Thursday, October 28, 2021

REVIEW: ‘To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’ and All of Its Adorable Moments

The highly anticipated sequel to 2018’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has finally hit Netflix just in time for Valentine’s Day and it was nothing short of cute moments and a familiar Twilight/The Hunger Games battle. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You directly follows its predecessor as Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) are finally dating, and this time, it’s for real. However, their whirlwind love is soon interrupted when another recipient of Lara Jean’s love letters, John Ambrose McLaren (Jordan Fisher), writes her back. The two end up volunteering at the same place and grow closer, while Lara Jean and Peter grow further apart. However, a lost love/a could-have-been relationship isn’t enough to stop this OTP as LJ and Peter find their way back to each other by the movie’s end.

From the second the movie starts with Lara Jean dancing in her bedroom, completely in love, to the very end with Lara Jean and Peter getting back together, watching as their childhood tree house is being taken down and kissing, it all seems like a teenage fairytale. Not only do you fall in love all over again with Peter and LJ, but you also fall in love with Chris (Madeleine Arthur) who is Lara Jean’s best friend and perhaps has found her own soulmate in Trevor (Ross Butler). You also get to see this growing friendship between Lara Jean and Lucas (Trezzo Mahoro), who had been a recipient of Lara Jean’s infamous love letters but is actually gay. You also have Gen (Emilija Baranac), Peter’s ex, who still doesn’t necessarily like the idea of Lara Jean and Peter dating. She may also have, by accident, been the reason that they broke up. But towards the end of the movie, you start to learn more about her, more about her former friendship with Lara Jean and they start to rebuild that former friendship.

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It’s not just the relationships that made this movie. It’s also the small moments. For instance, the Covey family hold a family “Thanksgiving” of some sort in March, with canned green beans, all because of Mrs. Covey. At the retirement home that Lara Jean and John Ambrose volunteer at, John Ambrose finds a piano in the basement and plays a little tune that Jordan Fisher had just come up with, improvised at the time of filming. And, when Lara Jean and John Ambrose both recalled memories in their letters to each other about their time in the Robertson’s tree house. It’s where the two of them, plus Peter, Chris, Trevor, and Gen spent time growing up, when all of them were friends. You learn more about these characters as the movie progresses and you might be able to relate to them as well. Some friends grow apart while others get closer. This movie is also visually pleasing from the carnival to Lara Jean and John Ambrose’s kiss, and its aesthetic is beautiful.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is not just another romantic comedy based on a YA novel, it’s more than that. While we may not have written secret love letters to former crushes growing up and have them sent out, not by choice, you can connect with any one of these characters or scenarios. The girl you used to be friends with in elementary school could be your enemy, a guy you never in a million years thought you’d be dating starts hanging out with you and you fall in love. Maybe you lost a parent and you know by doing something simple it’s keeping their memory alive, or your best friend you’ve known forever is still your best friend. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story that depicts what dating and high school is like and all the struggles it comes with.

Although this movie just came out, the third one, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean has already wrapped filming, but there’s no actual premiere date just yet. While you’re waiting, rewatch the first two movies on Netflix and fall in love with Peter Kavinsky all over again. Make sure you also check out the book series of the same name the movies are based on by Jenny Han.

One last thing: Team Peter or Team John?

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Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvelstaylena if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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