Title: After

Director: Pieter Gaspersz

Starring: Kathleen Quinlan, John Doman, Pablo Schreiber, Sabrina Gennarino, Adam Scarimbolo, Diane Neal

Running time: 101 minutes, Rated R, In theaters August 8th and on iTunes/VOD

The Valentinos are a middle class family that live in upstate New York.  They own a struggling business providing sheet rock and manufacturing counter tops. There seems to be a bit of tension amongst the family members, who are all dysfunctional in their own way. The mother Nora (Kathleen Quinlan) is obsessed with watching videotapes (it’s set in 2002) from her youngest daughter Samantha (Alexi Maggio), who updates the family on her life in the big city. Their older daughter Maxine (screenwriter Sabrina Gennarino), announces she’s engaged to Andy (Darrin Dewitt Henson), a black man, much to the dismay of her bigot father Mitch (John Doman) and her brothers Christian (Pablo Schreiber AKA Pornstache of Orange is the New Black) and ball of rage Nicky (Adam Scarimbolo). In an attempt to save the family business, Christian makes some risky deals that almost cost them everything. They will have to band together to make it through the setback, and learn to grow as a family while suppressing a painful secret.

The Good: At the 1:15:00 mark there’s a MON-TAGE! Seriously there’s an  80’s style montage of a bunch of dudes cutting lovely marble counter tops, it’s…it’s pretty much the most exciting scene in the whole film.

The Bad: Morose melodrama with cheesy overacting. Once the family’s “secret” is revealed, it’s such a smarmy, pretentious attempt at a heart-wrencher. I felt annoyed and a little sick afterwards.  I hate the vast majority of the characters. The only family members I feel bad for is Max and Andy because they’re the only ones who aren’t f-d in the head. Maybe it’s because they’re relatable. They could easily pack up and leave, but can’t live with the guilt. I do think it’s a little arrogant as the screenwriter to make herself the only likeable character.

This type of film works for the Lifetime channel crowd, but who really cares about a bunch of middle class a-holes who live beyond their means and have the type of tragedy that most people are able to put behind them?  One of the family members is practically comatose with grief because they can’t deal. The rest of them tiptoe around and coddle them so they don’t have to deal with them either. To hell with that. Shit happens, get over it. You have other people in your life that need you. I was taught patience when it comes to family, but I can’t even fathom tolerating living with these people. Pieter Gaspersz and Sabrina Gennarino were trying for sentimental, but they only succeeded in pissing me off.

Total Rating: F

Reviewed by: JM Willis

After Movie

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