Let’s Rant: Fan Fiction

by The Cowl Editor on November 21, 2019

Arts & Entertainment

by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

While fans of the fan-fiction-turned-movie After may be pleased that it has won the People’s Choice Award for Best Drama Film of 2019, the movie follows a trend of others that have come before it, such as the popular series 50 Shades of Grey. Both were fanfictions turned books turned movies that seemed to capture the hearts of teen girls across the country.  

After Vertical Movie Poster

Critics, on the other hand, are not such big fans of the movie. While it was given a 72 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, it only scored a 17 percent on the tomatometer. One top critic and writer for the Los Angeles Times says that in After, “characters act illogically, as though written by someone who napped through most of Intro to Psych and skipped English 101 altogether.”  

This film’s success at the People’s Choice Awards comes down to the voting system. As one of the only award shows where fans pick the winners as opposed to experts, movies such as After can win big.  

This is the problem with the People’s Choice Awards, and why the results of this awards show should mean less. When discussing the wins of movies such as After, which have won awards but are not necessarily high-quality films, the voting process seems to be the problem. According to Vanity Fair, a lot of movies like this one “develop passionate but niche fan bases—who, it seems, have the ability to sway even a robust voting process like the People’s Choice Awards.”  

The niche for movies like After and Twilight is teenage girls, and as Vanity Fair stated, this audience often manages to control the voting process, which allows for movies like After to win awards and make a lot of money. When describing the voting process Vanity Fair states that “it’s a system that rewards both a young fan base and spamming” which is perfect for the teen girls who favor fan fiction-based flicks.  

As this kind of voting process continues, a People’s Choice Award seems to mean less and less and the cycle of low-quality movies winning the award will live on.