stress and acts out while he’s drunk. There are occasional scenes with background characters smoking cigarettes. During a party there’s a brief look at what might be someone using cocaine. (The latter image was too quick for certainty.)

Page last updated

After Ever Happy Parents' Guide

Do you see any red flags in Tessa and Hardin’s relationship? If you were Tessa’s best friend, what advice would you give her about the relationship?

Why does Tessa stay with Hardin? Do you think the trade-offs are worth it?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

The earlier films in this series are After, After We Collided, and After We Fell.

28 Days stars Sandra Bullock as an alcoholic whose drunk driving finally lands her in a 28 day rehab program.

The real life challenges of overcoming alcoholism are illuminated in Walk the Line, a biopic about country singer Johnny Cash.