After Words, a romantic comedy set in Costa Rica, premiered yesterday. Read what people are saying and share your own thoughts below!

Directed by Rob Marshall, the film stars two award winning actors: Marcia Gay Harden (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Oscar Jaenada (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).

According to the LA Times: “Harden plays Jane, a frumpy, painfully awkward introvert with an unwieldy hairdo and clunky glasses — on a chain, no less — who gets laid off as a Los Angeles librarian.” In a bout of depression, Jane plans a last hurrah in Costa Rica, but upon her arrival she’s surprised by “Juan (Óscar Jaenada), a cute, kind, hyper-ebullient tour guide who takes Jane on a whirlwind week of sightseeing. In the process, he cracks her seemingly impenetrable shell.”

Mixed Reviews

Despite an impressive 8.2 rating on IMDb, critiques have been hard on Harden’s character, calling it a “lazy stereotype that ought to make real librarians wince,” and a “polar opposite” of that which she plays in the upcoming television series, Code Black. (NY Times)

Nevertheless, all seem to agree that Costa Rica was the ideal choice for location. With beautiful scenery and plenty of adventure, the film is a showcase of pura vida lifestyle —  not to mention, co-star Jaenada isn’t half bad on the eyes. In the words of Guillermo Piedra Gonzalez, general director of the Portasal Rainforest & Ocean View Eco-Development where After Words partially filmed:

[quote_center]“The film is really positive about Costa Rica. As a matter of fact, it ties in with the Costa Rican Tourism Board’s campaign of ‘Save the Americans’, all about working too much and not enjoying life.”[/quote_center]

Not a New Story

Of course, to many reading this, Jane’s story may sound familiar. In 2013, there were already as many as 50,000 U.S. expats living in Costa Rica. Many have come for the healthcare, some for the biodiversity, still countless others relocate in search of a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Clearly the country is a popular destination for tourism, but can Costa Rica really change a person? Can a dose of pura vida save a life? The makers of After Words seem to think so. What about you?