A Note from the Director: Love on 27th Street is a spin off of our recent column “Sex on 27th Street”. A change in writers of the column has inspired us to expand it to more than just sex, and into love and relationships between lovers, family, friends, etc. Alice Sungurov is our new column writer for Love of 27th Street, this is her first article as the columnist. Alice is writing to you Saturday mornings, so tune in for a little Love talk on the weekends!
My name is Alice and recently I was granted the former “Sex On 27th” column. I was given the freedom to transform it into “Love On 27th.” Frankly, when it comes to sex, friendships, family, and relationships- love is truly an intertwined entity.
I have spent the past several weeks planning out my column pieces and I’m excited to share them with you. I was thinking for my first piece I would do an introduction into my frankly ridiculous love life. But I’ll save my stories of one-night stands, drunken confessions, and unexpected moments for another time.
I’ll keep real. At this moment I’m about half a bottle of wine into my sleep coma, and I just finished watching the immaculate second installment of “After We Collided.” You know, the fanfiction based on Harry Styles that blew up on Wattpad? Yea, I don’t even know where to begin.
I wasn’t big into fanfiction when I was younger, and the first time I ever heard of Anna Todd and “After” was when the first movie came out a few years ago. I decided to go to an AMC between classes (alone) and watch it. I had no context, and I was definitely what you would call ~uncomfy~.
I left midway because the teenage girls in front of me wouldn’t stop talking, gasping, and giggling, about what they were watching- thus preventing me from fully understanding the plot and analyzing the relationship. However, as luck would have it, I had some free time tonight, and while multi-tasking, I played the second movie on a streaming service that will most likely make my poor computer sick later.
While watching I kept on feeling a level of discomfort- not regarding the soft-core porn in the movie- but rather with the relationship between the two leads.
If I was in high school, I would be over the moon with the love story. Sincerely, I had this twisted idea that true love had to be difficult to show how much was overcome. I can’t remember much of the first movie, but spoiler, they break up because the relationship was started on a bet. Sound familiar? Essentially the female lead, Tessa, finds out and is so angry she breaks up Hardin (the main dude). Of course, he develops feelings for her, so the bet is blah blah blah.
You get the drift.
The second movie takes place a month after and we see a more broken Hardin trying to cope, texting Tessa every day, even though he’s blocked, and we see Tessa starting an internship at a fancy company. She drunkenly calls Hardin and then, later on, pushes him to sleep with her, and the next morning she’s angry and shouts at him. On the surface, the movie tries to portray Hardin as the toxic one in the duo, with his dark grungy clothes, pissy attitude, and a low-key drinking problem. However, I feel like Tessa was showing more signs of toxicity. She pushed and pulled him with sex and wouldn’t get over herself long enough to see that Hardin truly loves her and that a bet is not like cheating. Arrogant, but there are worse things. Don’t get me wrong, Hardin is frankly annoying and inconsiderate, but in this toxic duo, it was a true equal tango.
One of the characters, at one point, describes the relationship as an addiction, and the probability of it ending well is slim at best. Of course, in the end, they get back together even though the last major fight was a true example that there is as much bad in the relationship as there is good. This shouldn’t be balanced on the relationship scale. This balance alone indicates that maybe this isn’t… “their time”.
I think what frustrates me more is that the movie, and Hollywood in general, romanticizes this behavior. It worries me that millions of 15-year-old girls are watching this movie and internalizing it as an example of “raw and real love.” I was that 15-year-old girl and I thank god that now, at 22, I’m starting to catch my bullshit with the choices I make when it comes to love.
Anyway, that was my late-night rant.
Thanks for reading,