After Ever Happy

*Caution – Minor Spoilers Ahead*

Based on the worldwide phenomenon by Anna Todd, After Ever Happy is the final book in the beloved After series. Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) has just discovered his mother (Louise Lombard) has been hiding a secret from him his whole life. Turns out Ken (Rob Estes) was never his father, but rather family friend Christian Vance (Stephen Moyer) holds that title. Having his life completely turned upside down with the news, Hardin questions everything he thought he knew – including his relationship with Tessa (Josephine Langford). But Tessa has some skeletons of her own and they soon realize that they have a lot more in common than they ever could have imagined.

Though I may have only been apart of the After fandom for a little over a year now, that doesn’t mean that my expectations for the fourth and final film weren’t sky high. While it wasn’t my favorite out of the series, I remember feeling satisfied with the ending and couldn’t wait to see it play out on screen.

The chemistry between Fiennes Tiffin and Langford has always been off the charts and this time around was no exception. I don’t know how they do it, but every single time, I feel as if my heart is caught in my throat as I watch them together. You know it’s toxic and you wish they’d break up time and time again, but you still want them to make it at the end of the day.

You could, therefore, imagine my shock when the words ‘to be continued’ appeared at the end of the final scene. We all assumed this was it; Hessa were supposed to get their happily ever after! We’d see them get married and have children years in the future. Turns out the cast and crew had a surprise for us all: a fifth and proper finale that has just wrapped filming. I guess they decided to pull a Twilight and split the book in two.

On the one hand, I am pleased. If it is the rest of After Ever Happy then I don’t want them to leave any details out. But if the rumors are true, and it’s part of the sequel about their children, then they can keep it. There is also some worry that Langford wasn’t even part of it which wouldn’t make any sense.

Because of this, I have struggled to formulate my thoughts on this film. I wish we had known going into it that we were going to get more. I’m sure it would have increased my enjoyment, but that of others too.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Look Both Ways

Netflix’s newest romcom Look Both Ways features Lili Reinhart’s Natalie Bennet who has always stuck close to her five year plan. Graduate college, move to LA with her best friend Cara (Aisha Dee) and land her dream job in the animation industry. On the night of her graduation, she takes a pregnancy test and her life suddenly splits in two. In one scenario, events unfold as if the test was positive where Natalie decides to keep the baby and raise them with the father Gabe (Danny Ramirez). In the other, Natalie does go to LA where she not only lands a great job, but a great guy too.

Now that Riverdale is approaching its last season, it is nice to see Reinhart star in something new. After her first foray into film with Chemical Hearts, I have to say that I enjoyed her in this movie much more. In addition to acting, she also produced the film and you can tell that she gave it her all.

The storyline itself is rather simple and straightforward. There aren’t any special effects or crazy plot twists that occur, but that doesn’t make it boring either. It actually made for a pleasant viewing experience because I didn’t have to pay too close attention and I was still able to follow what was going on. The events that transpired throughout were also realistically done.

But what I liked the most about the film was seeing how both stories, though completely different, did not out-weight one another. Just because Natalie had a baby in one storyline didn’t mean she wouldn’t be more successful or less happy than the storyline in which she went to LA, got a job working for her idol (Nia Long) and met the man of her dreams (David Corenswet). Both had their ups and downs and worked out the way they were supposed to. It was refreshing to have this take portrayed on screen.

If you are looking for a cute and easy going romantic comedy to laze around to one afternoon, I recommend watching Look Both Ways. It’s certainly one of the better films in the genre that I have seen lately.

Rating: ♥♥♥


Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada) is the unluckiest girl in the world. Having grown up in the foster care system, she never found a forever family. Now that she is eighteen, it’s time for her to get her own place and find a job. On her first day, she wakes up late, locks herself in the bathroom, struggles with the toaster and notices that her bike has a flat tire. When she stumbles upon Bob (Simon Pegg), a talking cat, she is whisked away to the Land of Luck where she hopes to turn things around for herself.

From John Lasseter of Pixar and Disney comes Luck, the first title from Skydance Animation. While their aim is to tell entertaining stories that will capture the hearts of audiences everywhere, I have to say that their first venture didn’t hit the mark for me.

I appreciated how, despite her misfortunes, Sam was able to stay upbeat and how she put the needs of those around her before her own. While it didn’t seem very realistic to me (I’d get annoyed if I was in her position), her outlook on life was admirable for the most part. The cast of characters were also magical and full of fun. Simon Pegg, complete with a Scottish accent, was brilliant as Bob the cat. It was great hearing the voice talents of Jane Fonda as The Dragon, Whoopi Goldberg as The Captain and Colin O’Donoghue as Gerry and I enjoyed getting lost in the Land of Luck.

However, the film, overall, fell short for me. There was nothing exciting about the storyline and while predictability is not always a bad thing, I felt like the emotions that were supposed to come across here didn’t quite hit like they should have. Here I was, expecting the next Inside Out, and instead I was left yearning for more.

Luck may have some important messages at the end of the day, but that’s about it. Definitely aimed towards a younger audience, the film is fine for some casual viewing though I won’t be running back for a second watch anytime soon.

Rating: ♥♥

Bullet Train

Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is an assassin who has been unlucky in his latest missions. Now he finds himself on a train going from Tokyo to Kyoto where all he wants to do is his job. What he doesn’t bargain for is the many other assassins that are traveling along with him, all for their own purposes. What started off as something seemingly easy turns out to be the complete opposite.

One of the summer’s hottest blockbusters, Bullet Train is an action adventure romp that doesn’t let up for one moment. It starts off with a bang and keeps going until the credits roll. The fight sequences, in particular, were entertaining and exciting. Sometimes it was as if they came from a comic book and while the gore was pretty graphic, it was executed in a way that made it funny.

Brad Pitt is one of the best actors of our generation and he knocked it out of the park as Ladybug. He carried the movie on his back and had great interactions with his fellow costars. Other standouts for me include Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). They captured every scene they were in and made me laugh constantly. I wish we’d had more of them because they were just that good. And while we didn’t see much of her, I loved Sandra Bullock’s role as Maria, Ladybug’s handler.

The movie may have boasted even more well known names such as Joey King, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Bad Bunny, Logan Lerman and Zazie Beetz but they weren’t featured nearly as much as I would have liked. I guess that is one of the downsides of having such a large cast of characters. There were a couple here that we didn’t learn anything about which was a pity.

With bright neon lights and a killer soundtrack complete with Japanese covers of Stayin’ Alive and Holding Out For A Hero, Bullet Train sucked me into a thrilling adventure. There were a couple of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and while it was totally bonkers at times, I was able to let go and get lost in it.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Purple Hearts

Cassie Salazar (Sofia Carson) and Luke Morrow (Nicholas Galitzine) couldn’t be more opposite from each other if they tried. Cassie, a singer/songwriter, works every odd job in order to afford her diabetes medicine while Luke has decided to enlist in the military after a stint in rehab. Deciding to get married solely for the benefits they would both receive, the two believe their arrangement won’t last for longer than a year. But when Luke is injured in battle, everything changes.

To think I almost missed out on this movie. I wasn’t expecting much from it because, you know, Netflix. Their films have been more miss lately than hit and I didn’t want to be disappointed. But I was in the mood for something romantic and this totally fit the bill. I have to say it actually exceeded my expectations in more ways than one and I’m still surprised over how much I liked it.

Carson and Galitzine shined together as the two leads. Their chemistry was palpable from their first scene in the bar and didn’t let up for one second. I liked how it was slow burn and how they really got to know each other before their feelings developed on a deeper level. The fake relationship trope was well done here, much to my delight.

While the film was predictable, I have to say that that didn’t deter my enjoyment of it. Sometimes it’s nice knowing that there will be a happy ending. It’s all about the journey that takes you there. I would have appreciated more in the final act, however. All the loose ends were tied up rather quickly and a bit too perfectly for my liking. There were certain conversations that should have been had, like between Cassie and her mother, that would have added a little more beef.

Overall, Purple Hearts was probably one of the biggest surprises I’ve had in a long time. I went into it not expecting anything and was really touched when it was done.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5