Robin Blassberg A&E Editor
On Feb. 12, 2020, Netflix released the sequel to the ultra popular “To All the Boys I Loved Before,” titled “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.” The film stars Lana Condor as Lara Jean Covey, Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky and Jordan Fisher as John Ambrose McClaren. Spoilers are included.
Its predecessor followed reserved 16 year old Lara Jean navigating one of the biggest causes of drama in high school: crushes. When her sister, Kitty (Anna Cathcart), sends out the five love letters Lara Jean has written to the crushes she’s had throughout her life, she eventually finds love through one of the recipients: the charming and popular Peter Kavinsky. The relationship began to make Peter’s on and off again girlfriend Gen (Emilija Baranac) jealous, but it quickly blossoms into something the two never expected: love.
“P.S. I Still Love You” picks up where the last film left off. Lara Jean and Peter have officially begun their real relationship and everything is hopeful and happy. However, Lara Jean soon realizes relationships are tough work and can heighten your insecurities, for instance worries of whether Peter is still attracted to Gen. These moments and scenes feel the most relatable making the film all the more enjoyable. Although this works in their favor, perhaps more time should have been spent on why they are a couple in the first place. Troubles between them begin right away, with little scenes establishing them as a couple. This increases the confusion the film can cause when John Ambrose enters the picture.
John Ambrose was Lara Jean’s 6th grade crush, who in her letter to him, explains that her love began because he was the only other person in a ridiculous costume at a party. She recalls seeing him and feeling “lame, but in a cool way.” One day, amidst her relationship problems with Peter, Lara Jean is handed an envelope by her dad. John Ambrose has written her back. Much to her surprise, Lara Jean was just about as important to John Ambrose as he was to her. The knowledge of this sends her into a spiral, something heightened when they end up being the only two people volunteering at a retirement home together. Thus, the predictable love triangle is established, another of the movie’s faults. The ending was predictable, but in terms of how events turned out, it does not make sense. Time after time, John Ambrose’s perfect-for-Lara Jean qualities shine and it feels like she made the wrong choice staying with Peter.
While cute, the addition of Lara Jean’s father, a widowed, doting on his daughters man, falling in love with their neighbor feels cliche and pointless. The relationship is not fully expanded on and it is confirmed they are together by a simple visual of them holding hands.
If you watched the first movie, you should probably watch this one. While it is full of beautiful fairy tale like images and there are some funny and cute moments, it felt rushed and pales in comparison to the first movie.