Friday, July 23, 2021

Here After Review: Interesting Characters And Premise Hampered By An Outdated Core Idea

Nora Arnezeder	...	Honey Bee Christina Ricci	Christina Ricci	...	Scarlett Jackie Cruz	Jackie Cruz	...	Susan Michael Rispoli	Michael Rispoli	...	Angelo Jeannie Berlin	Jeannie Berlin	...	Goldie Andy Karl	Andy Karl	...	Michael Nikki M. James	Nikki M. James	...	Faith Florencia Lozano	Florencia Lozano	...	Amy Cindy Cheung	Cindy Cheung	...	Carol Elissa Middleton	Elissa Middleton	...	Barbie Alex Hurt	Alex Hurt	...	Patrick Gabrielle Ryan	Gabrielle Ryan	...	Megan Richard Topol	Richard Topol	...	Jay Taylor Rose	Taylor Rose	...	Tasha Heidi Germaine Schnappauf	Heidi Germaine Schnappauf	...	Abby Heather Litteer	Heather Litteer	...	Ginger Obi Abili	Obi Abili	...	Stranger Kathy Searle	Kathy Searle	...	Karen

Release date: July 23, 2021
Running time: 90 minutes
Written and Directed By: Harry Greenberger
Cast: Christina Ricci, Andy Karl, Nora Arnezeder, Jackie Cruz, and Michael Rispoli 

A struggling actor, Michael, dies right after a bad breakup, awakening to a singles Purgatory where he must find his soul mate in order to cross over to the other side. With limited time to find true love among other recently deceased single New Yorkers, Michael must navigate the new customs of a ghostly dating life…as if dating in New York wasn’t hard enough already. When he meets the woman of his dreams, who happens to be alive, Michael must figure out how to cheat the system to cross over with her.

Ray Iannicelli	Ray Iannicelli	...	Dad Bisserat Tseggai	Bisserat Tseggai	...	Actress Toni D'Antonio	Toni D'Antonio	...	Officer Souza Megan Haley	Megan Haley	...	Rita Christine Jones	Christine Jones	...	Bonnie Toccarra Cash	Toccarra Cash	...	Tricia Jill Shackner	Jill Shackner	...	Jenny Mike Bocchetti	Mike Bocchetti	...	Reader Maya Deshmukh	Maya Deshmukh	...	Sheri Sarah Ellen Stephens	Sarah Ellen Stephens	...	Lindsay Craig Geraghty	Craig Geraghty	...	Craig Adrienne Gandolfi	Adrienne Gandolfi	...	Champagne Twin 1 Rev Paul Bearer	Rev Paul Bearer	...	Wally (as Rev. Paul Bearer) Emeka Guindo	Emeka Guindo	...	Harvey Amy Gandolfi	Amy Gandolfi	...	Champagne Twin 2 Carla Rhodes	Carla Rhodes	...	Carla
Here After is a mixed bag.  It has some star power with the inclusion of Christina Ricci but, as is often the case with indie films, she doesn't get enough screen time to make much of an impact.  The main stars of the movie are Andy Karl and Nora Arnezeder, an odd couple of sorts that do have some fun chemistry on screen.  Especially due to the situation in which they meet, there is some ridiculousness and a lot of difficulty as they get to know each other, but it does make for some fun moments.  And despite the film's rocky start, it does get better over time, especially as Michael and Honey Bee's relationship grows.  It's fun to see them learn to deal with Michael's situation and to see how they adapt.  

But the problem with Here After is that it doesn't really seem to have a greater message and the message it has seems to be an antiquated idea.  I did not love the core reason for Michael's purgatory, that he needed to have someone with him to cross over or else his soul would just cease to be.  I didn't understand why someone would need to be accompanied by someone else, and this pairing concept just didn't sit right.  It wasn't even that single people would go somewhere else, they would just cease to exist.  And the film also has a toxic character that just seems like a strange addition.  He escalates quickly and for seemingly no reason or provocation.  When he had a character turn, it didn't really make sense and just seemed like a convenient plot vehicle.  Here After is not a bad movie, just not one that seems to have a lot going for it.  The main actors are likable and put in fine performances, but are not helped by a script that doesn't give them much to work with.  And in the end you have a film that requires people to be paired to be happy.  Social interaction is important, but you can have meaningful relationships that are long term without being a couple.

Here After has an enjoyable cast and funny moments, but the film's core idea feels outdated and the main antagonist seems to escalate too quickly and for no reason.  

Pass on it.

Tom Baker	...	associate producer David Ebel	...	associate producer Carmine Famiglietti	...	producer Harry Greenberger	...	producer Ilana Rossein	...	line producer James Shuman	...	associate producer
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Here After is available digitally and on demand on July 23, 2021.  

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