(Marcia Gay Harden, Oscar Jaenada, Jenna Ortega, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / Level 33 Entertainment)
Overview: Academy Award Winner Marcia Gay Harden (50 SHADES OF GREY) stars as a librarian who attempts to escape her mid-life crisis by traveling to Costa Rica. There she meets a younger man who takes her on an unexpected journey filled with adventure and romance.
DVD Verdict: Jane, played by Marcia Gay Harden, is a lonely librarian who has lived a lackluster life. When she is fired from her library job, she is propelled to take a trip. She makes out her will, ensures her cat is cared for, leaves her keys dangling in her car and boards a plane. She embarks on a final trip to exquisite, wild Costa Rica in search of memories worth having; “to create some beauty at the end.”
The movie narrates Jane’s inner thoughts and introspection, giving it a book ambiance. Many of her revelations are quite insightful and worth repeating. “If a person is at death’s door and they see their life flash before their eyes, where’s the beauty in a wasted life?”
The other main character is tour guide by day and gigolo by night, Juan. He is a single dad trying to raise his daughter to have a better life. He acts like a tour guide who offers women tourists more. He sets his sights on Jane and their story begins.
They spend a day touring Costa Rica, but Jane doesn’t seem to enjoy the trip at all. She realizes she has separated herself from life, from people, from living. Unable to see the beauty all around her, she attempts to take her life on the first night, but is interrupted by Juan.
Juan convinces her to tour more, to really open herself up to the magnificent world around her. As she allows herself to slowly enjoy the tour, she also finds herself opening up to the possibility that her life can be more than she ever imagined.
'After Words' is a nicely done contemplative story about savoring life, but also that it is never too late to really live. We are left with this reflective quote: “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel all as it should be.” Anne Frank. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2:40.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Reviewed By: Michelle Richardson
'After Words' Trailer