After Ever Happy is the most recent movie installment based on the popular romance novels of the same name by author Anna Todd. It’s the sequel to After We Fell and continues the story of lovers Tessa Young and Hardin Scott, played by Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, respectively. Fans were delighted as the story delved into the darker side of romance, but the cliffhanger ending left us all wondering whether this was the end for Tessa and Hardin.
After Ever Happy Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
The fourth overall installment in the After film series, After Ever Happy, poses several conflicts between the two sweethearts. It follows on the heels of the shocking conclusion to the previous entry in the film series, After We Fell. After Tessa’s new boss Christian Vance reveals that he’s Hardin’s biological father, Hardin confronts his mother for the truth at her wedding reception. Vance offers an explanation but Hardin storms off mid-scene with a bottle of alcohol. Tessa later finds Hardin completely drunk and attempting to burn down Trish’s house. He realizes his error as he comes out of his stupor, but the building is already engulfed in flames. Vance arrives and helps Hardin escape with Tessa, telling the fire department he is responsible for the blaze.
Tessa seeks advice from Vance’s fiancee Kimberley about Hardin’s anger issues. By the time she returns to their hotel room, Hardin has already left. She later finds him at a party, drunk once again and high this time. Tessa asks him to leave with her, but he refuses, and Tessa flies back home to America.
When Tessa gets to her apartment, she finds that her father has died from an apparent overdose. Meanwhile, Landon calls Hardin to tell him the bad news. Hardin returns to Tessa, attempting to comfort her, but she hides from him. He later gets into an argument with Tessa’s mom Carol about his increasingly unsavory treatment of her daughter.
Hardin stays to support Tessa, however, and attends Richard’s funeral. Afterward, Tessa tells him they need to spend time apart to process and deal with their family issues. She also reveals that she’s leaving Vance Publishing and moving to New York with Landon. Hardin is hurt but grudgingly agrees to honor her request for time apart.
Hardin uses the time to join AA, and he also graduates from university. He visits New York sometime later for work, and Landon offers him a place to stay. Tessa starts working double shifts at the restaurant where she works to avoid running into Hardin.
Both Landon and Hardin visit the restaurant for lunch one day, however, and they request her as their server. Hardin stays until her shift ends, and they catch up afterward, with Hardin sharing news of his sobriety and Tessa sharing her pending NYU acceptance.
The two slowly rekindle their relationship over the next few days as they spend more and more time together. Hardin and Tessa are also thrilled when Landon and Nora officially start seeing each other around this time. However, Tessa discovers a book titled ‘After’ that Hardin has written that reveals details about their romance. She confronts him, not wanting intimate details of her life to be published as fiction or otherwise, but he insists there’s nothing he can do at that advanced state of publishing.
Early in the movie, Hardin confessed, “I keep on trying to write, and every time I do, everything just ends up going back to Tessa.” As a result, he became invested in documenting even private moments, much to Tessa’s chagrin, and she flatly breaks up with him. The book, however, eventually became a New York Times Best Seller.
After Ever Happy Movie, Ending, Explained:
Is This The End For Tessa And Hardin?
Though she’s upset about the sensitive content, Tessa still attends one of Hardin’s book readings with Nora’s friend Robert. After seeing glances between Hardin and another woman, she leaves, prompting questions about whether their relationship is officially over. Although he sees Tessa right before she exits, Hardin chooses to continue reading. In the film’s final shot, Tessa walks away in the pouring rain.
But has Hardin truly moved on with someone else? There’s speculation that Tessa misinterpreted the look she witnessed between Hardin and the woman at the reading. There’s also the possibility that it’s all just a marketing ploy to drive up sales numbers for the new novel.
Ever After Happy deviates from the book it’s based on, which concludes with happier images of Tessa, Hardin, and their two children. The was initially earmarked as the final film in the After series and was supposed to serve as the finale to Tessa and Hardin’s love story. A fifth movie, however, was added to the franchise following an announcement in August last year.
Will there be a sequel to After Ever Happy?
The upcoming fifth installment, supposedly titled After Everything, sees both Langford and Tiffin reprising their roles before the series wraps and the many scheduled spin-offs start shooting.
Among the upcoming projects is a prequel loosely based on Anna Todd’s novel Before, which follows Hardin’s life before he met Tessa and the two fell in love. Another spin-off will focus on the couple’s two children, Emery and Auden, and their cousin Addy who first appeared in the epilogue of After Ever Happy.
Fans have also been quick to point out that the last three films in the franchise – After We Collided, After We Fell, and After Ever Happy – were all released in September and are already eagerly awaiting a September 2023 premiere for After Everything.
The fifth film will pick up from the bombshell ending and will most likely be the last, with Tessa and Hardin rekindling the flame once again, having had their union tested by several factors: family issues, substance abuse, and long distance.
The book contains multiple layers that haven’t yet been explored onscreen, so ample scope and material exist for the fifth film to delve into for a dramatic finale of the lovebirds’ story.