December 07, 2019

After Class is in select theaters on December 6th, 2019.

Previously titled Safe Spaces, After Class follows a week in the life of NYC adjunct Professor Josh Cohn (played by Accepted's Justin Long) while he spends time with his family, including his dying grandmother, and deals with the consequences of a controversial incident during one of his classes. If that synopsis sounds disjointed, it's because the dramedy itself seemed to lack cohesion. Josh's somewhat immature but well-meaning character is the thin thread that ties together the hot-button issue of safe spaces and being "triggered" on college campuses with familial relations and facing the mortality of a loved one. I feel that if you're going to make a movie incorporating these elements you should be making some kind of statement about them, and this film failed to take any sort of stance.

On top of the plot points I've already mentioned, we are keyed in to the fact that Josh has had a tumultuous love life. His younger, foreign, live-in girlfriend prefers rough sex to showing affection. His previous relationship was with his brother's nanny... so now his brother and sister-in-law are annoyingly nanny-less. Plus they mention a former girlfriend who, depending who's doing the talking, Josh either definitely wasn't right for or definitely should have married. At least she would have paid half his rent. Perhaps a lot of thought was put into the character's backstories by the writers, but it all just feels so jam-packed together. Maybe this storyline would have worked better as a TV show.

I have to admit, the acting here is well done. I always love to see Richard Schiff, who plays Josh's absent father. I will be keeping an eye out for future projects from Kate Berlant, who played Josh's feminist sister. However, I think there's a reason this one is headed toward video on demand rather than a wide release. Don't watch this unless you need a dose of depression. If you'd like to watch a movie that really showcases the wonderful Justin Long, I recommend Comet or Galaxy Quest.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Joanna Joanna (Guest Contributor) was born and raised in Metro Detroit. A fan of thought-provoking thrillers and indie films, she also enjoys a good chick flick. When not at the movies, she can be found running, reading, or writing bar trivia.
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